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Value and Emotion

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Contribution to book (peer-reviewed)
Author Deonna Julien, Teroni Fabrice,
Project Sensing as Activity: Its Impact on the Structure of Perceptual and Emotional Experience
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Contribution to book (peer-reviewed)

Book Handbook of Value
Editor , Brosch T.; , Sander D.
Publisher Oxford University Press, New York
Page(s) 155 - 173
ISBN 9780198716600
Title of proceedings Handbook of Value


There are close links between emotions and values, or at least this is what our ordinary ways of talking suggest. For many, if not all, types of emotion it is thus possible to find a corresponding evaluative term, one often derived from the name of the emotion in question. These are for example evaluative terms such as ‘shameful’, ‘offensive, ‘annoying’, ‘dangerous’, ‘contemptible’, ‘admirable’, ‘amusing’, ‘exciting’, ‘boring’, and the like. Starting perhaps from these linguistic observations, the philosophical task is of course to elucidate the nature of the links between emotions and values, and attempts at doing so have traditionally revolved around the following three questions: first, what is the role of emotions in elucidating the nature of value? For example, should dangerousness be understood in term of the fear response? Second, what is the role of emotions in our getting access to values? For example, what may be the role of fear in becoming aware that a given animal is dangerous? Third, what value do emotions have? For example, is fear of special value because it helps behaving appropriately towards its object? We hall take up these questions in turn and survey the most important answers they have received in the literature. As we shall discover, answering the first question amounts to surveying a variety of theories according to which there is an ontological relation between values and emotions since the former should be elucidated in terms of the latter. Addressing the second question consists in reviewing theories according to which there is an intentional relation between emotions and values because the former are apprehensions of value or evaluations. Grappling with the third question, we shall explore some reasons for thinking that emotions can exemplify values.