Book chapter


Published inThe Ontology of Emotions, Editors H. Naar & F. Teroni, p. 1-13
PublisherNew-York : Cambridge University Press
Publication date2017

What is an emotion? No one will seriously doubt that it is a psychological entity of some sort. Rich and lively philosophical debates have failed to generate any stable picture regarding the nature of emotions that extends much beyond this platitude, however. At most, a bare majority of philosophers would agree that emotions exemplify the following features. First, emotions are characterized by a certain phenomenology: they are felt. Second, they are intentional phenomena and, as such, are in one way or another directed to various sorts of entities in the world (one is amused by the joke, sad at the death of a dear friend or proud that one is a self-made man). Third, they are closely connected with evaluations of these entities Ð amusement connects with a positive evaluation of the joke, sadness with a negative evaluation of the death. Fourth, emotions are relatively short-lived: unlike other phenomena that are closely related to them, such as character traits and sentiments that may endure for substantial stretches of one's life, emotions endure at most for some hours. Beyond that, disagreement reigns and the debates, which have become increasingly important in the past two decades or so, have almost exclusively revolved around the identification of the necessary and sufficient conditions of the emotions.

  • Emotion
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Philosophy of the Emotions et Philosophy of Emotion
Citation (ISO format)
NAAR, Hichem, TERONI, Fabrice. Introduction. In: The Ontology of Emotions. New-York : Cambridge University Press, 2017. p. 1–13. doi: 10.1017/9781316275221.001
Main files (1)
Book chapter (Published version)

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