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A Theory of Feelings Anger and Forgiveness Philosophizing Madness from Nietzsche to Derrida"My Madness Saved Me"10 Good Questions about Life and Death12 Modern Philosophers50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a GodA Cabinet of Philosophical CuriositiesA Case for IronyA Companion to BioethicsA Companion to Buddhist PhilosophyA Companion to FoucaultA Companion to GenethicsA Companion to GenethicsA Companion to HumeA Companion to KantA Companion to Phenomenology and ExistentialismA Companion to PragmatismA Companion to the Philosophy of ActionA Companion to the Philosophy of BiologyA Companion to the Philosophy of LiteratureA Conceptual History of PsychologyA Critical Overview of Biological FunctionsA Critique of Naturalistic Philosophies of MindA Cursing Brain?A Delicate BalanceA Farewell to AlmsA Fragile LifeA Frightening LoveA Future for PresentismA Guide to the Good LifeA History of PsychiatryA History of the MindA Life Worth LivingA Manual of Experimental PhilosophyA Map of the MindA Metaphysics of PsychopathologyA Mind So RareA Minimal LibertarianismA Natural History of Human MoralityA Natural History of Human ThinkingA Natural History of VisionA Parliament of MindsA Philosopher Looks at The Sense of HumorA Philosophical DiseaseA Philosophy for the Science of Well-BeingA Philosophy of BoredomA Philosophy of Cinematic ArtA Philosophy of CultureA Philosophy of EmptinessA Philosophy of FearA Philosophy of PainA Physicalist ManifestoA Place for ConsciousnessA Question of TrustA Research Agenda for DSM-VA Revolution of the MindA Sentimentalist Theory of the MindA Stroll With William JamesA Tapestry of ValuesA Tear is an Intellectual ThingA Theory of FreedomA Thousand MachinesA Universe of ConsciousnessA Very Bad WizardA Very Bad Wizard: Morality Behind the CurtainA Virtue EpistemologyA World Full of GodsA World Without ValuesAbout FaceAbout the Beginning of the Hermeneutics of the SelfAction and ResponsibilityAction in ContextAction Theory, Rationality and CompulsionAction, Contemplation, and HappinessAction, Emotion and WillAdam SmithAdaptive DynamicsAddictionAddictionAddiction and ResponsibilityAddiction and Self-ControlAddiction Is a ChoiceAdvances in Identity Theory and ResearchAftermathAfterwarAgainst AdaptationAgainst AutonomyAgainst BioethicsAgainst HappinessAgainst HealthAgainst MarriageAgency and ActionAgency and AnswerabilityAgency and EmbodimentAgency and ResponsibilityAgency, Freedom, and Moral ResponsibilityAl-JununAlain BadiouAlain BadiouAlasdair MacIntyreAlien Landscapes?Altered EgosAmbivalenceAn Anthology of Psychiatric EthicsAn Ethics for TodayAn Intellectual History of CannibalismAn Interpretation of DesireAn Introduction to EthicsAn Introduction to Kant's Moral Philosophy An Introduction to Philosophy of EducationAn Introduction to the Philosophy of MindAn Introduction to the Philosophy of MindAn Introduction to the Philosophy of PsychologyAn Introductory Philosophy of MedicineAn Odd Kind of FameAnalytic FreudAnalytic Philosophy in AmericaAncient AngerAncient Models of MindAncient Philosophy of the SelfAngerAnimal LessonsAnimal MindsAnimals Like UsAnnihilationAnother PlanetAnswers for AristotleAnti-ExternalismAnti-Individualism and KnowledgeAntigone’s ClaimAntipsychiatryAre We Hardwired?Are Women Human?Arguing about DisabilityArguing About Human NatureAristotle and the Philosophy of FriendshipAristotle on Practical WisdomAristotle's ChildrenAristotle's Ethics and Moral ResponsibilityAristotle's WayAristotle, Emotions, and EducationArt & MoralityArt After Conceptual ArtArt in Three DimensionsArt, Self and KnowledgeArtificial ConsciousnessArtificial HappinessAspects of PsychologismAsylum to ActionAt the Existentialist CaféAtonement and ForgivenessAttention is Cognitive UnisonAutobiography as PhilosophyAutonomyAutonomy and Mental DisorderAutonomy and the Challenges to LiberalismBabies by DesignBackslidingBadiouBadiou's DeleuzeBadiou, Balibar, Ranciere: Rethinking EmancipationBare Facts And Naked TruthsBasic Desert, Reactive Attitudes and Free WillBattlestar Galactica and PhilosophyBe Like the FoxBeautyBecoming a SubjectBecoming HumanBefore ConsciousnessBehavingBehavioral Genetics in the Postgenomic EraBeing AmoralBeing HumanBeing Mentally Ill: A Sociological Theory Being No OneBeing Realistic about ReasonsBeing ReducedBeing YourselfBelief's Own EthicsBending Over BackwardsBerlin Childhood around 1900Bernard WilliamsBertrand RussellBest ExplanationsBetter than BothBetter Than WellBetween Two WorldsBeyond HealthBeyond Hegel and NietzscheBeyond KuhnBeyond LossBeyond MelancholyBeyond Moral JudgmentBeyond PostmodernismBeyond ReductionBeyond SchizophreniaBeyond the DSM StoryBioethicsBioethics and the BrainBioethics in the ClinicBiological Complexity and Integrative PluralismBiology Is TechnologyBiosBipolar ExpeditionsBlackwell Companion to the Philosophy of EducationBlindsight & The Nature of ConsciousnessBlues - Philosophy for EveryoneBlushBob Dylan and PhilosophyBody ConsciousnessBody Image And Body SchemaBody ImagesBody LanguageBody MattersBody WorkBody-Subjects and Disordered MindsBoundBoundaries of the MindBoyleBrain Evolution and CognitionBrain FictionBrain, Mind, and Human Behavior in Contemporary Cognitive ScienceBrain-WiseBrainchildrenBrains, Buddhas, and BelievingBrainstormingBrave New WorldsBreakdown of WillBrief Child Therapy Homework PlannerBrief Inquiry into the Meaning of Sin and FaithBrief Therapy Homework PlannerBritain on the CouchBritish Idealism and the Concept of the SelfBrute RationalityBuffy the Vampire Slayer and PhilosophyBut Is It Art?Camus and SartreCartesian LinguisticsCartographies of the MindCarving Nature at Its JointsCase Studies in Biomedical Research EthicsCassandra's DaughterCategories We Live ByCato's TearsCausation and CounterfactualsCauses, Laws, and Free WillChanging Conceptions of the Child from the Renaissance to Post-ModernityChanging the SubjectChaosophyCharacter and Moral Psychology Character as Moral FictionCharles DarwinCharles S. Peirce's PhenomenologyCherishmentChildhood and the Philosophy of EducationChildrenChildren, Families, and Health Care Decision MakingChoices and ConflictChoosing Not to ChooseChristmas - Philosophy for EveryoneCinema, Philosophy, BergmanCinematic MythmakingCity and Soul in Plato's RepublicClassifying MadnessClear and Queer ThinkingClinical EthicsClinical Psychiatry in Imperial GermanyCodependent ForevermoreCoffee - Philosophy for EveryoneCognition and the BrainCognition of Value in Aristotle's EthicsCognition Through Understanding: