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Emotion, Evolution, and Rationality$
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Dylan Evans and Pierre Cruse

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198528975

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198528975.001.0001

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Emotional behaviour and the scope of belief-desire explanation

Emotional behaviour and the scope of belief-desire explanation

(p.51) Chapter 3 Emotional behaviour and the scope of belief-desire explanation
Emotion, Evolution, and Rationality


Oxford University Press

This chapter investigates the idea that the role of emotions in individual psychology is to be explained by their relation to beliefs. It notes that an influential view in the philosophy of psychology is the ‘Humean’ claim that the rational production and control of action is entirely to be explained with reference to the beliefs and desires of the individual subject. The chapter argues that while the only view that has been proposed in the literature along these lines — the claim that emotions are constituted of beliefs — is untenable, there are two more promising solutions for the Humean — that emotions can either be treated as beliefs, or that they are nomologically connected with beliefs.

Keywords:   belief–desire explanation, emotional behaviour, individual psychology, control of action, production of action, belief categories

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