Heythrop College Publications

Lacewing, Michael (2014) Emotions and the Virtues of Self-Understanding. In: Todd, Cain, Roeser, Sabina, (eds.) Emotion and Value. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 199-211. [Book section] (Forthcoming)

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    The thought that emotions play a central role in moral epistemology goes back at least to Aristotle. It is, of course, the centrepiece of various non-cognitivist theories, but has more recently been defended by cognitivists on the basis of cognitivist theories of emotion. I begin from the assumption that the passions are an important source of intuitions about reasons to act, feel, and desire in certain ways. But they can be misleading, and in ways that operate outside unawareness; they are lack transparency. One cause of this is the occurrence of defence mechanisms creating unconscious distortions in the agent’s understanding of what he feels and why. Such distortions in turn result in distortions in one's understanding of the situations to which one respond and the reasons which they furnish. Thus, moral enquiry may be aided by the deconstruction of defence mechanisms. I argue for the importance of close relationship and dialogue with others, together with specific forms of courage, self-acceptance, and compassion, as productive in this regard.

    Item Type: Book section
    Department: Philosophy
    Depositing User: Dr Michael Lacewing
    Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2013 13:14
    Last Modified: 11 Mar 2016 15:02
    URI: http://publications.heythrop.ac.uk/id/eprint/2068

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