Self-Knowledge, Interlocution, Reasoning, ReflectionCognitive BiologyCognitive FictionsCognitive Neuroscience of EmotionCognitive Systems and the Extended MindCognitive Systems and the Extended Mind Cognitive Theories of Mental IllnessCoherence in Thought and ActionCollected Papers, Volume 1Collected Papers, Volume 2College SexComedy IncarnateCommitmentCommunicative Action and Rational ChoiceCompassionate Moral RealismCompetence, Condemnation, and CommitmentConcealment And ExposureConcepts and Causes in the Philosophy of DiseaseConceptual Analysis and Philosophical NaturalismConceptual Art and PaintingConceptual Issues in Evolutionary BiologyConfessionsConfucianismConnected, or What It Means to Live in the Network SocietyConquest of AbundanceConscience and ConvenienceConsciousnessConsciousnessConsciousnessConsciousness ConsciousnessConsciousness and Fundamental RealityConsciousness and Its Place in NatureConsciousness and LanguageConsciousness and Mental LifeConsciousness and MindConsciousness and the NovelConsciousness and the SelfConsciousness EmergingConsciousness EvolvingConsciousness ExplainedConsciousness in ActionConsciousness RecoveredConsciousness RevisitedConsciousness, Color, and ContentConsole and ClassifyConstructing the WorldConstructive AnalysisContemporary Debates In Applied EthicsContemporary Debates in Moral TheoryContemporary Debates in Philosophy of BiologyContemporary Debates in Philosophy of MindContemporary Debates in Political PhilosophyContemporary Debates in Social PhilosophyContemporary Perspectives on Natural LawContested Knowledge: Social Theory TodayContesting PsychiatryContext and the AttitudesContinental Philosophy of ScienceControlControlling Our DestiniesConversations About Psychology and Sexual OrientationCopernicus, Darwin and FreudCrazy for YouCreating a Life of Meaning and CompassionCreating ConsilienceCreating HysteriaCreating Mental IllnessCreating Scientific ConceptsCreating the American JunkieCreation, Rationality and AutonomyCreatures Like Us?Crime and CulpabilityCrime, Punishment, and Mental IllnessCrimes of ReasonCritical New Perspectives on Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity DisorderCritical PsychiatryCritical PsychologyCritical ResistanceCritical Thinking About PsychologyCritical VisionsCross and KhoraCruel CompassionCTRL [SPACE]Cultural Psychology of the SelfCultural Theory: An IntroductionCulture and Psychiatric DiagnosisCulture and Subjective Well-BeingCulture of DeathCultures of NeurastheniaCurious EmotionsCurrent Controversies in Experimental PhilosophyCurrent Controversies in Values and ScienceCustom and Reason in HumeCustomers and Patrons of the Mad-TradeCutting God in Half - And Putting the Pieces Together AgainCylons in AmericaDamaged IdentitiesDamasio's Error and Descartes' TruthDangerous EmotionsDaniel DennettDaniel DennettDark AgesDarwin and DesignDarwin's Dangerous IdeaDarwin's LegacyDarwin, God and the Meaning of LifeDarwinian PsychiatryDarwinian ReductionismDarwinizing CultureDating: Philosophy for EveryoneDeathDeathDeath and CharacterDeath and CompassionDeath and the AfterlifeDebating DesignDebating HumanismDecision Making, Personhood and DementiaDecomposing the WillDeconstructing PsychotherapyDeconstruction and DemocracyDeeper Than DarwinDeeper than ReasonDefending Science - within ReasonDefining Psychopathology in the 21st CenturyDegrees of BeliefDeleuze and the Concepts of CinemaDelusion and Self-DeceptionDelusions and Other Irrational BeliefsDelusions and the Madness of the MassesDementiaDemons, Dreamers, and MadmenDennett and Ricoeur on the Narrative SelfDennett’s PhilosophyDepression Is a ChoiceDepression, Emotion and the SelfDepthDerrida, Deleuze, PsychoanalysisDescartesDescartes and the Passionate MindDescartes' CogitoDescartes's Changing MindDescartes's Concept of MindDescribing Inner Experience?Descriptions and PrescriptionsDesembodied Spirits and Deanimated Bodies Desert Islands and Other Texts (1953-1974)Desire and AffectDesire, Love, and IdentityDesire, Practical Reason, and the GoodDeveloping the VirtuesDiagnosing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental DisordersDialectics of the SelfDid My Neurons Make Me Do It?Difference and IdentityDigital SoulDimensional Models of Personality DisordersDisability, Difference, DiscriminationDisjunctivismDisorders of VolitionDisorientation and Moral LifeDispatches from the Freud WarsDisrupted LivesDistractionDisturbed ConsciousnessDivided Minds and Successive SelvesDo Apes Read Minds?Do Fish Feel Pain?Do We Still Need Doctors?Does Consciousness Cause Behavior?Does the Woman Exist?Doing without ConceptsDon't be FooledDon't Believe Everything You ThinkDonald DavidsonDonald Davidson on Truth, Meaning, and the MentalDoubting Darwin?Down GirlDreaming and Other Involuntary MentationDSM-IV SourcebookDSM-IV SourcebookDSM-IV-TR CasebookDworkin and His CriticsDying to KnowDynamics in ActionDysthymia and the Spectrum of Chronic DepressionsEccentricsEducational MetamorphosesEffective IntentionsElbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth WantingEmbodied Minds in ActionEmbodied RhetoricsEmbodied Selves and Divided MindsEmbryos under the MicroscopeEmergencies in Mental Health PracticeEmerging Conceptual, Ethical and Policy Issues in BionanotechnologyEmotionEmotion and ConsciousnessEmotion and PsycheEmotion ExperienceEmotion RegulationEmotion, Evolution, And RationalityEmotional IntelligenceEmotional ReasonEmotional ReasonEmotional TruthEmotions in Humans and ArtifactsEmotions in the Moral LifeEmotions in the Moral LifeEmotions, Value, and AgencyEmpathyEmpathy and AgencyEmpathy and Moral DevelopmentEmpathy and MoralityEmpathy in the Context of PhilosophyEmpirical Ethics in PsychiatryEnactivist InterventionsEnchanted LoomsEngaging BuddhismEngineering the Human GermlineEnjoymentEnvyEpicureanismEpistemic LuckEpistemologyEpistemology and EmotionsEpistemology and the Psychology of Human JudgmentEros and the GoodErotic MoralityEssays in Social NeuroscienceEssays in the Metaphysics of Mind Essays on Derek Parfit's On What MattersEssays on Free Will and Moral ResponsibilityEssays on Nonconceptual ContentEssays on Philosophical CounselingEssays on Reference, Language, and MindEssays on the Concept of Mind in Early-Modern PhilosophyEssential Sources in the Scientific Study of ConsciousnessEsssential Philosophy of PsychiatryEternal Sunshine of the Spotless MindEthical Conflicts in PsychologyEthical Issues in Forensic Mental Health ResearchEthical Issues in Human CloningEthical TheoryEthicsEthicsEthics and the A PrioriEthics and the Metaphysics of MedicineEthics and Values in