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The Epistemic Significance of Emotional Experience
Emotion Review  (IF7.345),  Pub Date : 2020-11-02, DOI: 10.1177/1754073920957082
Brian Scott Ballard

Some philosophers claim that emotions are, at best, hindrances to the discovery of evaluative truths, while others omit them entirely from their epistemology of value. I argue, however, that this is a mistake. Drawing an evaluative parallel with Frank Jackson’s Mary case, I show there is a distinctive way in which emotions epistemically enhance evaluative judgment. This is, in fact, a conclusion philosophers of emotion have been eager to endorse. However, after considering several influential proposals—such as the view that emotions generate evaluative concepts, or the view that emotions justify evaluative beliefs on the model of perception—I conclude that the most promising contender is the notion that emotional experience acquaints us with evaluative properties.