What Are Emotions About?
Version of Record online: 29 MAY 2007
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research
Volume 67, Issue 2, pages 311–334, September 2003
How to Cite
ALANEN, L. (2003), What Are Emotions About?. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 67: 311–334. doi: 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2003.tb00292.x
- Issue online: 29 MAY 2007
- Version of Record online: 29 MAY 2007
- Cited By
This paper discusses the interrelations between three aspects of human emotions: their intentionality, their expressivity and their moral significance. It distinguishes three kinds of philosophical views of emotions: the cognitivist (classically held by the Stoics), the emotivist which reduces emotions to non-intentional bodily sensations and physiological states, and the moral phenomenologist, the latter being held by Annette Baier, whose work is the focus of the discussion. Her view, which represents an original development of ideas found in Descartes and Hume, avoids the reductionism of congitivist and emotivist accounts. The paper gives special attention to her notion of ‘deep’objects of emotions and to her account of the expressivity of emotions, arguing that while the first is problematic, the second is a significant contribution to our understanding of the role of emotions in our moral lives.