PsychotherapyEthics Done RightEthics ExpertiseEthics in Plain EnglishEthics in PracticeEthics in Psychiatric ResearchEthics of PsychiatryEthics without OntologyEuropean Review of Philosophy. Vol. 5Everyday IrrationalityEvil in Modern ThoughtEvolutionEvolution and the Human MindEvolution's RainbowEvolutionary Origins of MoralityEvolutionary PsychologyExamined LifeExamined LivesExistential AmericaExistentialismExistentialism and Romantic LoveExperimental PhilosophyExperimental PhilosophyExperimental PhilosophyExperimental Philosophy, Rationalism, and NaturalismExperiments in EthicsExplaining ConsciousnessExplaining the BrainExplaining the Computational MindExplanatory PluralismExploding the Gene MythExploring HappinessExploring the SelfExpression and the InnerExpressions of JudgmentExtraordinary Science and PsychiatryFaces of IntentionFact and ValueFact and Value in EmotionFacts and ValuesFacts, Values, and NormsFads and Fallacies in the Social SciencesFaith and Wisdom in ScienceFatherhoodFear of KnowledgeFearless SpeechFeeling Pain and Being in PainFeelings and EmotionsFeelings of BeingFellow CreaturesFellow-Feeling and the Moral LifeFeminism and Its DiscontentsFeminism and Philosophy of ScienceFeminist Ethics and Social and Political PhilosophyFeminist Interpretations of Rene DescartesFeminist TheoryField Notes from ElsewhereFinding Consciousness in the BrainFingerprints of GodFlesh in the Age of ReasonFolk Psychological NarrativesFolk Psychology Re-AssessedForces of HabitForgivenessForgiveness and LoveForgiveness and RetributionFoucault 2.0Foucault and PhilosophyFoucault NowFoucault, Psychology and the Analytics of PowerFoundational Issues in Human Brain MappingFoundations of Ethical Practice, Research, and Teaching in PsychologyFour Views on Free WillFrank Ramsey (1903-1930)Free WillFree WillFree WillFree WillFree Will and Action ExplanationFree Will and LuckFree Will And Moral ResponsibilityFree Will as an Open Scientific ProblemFree Will, Agency, and Meaning in LifeFree: Why Science Hasn't Disproved Free WillFreedomFreedom and DeterminismFreedom And NeurobiologyFreedom and ResponsibiltyFreedom and ValueFreedom EvolvesFreedom RegainedFreedom vs. InterventionFreedom, Fame, Lying, and BetrayalFreudFreud and the Question of PseudoscienceFreud As PhilosopherFreud's AnswerFreud, the Reluctant PhilosopherFriedrich NietzscheFrom Chance to ChoiceFrom Clinic to ClassroomFrom Complexity to LifeFrom Enlightenment to ReceptivityFrom Knowledge to Wisdom: A Revolution for Science and the HumanitiesFrom Morality to Mental HealthFrom Passions to EmotionsFrom Philosophy to PsychotherapyFrom Valuing to ValueFrontiers of ConsciousnessFrontiers of JusticeFurnishing the MindGalileo in PittsburghGenderGender and Mental HealthGender in the MirrorGender TroubleGenesGenes, Women, EqualityGenetic Nature/CultureGenetic ProspectsGenetic ProspectsGenetic SecretsGenocide's AftermathGenomes and What to Make of ThemGerman Idealism and the JewGerman PhilosophyGetting HookedGilles DeleuzeGlobal PhilosophyGluttonyGod and Phenomenal ConsciousnessGoffman's LegacyGoing Amiss in Experimental ResearchGoodness & AdviceGrassroots SpiritualityGrave MattersGrave MattersGreedGreek Models of Mind and SelfGut ReactionsHabilitation, Health, and AgencyHabits of MindHallucinationHandbook of BioethicsHandbook of EmotionsHappinessHappinessHappinessHappinessHappiness and EducationHappiness and the Good LifeHappiness Is OverratedHappiness, Death, and the Remainder of LifeHard LuckHarmful ThoughtsHaving the World in ViewHealing PsychiatryHealing the Soul in the Age of the BrainHealth, Illness and DiseaseHealth, Science, and Ordinary LanguageHegelHeidegger and a Metaphysics of FeelingHeidegger, Metaphysics and the Univocity of BeingHermann von Helmholtz's MechanismHermeneutics As PoliticsHeterophobiaHeterosyncraciesHeuristics and BiasesHeuristics and the LawHidden ResourcesHidden SelvesHiding from HumanityHigh Art LiteHistorical OntologyHistory of Psychiatry and Medical PsychologyHistory, Historicity And ScienceHobbesHomosexualitiesHope and Dread in PsychoanalysisHot ThoughtHow Can I Be Trusted?How Can the Human Mind Occur in the Physical Universe?How Children Learn the Meanings of WordsHow Could Conscious Experiences Affect Brains?How Do We Know Who We Are?How Emotions WorkHow Emotions WorkHow History Made the MindHow Images ThinkHow is Nature Possible?How Propaganda WorksHow Science WorksHow Scientific Practices MatterHow Scientists Explain DiseaseHow The Body Shapes The MindHow the Body Shapes the Way We ThinkHow the Mind Explains BehaviorHow the Mind Uses the BrainHow to Be a StoicHow to Make Opportunity EqualHow to Solve the Mind-Body Problemhow to stop timeHow to Think More About SexHow We HopeHow We ReasonHuman CloningHuman Development, Language and the Future of MankindHuman EnhancementHuman Evolution, Reproduction, and MoralityHuman GoodnessHuman Identity and BioethicsHuman NatureHuman NatureHuman Nature and the Limits of ScienceHuman-Built WorldHumanismHumanism, What's That?HumanityHumans, Animals, MachinesHumeHumeHume on Motivation and VirtueHume's True ScepticismHume’s Moral Philosophy and Contemporary PsychologyHusserlHystoriesI Am Dynamite!I of the VortexI Was WrongIdeas that MatterIdentifying the MindIdentity and Agency in Cultural WorldsIgnorance and ImaginationIllnessImagination and Its PathologiesImagination and the Meaningful BrainImagining NumbersImmortal RemainsImproving Nature?In Defense of an Evolutionary Concept of HealthIn Defense of SentimentalityIn Love With LifeIn Praise of Athletic BeautyIn Praise of DesireIn Praise of Natural PhilosophyIn Praise of the WhipIn Pursuit of HappinessIn Search of HappinessIn the Name of GodIn the Name of IdentityIn the Space of ReasonsIn the SwarmIn Two MindsInclusive EthicsIncompatibilism's AllureIndividual Differences in Conscious ExperienceInfinity and PerspectiveInformation ArtsInformed Consent in Medical ResearchIngmar Bergman, Cinematic PhilosopherInhuman ThoughtsInner PresenceInsanityIntegrating Psychotherapy and PharmacotherapyIntegrity and the Fragile SelfIntelligent VirtueIntentionIntentionality, Deliberation and AutonomyIntentions and IntentionalityIntentions and IntentionalityInterpreting MindsInterpreting NietzscheIntroducing Greek PhilosophyIntrospection and ConsciousnessIntrospection VindicatedIntuition, Imagination, and Philosophical MethodologyIntuitionismInvestigating the Psychological WorldIrrationalityIrrationalityIs Academic Feminism Dead?Is It Me or My Meds?Is Long-Term Therapy Unethical?Is Oedipus Online?Is Science Neurotic?Is Science Value Free?Is the Visual World a Grand