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Emotions as Attitudes

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Deonna Julien A, Teroni Fabrice,
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Dialectica
Volume (Issue) 69(3)
Page(s) 293 - 311
Title of proceedings Dialectica
DOI 10.1111/1746-8361.12116


In this paper, we develop a fresh understanding of the sense in which emotions are evaluations. We argue that we should not follow mainstream accounts in locating the emotion–value connection at the level of content and that we should instead locate it at the level of attitudes or modes. We begin by explaining the contrast between content and attitude, a contrast in the light of which we review the leading contemporary accounts of the emotions. We next offer reasons to think that these accounts face substantial problems since they locate the link emotions bear to values at the level of content. This provides the incentive to pursue an alternative approach according to which emotions qualify as evaluations because they are specific types of attitudes, an approach we substantiate by appealing to felt bodily stances. We conclude by considering two reasons why this approach may be resisted; they respectively pertain to the alleged impossibility of drawing the attitude–content contrast in the case of the emotions and to the suspicion that so doing raises qualia-related worries.