Emotions and Formal Objects
Article first published online: 26 OCT 2007
Volume 61, Issue 3, pages 395–415, September 2007
How to Cite
Teroni, F. (2007), Emotions and Formal Objects. Dialectica, 61: 395–415. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-8361.2007.01108.x
- Issue published online: 26 OCT 2007
- Article first published online: 26 OCT 2007
It is often claimed that emotions are linked to formal objects. But what are formal objects? What roles do they play? According to some philosophers, formal objects are axiological properties which individuate emotions, make them intelligible and give their correctness conditions. In this paper, I evaluate these claims in order to answer the above questions. I first give reasons to doubt the thesis that formal objects individuate emotions. Second, I distinguish different ways in which emotions are intelligible and argue that philosophers are wrong in claiming that emotions only make sense when they are based on prior sources of axiological information. Third, I investigate how issues of intelligibility connect with the correctness conditions of emotions. I defend a theory according to which emotions do not respond to axiological information, but to non-axiological reasons. According to this theory, we can allocate fundamental roles to the formal objects of emotions while dispensing with the problematic features of other theories.