Illusion?Is There a Duty to Die?Issues in Philosophical CounselingJacques LacanJacques RancièreJacques RanciereJean-Paul SartreJohn McDowellJohn SearleJohn Searle's Ideas About Social RealityJohn Stuart MillJohn Stuart Mill and the Writing of CharacterJoint AttentionJokesJonathan EdwardsJudging and UnderstandingJustice for ChildrenJustice in RobesJustice, Luck, and KnowledgeKantKant and MiltonKant and the Fate of AutonomyKant and the Limits of AutonomyKant and the Role of Pleasure in Moral ActionKant on Freedom, Law, and HappinessKant on Moral AutonomyKant's Anatomy of EvilKant's Anatomy of the Intelligent MindKant's Theory of VirtueKarl JaspersKarl PopperKarl Popper, Science and EnlightenmentKey Concepts in PhilosophyKierkegaardKierkegaard as PhenomenologistKierkegaard's Concept of DespairKierkegaard's MuseKinds of MindsKinds, Things, and StuffKnowing EmotionsKnowing, Knowledge and BeliefsKnowledge MonopoliesKnowledge, Belief, and CharacterKnowledge, Possibility, and ConsciousnessLacanLack of CharacterLack of CharacterLanguageLanguage in ContextLanguage, Consciousness, CultureLanguage, Culture, and MindLanguage, Vision, and MusicLaw and the BrainLaw, Liberty, and PsychiatryLaws, Mind, and Free WillLeaving YouLectures on the History of Political PhilosophyLevelling the Playing FieldLiberal Education in a Knowledge SocietyLiberatory PsychiatryLife and ActionLife at the Texas State Lunatic Asylum, 1857-1997Life Is Not a Game of PerfectLife of the MindLife's FormLife, Death, & MeaningLife, Death, and Meaning: Key Philosophical Readings on the Big Questions Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of UtilityLife, Sex, and IdeasLight in the Dark RoomLike a Splinter in Your MindLiving and Dying WellLiving NarrativeLiving Outside Mental IllnessLiving with DarwinLiving With One’s PastLockeLocke LockeLogic and the Art of Memory Loneliness in Philosophy, Psychology, and LiteratureLooking for SpinozaLooking for The StrangerLost in DialogueLost SoulsLOT 2LoveLoveLove's ConfusionsLove's VisionLove, Friendship, and the SelfLove, Sex & TragedyLuckyLudwig WittgensteinLustLyingMachine ConsciousnessMad for FoucaultMad TravelersMade with WordsMadness And Death In PhilosophyMadness and DemocracyMadness at HomeMadness Is CivilizationMaking Natural KnowledgeMaking Sense of EvolutionMaking Sense of Freedom and ResponsibilityMaking the DSM-5Making the Social WorldMaking TruthMale Female EmailMan, Beast, and ZombieMandated Reporting of Suspected Child AbuseManiaManic Depression and CreativityMapping the Edges and the In-betweenMapping the Future of BiologyMarcus AureliusMaster PassionsMatters of the MindMe++Meaning and Moral OrderMeaning and Value in a Secular AgeMeaning in LifeMeaning in Life and Why It MattersMeaning, Basic Self-Knowledge, and MindMeanings of ArtMeasuring HappinessMeasuring PsychopathologyMedia MadnessMedical Enhancement and PosthumanityMedical NihilismMedicine and Philosophy in Classical AntiquityMedicine of the PersonMedicine, Mental Health, Religion, Science and Well-BeingMeditations on Self-Discipline and FailureMelancholy And the Care of the SoulMelancholy and the Otherness of GodMementoMemory and NarrativeMental ActionsMental CausationMental Causation and OntologyMental HealthMental Health At The CrossroadsMental Health Policy in BritainMerit, Meaning, and Human BondageMerleau-PontyMerleau-Ponty and the Possibilities of PhilosophyMetacognition and Theory of MindMetacreationMetaethical SubjectivismMetaethicsMetal and FleshMetaphors of MemoryMetapoliticsMethods in MindMichel FoucaultMidlifeMill's UtilitarianismMindMindMindMind and ConsciousnessMind and CosmosMind and MechanismMind GamesMind in a Physical WorldMind in Everyday Life and Cognitive ScienceMind in LifeMind the BodyMind TimeMind's LandscapeMind, Brain and the Elusive SoulMind, Brain, and Free WillMind, Reason and ImaginationMinding MindsMindreadersMindreading AnimalsMinds and PersonsMinds, Brains, and LawMinds, Ethics, and ConditionalsMindshapingMindsightMindworldsMirror, MirrorMixed FeelingsMockingbird YearsModels of the SelfModern Social ImaginariesModern Theories of JusticeModernity and SubjectivityModernity and TechnologyMoody Minds DistemperedMoral BrainsMoral DimensionsMoral FailureMoral ImaginationMoral LiteracyMoral MachinesMoral ParticularismMoral PsychologyMoral Psychology and Human AgencyMoral Psychology, Volume 1Moral Psychology, Volume 2Moral Psychology, Volume 3Moral Psychology: Volume IVMoral RepairMoral Responsibility and Alternative PossibilitiesMoral TribesMoral Value and Human DiversityMorality and Self-InterestMorality in a Natural WorldMorality, Moral Luck and ResponsibilityMotherhoodMotive and RightnessMoving Beyond Prozac, DSM, and the New PsychiatryMultiple Analogies in Science and PhilosophyMultiple Identities & False MemoriesMusic, Madness, and the Unworking of LanguageMy Brain Made Me Do ItMy Double UnveiledMy WayNarrativeNarrative and IdentityNarrative MedicineNarrative PsychiatryNarrative Theory and the Cognitive SciencesNatural Ethical FactsNatural Kinds and Conceptual ChangeNatural MindsNatural-Born CybogsNaturalism and the First-Person PerspectiveNaturalism and the Human ConditionNaturalism in the Philosophy of HealthNaturalism in the Philosophy of HealthNaturalized BioethicsNaturalizing the MindNatureNature and NarrativeNear Death ExperienceNeither Bad nor MadNeither Victim nor SurvivorNeuro-Philosophy and the Healthy MindNeuroethicsNeuroethicsNeuroexistentialismNeurological Foundations of Cognitive Neuroscience Neurophilosophy at WorkNeurophilosophy of Free WillNeuropoliticsNeuropsychoanalysis in PracticeNeuroscience and PhilosophyNew Essays on the Explanation of ActionNew Philosophy for a New MediaNew Versions of VictimsNew Waves in Philosophy of ActionNietzscheNietzsche and Buddhist PhilosophyNietzsche and PsychotherapyNietzsche on Ethics and PoliticsNietzsche's TherapyNietzsche, Culture and EducationNietzsche: The Man and His PhilosophyNihil UnboundNoir AnxietyNormative EthicsNormativityNorms of NatureNotebooks 1951-1959Notes Toward a Performative Theory of AssemblyNothing So AbsurdOblivionOn AnxietyOn ApologyOn Being AuthenticOn Being AuthenticOn BeliefOn BetrayalOn BullshitOn DelusionOn DesireOn EmotionsOn HashishOn Human NatureOn Human RightsOn Loving Our EnemiesOn Nature and LanguageOn PersonalityOn ReflectionOn Romantic LoveOn the EmotionsOn the Freud WatchOn the Government of the LivingOn the Human ConditionOn the InternetOn the Meaning of LifeOn the Philosophy of LawOn the Pragmatics of CommunicationOn the Punitive SocietyOn TruthOn Virtue EthicsOn What MattersOn What We Owe to Each OtherOne