Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-544b6db54f-d2wc8 Total loading time: 0.173 Render date: 2021-10-21T10:28:51.676Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

3 - The Variety of Emotions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 December 2009

Robert C. Roberts
Affiliation:
Baylor University, Texas
Get access

Summary

INTRODUCTION

The Varieties of Emotions

A remarkable fact about natural languages is their high articulation about emotions. In speaking about people's beliefs, we always mention or assume a particular content: Amos believes that the pliers are in the toolbox. It is virtually uninformative to say simply that Amos believes, unless the context supplies implicit reference to what is believed; and the same goes for the variants of belief: doubt, conjecture, strong conviction, and so on. Desire is in a like case. To speak significantly of desire is to designate some more or less particular desired thing, action, or state of affairs, or to exploit a context that makes this clear. Amos wants (desires, wishes for) a pair of pliers. It is almost uninformative about Amos's state of mind to say simply, “Amos desires.” By contrast, to hear that Amos is angry, afraid, or contrite is to receive significant information about his state of mind, quite apart from knowing what Amos is angry about or afraid of. By the account given in Section 2.5c, this informativeness can be explained in terms of the two kinds of propositional content of relatively mature human beings' paradigm emotions. Even if we do not know the material proposition forming Amos's emotion – that Jeremy has maliciously hidden my pliers just when I need them – if we know his emotion is anger, we know a great deal about his state of mind because we know anger's defining proposition.

Type
Chapter
Information
Emotions
An Essay in Aid of Moral Psychology
, pp. 180 - 313
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2003

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×