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Philosophy Research Archives

Volume 4, 1978

L. Nathan Oaklander, Richard Gull
Pages 360-371

Emotions and Judgment: A Critique of Solomon

We can only determine what an emotion is if we first ask whether or not there are intrinsically emotional entities. To ask if there are intrinsically emotional entities is to ask if there are entities that are necessary and sufficient conditions for the correct application of emotion-words. Recently, Robert Solomon has developed a view of the emotions according to which there are intrinsically emotional entities. Specifically, he claims that emotions are a kind of judgment. Our task in this paper is to state and criticize Solomon's view. We argue that he has failed to distinguish emotional and non-emotional judgments. We also argue that Solomon fails to establish his "unitary form" analysis of emotions. He has not, therefore, vindicated the questionable assumption that there are intrinsically emotional entities.