Hundred DaysOnflowOnly a Promise of HappinessOntology of ConsciousnessOpen MindedOpen Your EyesOrgans without BodiesOther MindsOur Last Great IllusionOur Own MindsOur Posthuman FutureOur StoriesOut of Its MindOut of Our HeadsOxford Guide to the MindOxford Handbook of Psychiatric EthicsOxford Studies in Experimental PhilosophyOxford Studies in Normative EthicsOxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Volume 7Oxford Textbook of Philosophy of PsychiatryPanic DisorderPanpsychismPanpsychism in the WestPartialityPassionate EnginesPassionate EnginesPathologies of BeliefPathologies of ReasonPatient Autonomy and the Ethics of ResponsibilityPC, M.D.Perceiving the WorldPerception & CognitionPerception and Basic BeliefsPerception, Hallucination, and IllusionPerceptual ExperiencePerfecting VirtuePerplexities of ConsciousnessPersistencePersonal AutonomyPersonal Autonomy in SocietyPersonal IdentityPersonal Identity and EthicsPersonal Identity and Fractured SelvesPersonhood and Health CarePersonsPersons and BodiesPersons, Humanity, and the Definition of DeathPersons, Souls and DeathPerspectives on ImitationPerspectives on PragmatismPessimismPhenomenal Concepts and Phenomenal KnowledgePhenomenal ConsciousnessPhenomenal IntentionalityPhenomenologyPhenomenology and ExistentialismPhenomenology and Philosophy of MindPhenomenology of IllnessPhilosophersPhilosophers on MusicPhilosophers without GodsPhilosophical CounselingPhilosophical Counselling and the UnconsciousPhilosophical DevicesPhilosophical Foundations of NeurosciencePhilosophical History and the Problem of ConsciousnessPhilosophical Issues in PharmaceuticsPhilosophical Issues in PsychiatryPhilosophical Issues in PsychiatryPhilosophical Issues in Psychiatry IIPhilosophical MethodologyPhilosophical MidwiferyPhilosophical Myths of the FallPhilosophical Perspectives on DepictionPhilosophical Perspectives on Technology and PsychiatryPhilosophical PracticePhilosophical Reflections on DisabilityPhilosophizing About Sex Philosophizing the EverydayPhilosophy and HappinessPhilosophy and LivingPhilosophy and PsychiatryPhilosophy and PsychotherapyPhilosophy and Science FictionPhilosophy and the EmotionsPhilosophy and the EmotionsPhilosophy and the Interpretation of Pop CulturePhilosophy and the Moving ImagePhilosophy and the NeurosciencesPhilosophy and This Actual WorldPhilosophy As FictionPhilosophy BitesPhilosophy Bites BackPhilosophy for Counselling and PsychotherapyPhilosophy for LifePhilosophy in a New CenturyPhilosophy in an Age of SciencePhilosophy in Children's LiteraturePhilosophy in the Roman EmpirePhilosophy of ActionPhilosophy of ActionPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BodyPhilosophy of Film and Motion PicturesPhilosophy of LovePhilosophy of Love, Sex, and MarriagePhilosophy of Love, Sex, and Marriage: An IntroductionPhilosophy of MedicinePhilosophy of MindPhilosophy of Mind and CognitionPhilosophy of Personal Identity and Multiple PersonalityPhilosophy of PsychologyPhilosophy of Public HealthPhilosophy of SciencePhilosophy of SciencePhilosophy of Technology: The Technological ConditionPhilosophy of the Social SciencesPhilosophy on TapPhilosophy PracticePhilosophy the Day after TomorrowPhilosophy Within Its Proper BoundsPhilosophy's Role in Counseling and PsychotherapyPhilosophy, Neuroscience and ConsciousnessPhilosophy, Politics, DemocracyPhotography and PhilosophyPhysical RealizationPhysicalism and Its DiscontentsPhysicalism and Mental CausationPhysicalism, or Something Near EnoughPhysician-Assisted DyingPillar of SaltPin-up GrrrlsPlant MindsPlatoPlatoPlato, Not Prozac!Platonic Ethics, Old and NewPleasurePluralistic CasuistryPolarities of ExperiencesPolitical EmotionsPopper, Objectivity and the Growth of KnowledgePornPorn StudiesPornography, Sex, and FeminismPortrait of the Psychiatrist as a Young ManPositive NihilismPost-TruthPostcolonial DisordersPostpsychiatryPosttraumatic Stress DisorderPower and the SelfPower SplitPractical Autonomy and BioethicsPractical ConflictsPractical Identity and Narrative AgencyPractical PhilosophyPractical RulesPractical Tortoise RaisingPractically ProfoundPracticing Feminist Ethics in PsychologyPragmatic BioethicsPragmatismPragmatism, Old And NewPraise and BlamePredicative MindsPreferences and Well-BeingPrescriptions for the MindPresocraticsPrimary and Secondary QualitiesPrimates and PhilosophersPrimitive ColorsPrivacyPrivileged AccessProblems in MindProblems of RationalityProzac As a Way of LifeProzac BacklashProzac on the CouchPsyche and EthosPsyche and SomaPsychiatric Aspects of Justification, Excuse and Mitigation in Anglo-American Criminal Law Psychiatric Cultures ComparedPsychiatric Diagnosis and ClassificationPsychiatric EthicsPsychiatric HegemonyPsychiatric PowerPsychiatric SlaveryPsychiatry and Philosophy of SciencePsychiatry and ReligionPsychiatry as a Human SciencePsychiatry as Cognitive NeurosciencePsychiatry in SocietyPsychiatry in the New MilleniumPsychiatry in the Scientific ImagePsychiatry, Psychoanalysis, And The New Biology Of MindPsycho-Physical Dualism TodayPsychoanalysis and Narrative MedicinePsychoanalysis and the Philosophy of SciencePsychological Concepts and Biological PsychiatryPsychology and PhilosophyPsychology and the Question of AgencyPsychology's Interpretive TurnPsychology, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and the Politics of Human RelationshipsPsychotherapy and ConfidentialityPsychotherapy As PraxisPublic PhilosophyPunishmentPure ImmanencePurple HazePursuing MeaningQuality of Life and Human DifferenceQueer PhilosophyQuestions for FreudQuestions for FreudQuine and Davidson on Language, Thought and RealityRaceRace in Contemporary MedicineRadiant CoolRadical AlterityRadical ExternalismRadical HopeRational and Social AgencyRational CausationRational Choice in an Uncertain WorldRationality + Consciousness = Free 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We sometimes speak of 'true joy', 'true sadness', 'true grief', 'true remorse', 'true love'; in short, emotions are sometimes said to be 'true' or 'false'. The crucial question to ask is whether this talk can be taken, not just as a way of speaking, a metaphor, or a mere rhetorical device, but literally. Are emotions the kind of thing that can be true or false? Are emotions similar enough to beliefs, the archetype of mental states that can be true or false, to warrant our assessing them in terms of truth? Is speaking of 'emotional truth' anything more than a stretch of language? In Emotional Truth, Ronald de Sousa sets out to defend the view that emotions can be literally true or false.
