Emotions, perceptions and reasons

Brady, M.S. (2011) Emotions, perceptions and reasons. In: Bagnoli, C. (ed.) Morality and the Emotions. Oxford University Press: Oxford, UK, pp. 135-149. ISBN 9780199577507 (doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199577507.003.0007)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199577507.003.0007


One of the most interesting developments in the theory of emotions has been the perceptual model. Supporters of this model maintain that emotional experiences represent evaluative properties, in much the same way that perceptual experiences represent non-evaluative properties. Because of this, supporters of the perceptual model hold that emotional experiences can play a similar epistemic role to that played by perceptual experiences: they can constitute justifying reasons with respect to beliefs or judgements. In this paper I want to raise some doubts about this picture of the epistemic role of emotional experiences, doubts which are grounded in a significant disanalogy between emotions and perceptions. In the first section of the paper I outline the perceptual model of emotion. In the second and third parts I raise some problems for the account, suggesting that emotions are not themselves reasons for evaluative judgements. And in the final part of the paper I respond to a possible objection, and explain how emotional experiences can still play a role in the justification of our evaluative judgements even if they are not reasons for those judgements.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Brady, Professor Michael
Authors: Brady, M.S.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Publisher:Oxford University Press
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