1st Edition

Philosophy of Emotion A Contemporary Introduction

By Christine Tappolet Copyright 2023
    272 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    272 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In this book, Christine Tappolet offers readers a thorough, wide-ranging, and highly accessible introduction to the philosophy of emotions. It covers recent interdisciplinary debates on the nature of emotions as well as standard theories of emotions, such as feeling theories, motivational theories, and evaluative theories. The book includes discussions of the alleged irrationality of emotions, and looks into the question of whether emotions could not, in some cases, contribute positively to theoretical and practical rationality. In addition, the role of emotions in the theory of virtues and the theory of values receives a detailed treatment. Finally, the book turns to the question of how we can regulate and even educate our emotions by engaging with music and with narrative art.

    The overall picture of emotions that emerges is one that does justice to the central role that emotions play in our lives, conceiving of emotions as crucial to our grasp of values. As an opinionated introduction, the book doesn’t pretend to be neutral but aims to engage readers in contemporary debates. Each chapter closes with questions for further discussion and suggestions for further reading.

    Key Features:

    • Written for advanced undergraduates, suitable as the main text in a philosophy of emotion course or as a complement to a set of primary readings
    • Includes useful features for student readers like introductions, study questions, and suggestions for further reading in each chapter
    • Considers whether emotions interfere with our reasoning or whether they can, in some cases, help us to be more rational
    • Argues against basic emotion theory and social constructionism that emotions are both shaped by biological forces and social forces
    • Discusses a variety of subjectivist and objectivist approaches, which share the assumption that emotions and values are closely connected.


    Part I: The Philosophy and the Science of Emotions

    1. The Philosophy of Emotions

    2. The Affective Domain

    3. Are Emotions Social Constructs?

    Part II: Theories of Emotions

    4. Feelings theories

    5. Motivational theories

    6. Evaluative theories

    Part III: Normativity and Emotions

    7. Emotions and Theoretical Rationality

    8. Emotions and practical irrationality

    9. Sentimentalism

    10. Ethics and the emotions

    Part IV. Art and the Shaping of Emotions

    11. Emotion Regulation and Music

    12. Sentimental Education and Fiction



    Christine Tappolet is a Full Professor in the Philosophy Department at the Université de Montréal. Her research interests lie mainly in metaethics, moral psychology, and emotion theory. She has edited a number of volumes, including, with Sarah Stroud, Weakness of Will and Practical Irrationality (Oxford University Press, 2003) and with Fabrice Teroni and Anita Konzelmann Ziv, Shadows of the Soul: Perspective on Negative Emotions (Routledge, 2018), and has authored three books, including Emotions, Values, and Agency (Oxford University Press, 2016).