Some motivations behind the search for a cogent theory of emotional truth are not difficult to point out. First, being able to vindicate a notion of emotional truth would enable us to do justice to the thought that emotions can be mistaken, and therefore to our practices of praise and blame with respect to them. Anyone (presumably everyone) who has heard the pieces of advice 'You should be X' and 'You shouldn't be X' (replace X by an emotion) should understand what I mean here. Another, related reason is that it would cast doubt on the classical dichotomy between emotion and reason; emotional rationality, as discussed in the first chapter of the book, is far from being a contradiction in terms. One last reason to have in mind is that such a project would help us do justice to the idea that emotion is not to be explained by merely looking inside the head of people (or their body); emotions are things directed at the world (philosophers say they have 'intentionality' or are 'intentional states'), and therefore, just as perceptual states, cannot be fully explained without mention of their relational (including social) character. Not unsurprisingly, like many theorists recently, this is by analogy with perception that de Sousa chooses to characterize emotions.
Emotional Truth is a very rich book, impossible to summarize exhaustively in just a few words. Nevertheless, its main methodology can be easily characterized: after making sense of a general idea of truth, based on some intuitive considerations about correspondence between our mental states and the states of the world they are about, de Sousa shows that this general conception is applicable to psychological realms other than beliefs, emotions and desires being the ones of interest.
In chapter 1, de Sousa puts forward, rather quickly, several claims that may seem daunting to any reader new to the topic. After distinguishing between epistemic rationality (roughly about answering the question 'What should I believe?') and strategic rationality (roughly about answering the question 'What is the course of action that will be most beneficial?), de Sousa introduces the notion of 'emotional rationality' which, he claims, is reducible to neither epistemic nor strategic rationality. In order to argue for this claim, de Sousa considers cases (such as the choice between believing in God and not believing in God) where the situation is such that epistemic and strategic rationality yield incompatible results ('You should not believe in God' vs. 'You should believe in God'). He next argues that a third framework of rationality is needed in order to make adjudication between the two frameworks possible. It is only if we care about the normative claims made by each framework of rationality that these can have a bearing on our lives, and this is emotions that allow for such caring to take place. Emotions, according to de Sousa, are capable of delivering objective verdicts about value (or 'axiological verdicts'). They not only are perceptions of value, but are constitutive of them as well (i.e., they partly determine their nature). This implies that values are both objective and relative to human realities and sensibilities. Emotions are both judge and party in the determination of what is appropriate to feel. Each emotion, de Sousa says, "provides its own conditions of appropriateness, or "formal object", in terms of which its success or failure should be assessed." (21) The realm of emotion, hence of value, is therefore susceptible to disharmonies and lack of stability and coherence; conflict in emotion is pervasive. One of de Sousa's main conclusions in this chapter is that "despite the intrinsic incoherence of our fundamental emotional attitudes, the best hope of emotional rationality lies in the broadest possible assessment of our emotions, in the light of our emotional responses themselves, providing that these are dictated by a comprehensively educated range of emotional capacities." (24) This chapter contains some rather obscure statements for which more argument may be needed. Nevertheless, as an introduction to the topic of emotional truth, it gives the reader the desire to continue reading, hoping that de Sousa will elaborate on some of the interesting points encountered so far.
Chapter 2 constitutes a general discussion on the idea of emotion being 'cognitive' and 'intentional' states. Several important notions are introduced, notably the idea of being the 'object' of an emotion and that of paradigm scenarios (roughly, scenarios learned early in life that enable us to learn to apply the vocabulary of emotion). The chapter introduces the idea that emotions should be construed in terms of perception rather than belief or judgment, and that since perception is best construed as a relation between the mind and objects in the world, and can be mistaken (e.g., perceptual illusions), it is a form of cognition. Emotion, just as perception, and as a form of representation, is about objects in the world, and therefore can be mistaken about them. More, emotions can be thought of as perceptions of values. They are, however, not just perceptions of values; they also somehow determine them, as each emotion type sets out its own standard of appropriateness, or 'formal object' (i.e., it includes conditions that an emotional episode of that type must satisfy in order to be counted as an appropriate response to the world). Values are therefore both objective and relative. This is presumably what de Sousa calls the 'axiological hypothesis'. Moreover, de Sousa introduces the notion of 'axiological holism': while emotions are the ultimate arbiters of value, it is not 'anything goes' when it comes to what's good. Indeed, it is only against the background of many facts, including biological, social and biographical, and via a "holistic equilibrium of emotional responses" (38), that values can be vindicated. What these claims precisely amount to remains unclear. The chapter ends with a quick discussion on the relationship between emotion and music.
Chapter 3 constitutes the meat of the book. After a quick exposition of the major theories of truth (correspondence, coherence, pragmatism, minimalism) and their problems, de Sousa decides to avoid engaging in these "baroque debates" and proposes a "fresh point of departure" (51). De Sousa wonders what a child must learn in order to be competent in using the notion of truth. He thinks that this kind of learning presupposes what looks like a correspondence theory of truth, committed to the idea that "truth involves a possibility of correction based on a norm, which appeals to something outside the epistemic framework of the believer" (52). This thought leads him to a 'more relaxed view of truth', which he calls 'generic truth', allowing for talk of 'fictional truth', 'being true to someone or something' and 'emotional truth'. After talking about how that would work in the two first cases, de Sousa spells out his notion of emotional truth. The distinction between success and semantic satisfaction is probably the most important of the book. De Sousa defines generic truth as the successful attainment of an intentional state's aim. On this view, in other words, a mental state is said successful if and only if its aim is satisfied. In the case of belief, a belief is successful just in case it is true, while in the case of desire, a desire is successful just in case its object (what it is about) is good. As for emotions, de Sousa tells us, each kind of emotion has a distinct aim, spelled out in terms of its formal object (i.e. the property the object of the emotion must have in order for the emotion to count as appropriate): the aim of fear is that its object be dangerous, the aim of envy is that its object be enviable, the aim of love (perhaps) is that its object be lovable, and so on. Success, however, is to be distinguished from semantic satisfaction, which is roughly the fact that the state of affairs specified in the content of the state actually obtains. In the case of the belief that there is a computer in front of me, the belief is satisfied if there is actually a computer in front of me. In the case of the desire to have ice cream, the desire is satisfied if I end up having ice cream. In the case of my fear of dogs, or my fear that the dog in front of me will hurt me, it is satisfied if there actually are dogs, or that the dog in front of me ends up hurting me. De Sousa stresses that, although success and satisfaction coincide in the case of belief (a belief is both successful and satisfied if it is true), they are not satisfied by the same things in the case of desire and emotion. As a result, they should be kept apart, and generic truth, qua notion of truth applicable to all kinds of mental states (not just beliefs), is defined as success. As pointed out by Mikko Salmela (2006), it isn't clear however why truth in emotion should be construed in terms of success only. Why can't we say that my anger at an unjust act is true just in case the act is actually unjust and it obtains (e.g.. it is not a mere thought experiment, but actually obtains in the world)? De Sousa's reply to Salmela's point (64-65) remains a bit sketchy. Still, it is important to note that de Sousa's decision to define generic truth in terms of success allows him to introduce talk of 'more or less true' (modeled on analog systems of representation) into the characterization of emotion, departing from the binary true/false found in the case of belief. What the theoretical payoffs of such a view are remains to be spelled out in more detail.
