By Eva-Maria Düringer (auth.)

ISBN-10: 113738980X

ISBN-13: 9781137389800

ISBN-10: 1349482528

ISBN-13: 9781349482528

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Extra resources for Evaluating Emotions

Sample text

VM) still defines values in terms of responses but has an advantage over (V) in that it is not 34 Evaluating Emotions committed to saying that any response that happens to be normal somewhere will do, just as it has an advantage over (VR) in that it is not committed to saying that only our normal responses will do. (VM) says that only those responses will do, whose objects actually merit these responses. Relativism is thus avoided at what seems a lower price than externalism and chauvinism. But is the price actually lower?

But we can imagine a possible world in which a person with a normal upbringing, who is under no emotional strain, would not disapprove of torturing animals. Does this then mean that in this possible world torturing animals is permissible? It seems that we cannot reproach the possible world person for not being a suitable subject, nor can we say of the conditions that they are not suitable. So do we have to conclude that value ascriptions can vary – indeed, that they can contradict each other without one being necessarily false?

The concept of meriting something is an evaluative term. Is this a problem for (VM)? Crispin Wright (1988) seems to think that there is a problem. This problem is not primarily that (VM) is circular, but that the introduction of evaluative properties on the right hand side of the biconditional means that we lose a great deal of that which makes secondary qualities objective, namely a set of response-independent conditions. Wright argues that it is the fact that perceptions of secondary qualities ‘inherit’ the ‘hardness’ of the neutral facts that constitute the standard conditions under which they are accurate that makes them truth-assessable, and thereby objective.

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Evaluating Emotions by Eva-Maria Düringer (auth.)

by Christopher

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