Seminar Series in Analytic Philosophy 2022-23: Session 25

Are Emotions Epistemically Redundant?

Laura Silva (Université Laval)


2 June 2023, 16:00 (Lisbon Time – WET)

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)


Abstract: Debate regarding the epistemic role of emotions focusses on whether emotions can provide justification for evaluative beliefs. A prevalent objection to the view that emotions can do so stems from the observation that, as emotions are reason-responsive attitudes themselves, it seems that those very reasons that stand in justificatory relations to emotions, stand also in justificatory relations to evaluative beliefs. The Redundancy Objection claims that emotions are epistemically redundant in the justification of evaluative beliefs, for the very reasons that stand in support of an emotion can justify the relevant evaluative belief directly. Existing responses to this objection fail to secure emotions a non-redundant epistemic role. I develop a novel response to the Redundancy Objection that should be preferred. I argue that emotions enjoy a distinctive relation to their reasons such that it is rarely the case that reasons for emotion are also able to justify relevant evaluative beliefs directly.