In chapter 4, de Sousa discusses three dimensions of assessment of emotions: authenticity, truth, context (context frames rationality, either at a given time--with other mental states--or over time--with the transitions between mental states). He distinguishes between consistency and compatibility: two states are said to be consistent if the states of affairs they are about can exist together while two states are incompatible if they can coexist. Although there must be a connection between consistency and compatibility thus construed, on the one hand, and success and satisfaction, on the other hand, it isn't clear from the text what that is. Moreover, some points in the chapter, while quite insightful in appearance, deserve some elaboration. For instance, de Sousa talks about the variety of sources of our interests and goals (evolutionary, personal, etc.), leading to the conclusion that since the formal objects of our emotions are multifarious, no universal emotional truths can be discovered. Formal objects, as giving us the recipe for what features things in the world must have in order for our emotions to be about them, seem to be relative to individuals (and perhaps by extension to cultures). In addition, de Sousa seems to derive interesting epistemological claims from metaphysical ones when he says that while authenticity can be made sense of, given the "variety and uniqueness of emotional repertoires" (73), "it will never be possible to discover, in any particular case, whether or not some particular emotion is a fitting expression of a person's individual nature" (73-74). De Sousa then introduces the notion of coherence, derived not from the notion of satisfaction but from that of success, and not reducible to mere propositional consistency. An interesting conclusion of the chapter is that success in emotion, and therefore emotional truth, should be relativized to the subject's individual nature. Authenticity, too, is construed individualistically, as it "has to do with the achievement of a certain fit between the basic emotional configuration that defines an individual nature and that individual's choices and habits" (84). Despite the undeniable appeal of this claim, it is hard to tell how de Sousa got there, given the messiness of some of the preceding passages and their unclear connections. It is difficult to see where the argument lies, even though we may have the feeling that there is one. Sometimes the discussion seems unnecessarily technical. This chapter should best be viewed as provided good food for thought. Notable is the question whether change in emotional repertoire can be authentic. Overall, several readings of this chapter, in addition to a lot of thinking, may be needed in order to really grasp what de Sousa is after.
Chapter 5 deals with the so-called 'quest' for authenticity. According to de Sousa, the idea of a fixed 'human nature' that we need to live in accordance with in order to live an authentic life, does not do justice to our changing individual natures and the fact that 'human nature' can be realized in various ways. Furthermore, species membership defined in terms of necessary and sufficient conditions and the idea of fixity of species are inconsistent with Darwinism (95). The context in which people find themselves, not some sort of principles derived from evolutionary theory, is crucial in identifying the purpose of emotional episodes (100). A better alternative, what de Sousa calls 'axiological holism', is to strive to arrive at a coherent set of values by having second-order emotions regulate first-order ones. De Sousa emphasizes the role of paradigm scenarios in shaping our emotional repertoires (102). As hinted at in earlier chapters, emotions are construed as apprehensions of values (103). However, emotions are also constitutive of values; without emotions, there would be no values. It looks like de Sousa is committed to some sort of constructivism about value, perhaps via the construction of new paradigm scenarios "from which fresh axiological judgments will emerge" (103). This may add some flesh to the idea of 'seeing things in a new light'. Yet, it is not obvious from the text why a purely subjectivist (or projectivist) account of value (values as being in some sense arbitrary and on a par) is less plausible than de Sousa's objectivist alternative, other than the fact that it leads more easily to some robust form of relativism.
De Sousa goes on to elaborate on this line of thought in the next three chapters.
Chapter 6 starts by distinguishing between two conceptions of emotions: black-and-white (focusing on the choice between acting and not acting) and multidimensional (or "full-color vision of emotions"), ""a polychrome" domain of experiences the point of which lies not in what they dispose us to do, but in what they enable to feel" (108). De Sousa relates the second picture to the plurality of values (113): the fact that no single formal object can be found for all emotions implies the impossibility of a single criterion of success or fittingness for those emotions. De Sousa then goes on to discuss the possibility of abstracting away from the idea of making a choice about acting/not acting on our emotions, introducing in turn the obscure notion of 'value without valence', and claiming that this allows for countless new emotions. I take the point to be that, if we stop focusing on acting, and begin to focus on feeling, namely on the cultivation of emotional quality, and this for its own sake--a bit like aesthetic emotions are had for their own sake--this would allow us to feel an incredibly vast number of novel emotions. Adopting such an aesthetic attitude towards our emotions would therefore allow us to have access to values in a way that removes (or abstracts away from) their positive or negative character ('valence-free values'). Although one may object that this view amounts to a defense of sheer sentimentality according to which emotion is used as a kind of drug, I suspect de Sousa would not be moved by this charge. In any case, it is difficult to know what are the precise motivations for the intriguing claims de Sousa makes here.
Chapters 7 and 8 deal with the relationship between emotions and morality.
In chapter 7, De Sousa claims emotions to be "irrelevant to ethics if considered in isolation, but potentially relevant if they are brought into a holistic confrontation with one another" (120). De Sousa discusses the question of the 'naturalness' of emotions and the different views on the objectivity of values. His preferred view is a naturalistic one coined 'axiological hypothesis' according to which emotions, as modes of perception, are revealers of human values, as "the facts to which our emotions give us access typically, though surely not exclusively, concern social relations." (131) And since "the realities revealed by emotions are local to certain organisms in certain environments" (131), what emotions give us access to is the "relatively objective world of human values". Value, on this picture, is both objective in some sense (as emotions reveal it) and relative to human realities (what emotion reveals "admits of no independent criterion", 134). The origin of human realities is multifarious: biology, social conditioning, biography. And none of them has supremacy in providing rational grounds for our values. What then is to provide such a support? De Sousa's answer is what he called 'axiological holism': ethical judgments are grounded on "a rationally informed reflective equilibrium of comprehensive emotional attitudes" (120). What makes an emotion fitting, and therefore true, is determined by a wide reflective equilibrium between biological facts, social norms and values, and individual experiences. As pointed out by Salmela (2006), this idea is rather sketchy: "the notion of a reflective equilibrium does not give us any grounds for adjudicating conflicts between biological, social, and personal factors" (393). Without the help of an independent arbiter, it seems that it is not possible to adjudicate between different equally coherent systems of emotional responses and therefore that relativism is a threat. I suspect de Sousa's view is a form of ethical constructivism, but without further details, it is hard to see how his view yields the results de Sousa thinks it does, namely objectivity of values.
In chapter 8, de Sousa presents some empirical research on the nature of moral judgment, and asks the following question: If our moral convictions are conditioned by our emotional responses, can they still claim to be objective? "Is morality just a projection of emotion, subjective and relative?" (146). As already suggested in previous chapters, although morality is relative to human realities, it can still be construed as objective in some sense. How can we know that our moral convictions and norms are correct ones? De Sousa continues his discussion on reflective equilibrium, and claims that all moral values and norms can be disputed and given up, provided we have good reasons to do so. De Sousa admits that this process will never lead to a system of values and norms that trumps all the others; he mentions the "possibility of a plurality of conflicting yet equally authentic values" (149), suggesting that aesthetic contemplation is best suited for an appreciation of this fact. As seen with respect to previous chapters, some points are underdeveloped; for instance, what does it mean to say that "conflicting values can be equally real"? What does this claim commit us to? Besides the constructivist feel of his writing, de Sousa needs to give us more.
