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|56 pages

The Philosophy and the Science of Emotions

chapter 1|16 pages

The Philosophy of Emotions

chapter 2|19 pages

The Affective Domain

chapter 3|19 pages

Are Emotions Social Constructs?

part II|58 pages

Theories of Emotions

chapter 4|17 pages

Feeling Theories

chapter 5|19 pages

Motivational Theories

chapter 6|20 pages

Evaluative Theories

part III|75 pages

Normativity and the Emotions

chapter 7|18 pages

Emotions and Theoretical Rationality

chapter 8|17 pages

Emotions and Practical Rationality

chapter 9|19 pages


chapter 10|19 pages

Ethics and the Emotions

part IV|39 pages

Art and the Shaping of Emotions

chapter 11|18 pages

Emotion Regulation and Music

chapter 12|19 pages

Sentimental Education and Fiction

chapter |1 pages