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Gibbard and moral emotions
Filosofiska institutionen.
2007 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Alan Gibbard's influential expressivistic meta-ethical theory relies on a certain understanding of emotions (Wise Choices, Apt Feelings 1990; Thinking How to Live 2003): Moral judgments are explained in terms of emotions, hence emotions may not essentially involve judgments. "It is wrong to do x" is analysed as "it makes sense to feel guilt if one does x" or "it makes sense to feel anger towards someone who does x". Gibbard discusses briefly two different kinds of theories, adaptive syndromes theories and attributional theories, which he believes to be compatible with his expressivism, but, of course, clearly despises of so-called judgmental theories. However, there are, explicitly and implicitly, substantial criteria an account of emotion has to fulfil to fit into Gibbard's expressivism:  i) Senseless, irrational emotions, going against our beliefs or judgments, are possible. ii) To be, for example, afraid is to be in a state where a "mechanism of fear" is operating. The mechanism is pointed out by - but not identical with - fearful circumstances; symptoms of fear; tendencies/actions to avoid what is fearful. iii) Emotions are internal states, they are "emotional mechanisms" (presumably neuronal and endocrinal). iv) Emotions are directed or intentional; they have a focus (an object).  This paper discusses, firstly, whether these criteria are coherent, which seems inter alia to depend on how the intentionality of emotion is spelled out, and, secondly, whether the best non-cognitive theories of today, for example Jesse Prinz', match Gibbard's views.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007.
National Category
Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-14139OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-14139DiVA: diva2:615775
Conference
ESPP conference, 15th Annual Meeting of the European Society for Philosophy and Psychology, University of Geneva, Switzerland, 9-12 July 2007
Available from: 2013-04-11 Created: 2013-04-11 Last updated: 2013-04-15Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard-cite-them-right
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • sv-SE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • de-DE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
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