The rest of the book could be best seen as a discussion of various areas that may be more or less relevant to the notion of emotional truth, although it is difficult to imagine what a totally irrelevant area would be like: the acquisition of beliefs (chapter 9), our relationship with death (chapter 10), art (chapter 11 and 12), desire (chapter 13), happiness (chapter 14), love (chapter 15 and 16), and everyday life (chapter 17). Each chapter has its own attractions, and may be read almost independently, and several interesting and often provocative claims are notable.
Chapter 9 is an excellent discussion of the relationship between emotions, more generally feelings, and cognition, more particularly beliefs. De Sousa presents empirical evidence in support of the claim that emotions are crucial even in intellectual activities as elementary as inferential reasoning. Chapter 10 constitutes an intriguing discussion of the question of the correct attitude towards death. The difficulty of normative questions of this sort, as de Sousa puts it, "lies precisely in articulating what sort of facts might be relevant to the appropriateness of emotional attitudes" (175). Since, in the case at issue, there is presumably nothing it is like to be dead, and therefore since "there can't be such a thing as my own standpoint in the situation I supposedly imagine" (185), de Sousa concludes that "our fear of our own death is always mistaken in its object" (185). Although de Sousa's point appears plausible, it isn't obvious that the object of our fear of death is the state in which we will be after our death, i.e. the state of non-existence (say); why could the object of our fear of death be the likely consequences of our death on the world, i.e. all the sadness that people will feel, the good things that won't be enjoyed, and so on? A discussion of what we mean by 'fear of death' would have been welcome.
Although I am not entirely sure how it is relevant to the rest of the book, chapter 11 provides an interesting discussion of the evolutionary origins of art and what could be the biological functions of art, if any. An impressive amount of empirical investigations is marshaled. De Sousa sides with those explaining beauty as a product of our psychological (especially perceptual) make-up, hence denying that it is part of the physical world in a way that is totally independent of us. Beauty is therefore species-specific--in this case human-specific, presumably even culture-specific as well as individual-specific.
Chapter 12 is a quick discussion on our emotional responses to art. De Sousa discusses topics such as the nature of possibility, fiction and imagination. Furthermore, he points out the limits of fiction in the production of emotional change. De Sousa suggests that, with a reasonable amount of self-awareness and deliberate choices, such as the willingness both to question one's values (and the values of one's society) and to imagine oneself as having new emotions, and therefore endorsing new values, fiction can lead to emotional progress. Given the repetitive character of our emotional responses, de Sousa compares the pursuer of emotional progress with "a musician who has been practicing a piece with wrong notes. He needs to go back and take it slowly, one bar at a time, to overcome the automaticity that the previous practice was precisely designed to instill." (216)
Chapter 13 is about desire, a species of emotion according to de Sousa, and what he calls 'serendipity', defined as "the finding of something that was not looked for, perhaps in the context of a search of something else, or even for just that." (221) De Sousa argues that "not getting just what we want is part of the point of our deepest desires" (222). De Sousa notices that it is possible to be mistaken about the object of our desires. Even though a desire can be 'semantically satisfied' (the world conforming to it), it may still turn out that its satisfaction does not in fact satisfy us emotionally. I can think I desire a career in advertisement, but it may turn out that once I get there, I discover that helping people is what I really wanted. Emotional satisfaction of this sort, de Sousa stresses, is different from what he called 'success'. Recall that the success of a mental state is the achievement of its aim (defined by its formal object); in the case of desire, it is the fact that the object of the desire is good. If it is possible for a desire to be satisfied in the sense that the world ends up matching its content and successful in the sense that the thing desired is actually desirable, while at the same time possible for the subject of the desire not to be satisfied with the outcome, i.e. not to like what she gets, emotional satisfaction is not the same as success. However, the two notions can be related: "sometimes, the reason that emotional satisfaction is not achieved is that the object of desire was actually undesirable." (225) De Sousa ends his discussion by talking about the particular ways luck can play a role in desire. Notable is the suggestion that the object of desire cannot ever be fully specified in its content, given the fact that it is virtually impossible to list all of its properties. This has the consequence that things like the desires for happiness, for knowledge, or even for love involve serendipity at their very heart.
The remaining chapters, on happiness, love, and everyday life, offer a lucid, sometimes pessimistic discussion on what might be broadly construed as 'the good life'. A lot is said in these chapters, but several claims are of interest. First, de Sousa defends the possibility of using chemical drugs in order to lead a more enjoyable life, the major determinants of happiness being "not life events but personality characteristics, which in turn are tied to the chemistry of the brain" (247). Too bad the topic of authenticity is not addressed in this context. Second, a skeptical stance is defended with respect to the project of providing a definition of love; love is not the kind of thing that we can put in a neat box. As a result, an aesthetic attitude towards the individuality of the other is suggested (261). The suggestion is seductive, yet the reader may find de Sousa's argument difficult to pin down. Third, given the impossible demands romantic love makes, and the repetitive character of our emotions, de Sousa suggests once again an aesthetic attitude, but this time towards the activities that one engages in in romantic contexts. De Sousa speaks about theatrical ceremonies "staging the erotic gesture of love with a view to pleasure and an aesthetic creation, or re-creation, of the poignancy of love, of the consciousness of the impossibility of possession, of individuality, and of the irreplaceability of the present moment." (271) Although de Sousa stresses that important virtues such as integrity, honesty, intense attention, generosity, imagination and a capacity to take pleasure in the pleasure of the other (271) are part of such theatrical encounters, his revisionist stance towards love may seem to some nothing more than a defense of shallow libertinage. The last claim I would like to mention is both exhilarating and disturbing: life is full of repetitions, and therefore the range of emotions that one can feel is limited. Yet, as claimed earlier in the book, the number of emotions that one can have is virtually countless. How are we to make life less boring? De Sousa's suggestion, not unsurprisingly, is that we should view life itself as a sort of art form. Cultivating an aesthetic attitude towards the commonplace, and hence freed from the preoccupations of our practical lives, we are now able to find novelty in the world. In addition to some of the worries raised above, the reader may feel that such a program, if fully pursued, can only lead to some form of narcissism. I believe de Sousa does not want his suggestion to have such a consequence and am confident that he can provide a satisfactory response to this challenge.
Emotional Truth is de Sousa's second book on emotion. The Rationality of Emotion (1987) is to be counted among the classics in the now thriving field of the philosophy of emotion. Emotional Truth is a natural sequel; it not only expands on some of the ideas presented in de Sousa's older book, but presents new highly stimulating and often intriguing ideas as well. De Sousa's writing, although at times a bit hard to follow and unnecessarily technical, is insightful, witty and elegant. De Sousa is a wonderfully creative writer, and like many creative writers, he sometimes privileges depth over rigor. On the one hand, this is a major shortcoming; on the other hand, this is a great spur for further research. Although not everyone will be happy with the book, Emotional Truth is a must-read for anyone serious about research on emotion.
de Sousa, R. (1987). The Rationality of Emotion. MIT Press
Salmela, M. (2006). "True Emotions", Philosophical Quarterly, 56, 224, 382-404
© 2011 Hichem Naar
Hichem Naar, University of Manchester, United Kingdom