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Open Access Published by De Gruyter September 22, 2010

A Defence of the Perceptual Account of Emotion Against the Alleged Problem of Ambivalent Emotion: Expanding on Tappolet

Sunny Yang
From the journal Human Affairs

A Defence of the Perceptual Account of Emotion Against the Alleged Problem of Ambivalent Emotion: Expanding on Tappolet

Tappolet (2005) has defended the perceptual account of emotion against a problem which some have raised against it, stemming from the phenomenon of ambivalent emotions. According to Tappolet, we can explain cases of ambivalent emotions unproblematically. To persuade us of this, she draws our attention to circumstances in which it seems entirely appropriate to have conflicting emotions with respect to the same situation. On her perceptual account of emotions, in such situations our emotions disclose two values, e.g., danger and attractiveness, at the same time. My aim here is to defend Tappolet by expanding on the considerations she adduces. In order to do this, I utilize Prinz's notion of "valence". Using this terminology, I shall show that the undeniable co-instantiation of emotions that are our intuitions classifies as "contrary", for example, fear and attraction does not actually constitute a contradiction.


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Published Online: 2010-9-22
Published in Print: 2010-9-1

This content is open access.

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