Volume 3, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1566-5836
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9706
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Despite their paradigmatic status in the modern philosophy of emotions, cognitive theories have been criticized for failing to provide a satisfactory account of affectivity in emotions. I agree with much of this criticism, but I argue that an amended cognitive theory can overcome the flaws of the two main theories, strong cognitivism and componential cognitivism. I argue that feeling cannot be reduced to the evaluative content of emotion and attitudinal mode of holding it as strong cognitivists suggest. Typical emotional feelings are induced by either propositionally explicable or biologically “hard-wired” evaluations instead of being involved in the latter. We, then, face the challenge of explaining why the feeling and the evaluative construal that figure into an emotion are aspects of the same state, unlike occasional feelings and thoughts that happen to occur in us at the same time. I propose that evaluative content and feeling are different kinds of representations of the formal property of an emotional object. This is a second-order property that is ascribed to every individual object of a particular emotion-type in virtue of its perceived first-order properties and that is experienced as a property of those objects in a state of emotion. Evaluative content involves a conceptual representation of the formal property while feeling represents its inherent affective quality.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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