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On Why Emotional Recalcitrance is Only Apparent

Craciun, Cristina Diana; (2022) On Why Emotional Recalcitrance is Only Apparent. Masters thesis (M.Phil.Stud), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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In this thesis I address the topic of emotional recalcitrance, the phenomenon in which one’s emotions are in a state of conflict with one’s judgment. It might be assumed that this conflict indicates that such emotions must be irrational, since they go against our judgment. However, a plurality of voices in the literature have tried to argue that these emotions are not irrational, contrary to appearances. For instance, some emphasise the underlying biological processes of these emotions, leading to views on which recalcitrance is potentially a-rational. Another strategy is to focus on the differences between how judgments and emotions relate to their content, for instance by arguing that emotions are more like perceptions, which are not irrational even when conflicting with judgments. I will argue against both types of responses. On my view, recalcitrant emotions are not irrational because they are not in conflict with the judgments we take them to be in conflict with. That is, subjects misunderstand the content of their own emotion and compare it with the wrong judgments – the emotion, however, is therefore not in any breach of rationality. This assumed conflict is the source of irrationality, rather than the emotion itself. Emotional recalcitrance is, then, the persistence of a misunderstood emotion. I will organise this work as follows. In the first chapter, I will offer a taxonomy of existing theories of emotions and assess their approach to the challenge of recalcitrance. In the second chapter, I will offer a new lens for discussing recalcitrance: a distinction between strong and weak recalcitrance. I will show that my account is the most promising way of accounting for this distinction, while also being consistent with the majority of existing views of emotions. In the final chapter, I address potential issues for my account, particularly issues concerning normative criteria.

Type: Thesis (Masters)
Qualification: M.Phil.Stud
Title: On Why Emotional Recalcitrance is Only Apparent
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2022. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author's request.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10143909
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