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Affect, motivational states, and evaluative concepts

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Vanello Daniel,
Project Modes and Contents
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Synthese
Page(s) 1 - 20
Title of proceedings Synthese
DOI 10.1007/s11229-019-02120-0


The aim of this paper is to defend, and in so doing clarify, the claim that the affective component of emotional experience plays an essential explanatory role in the acquisition of evaluative knowledge. In particular, it argues that the phenomenally conscious affective component of emotional experience provides the subject with the epistemic access to the semantic value of evaluative concepts. The core argument relies on a comparison with the role played by the phenomenal character of perceptual experience in the acquisition of knowledge of colours. The upshot is that it is a disanalogy with perceptual experience that explains the essential role of affective experience in acquiring evaluative knowledge, namely its motivational component.