Emotion As Feeling Towards Value: A Theory of Emotional Experience

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Oxford University Press, Sep 9, 2021 - Philosophy - 224 pages
Much of what we take to be meaningful and significant in life is inextricably linked with our capacity to experience emotions. Here, Jonathan Mitchell considers emotional experiences as sui generis states; not to be modelled after other mental states such as perceptions, judgements, or bodily
feelings, but given their own analysis and place within our mental economy. More specifically, he proposes an original view of emotional experiences as feelings-towards-values.

Central to this view is the notion that emotional experiences include (non-bodily) felt attitudes which represent evaluative properties of the particular objects of those experiences. After setting out a framework for theorising about experiences and their contents, Mitchell argues that the content
of emotional experience is evaluative. He then explains the best way to marry this claim with the presence of specific kinds of valenced attitudinal components in emotional experience and critical aspects of emotional phenomenology. Building on this, he introduces a distinctive role for bodily
feelings, by way of a somatic enrichment of the felt valenced attitudes involved in emotional experience. Finally, he considers issues pertaining to the intelligibility of emotions, and shows how the feelings-towards-values view can account for the way in which emotional experiences often make sense
in a first-person way.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Experiential Modes and Face Value Contents a Framework
12
The Evaluative Content of Emotional Experience
30
The ContentPriority View
70
4 The Nature of Emotional Experience
93
The Role of the Body and ActionReadiness
129
The Intelligibility of Emotional Experience
163
Conclusion
191
References
201
Index
211
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About the author (2021)


Jonathan Mitchell, University of Manchester

Jonathan Mitchell is a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Manchester. He received his PhD in philosophy from the University of Warwick, and previously studied philosophy at the University of Sheffield. He was also the holder of a Global Excellence Stature Post-Doctoral
Research Fellowship at the University of Johannesburg. His research focuses on the intersection between phenomenology, philosophy of mind, emotion, and value.

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