Volume 4, Issue 2, 2017
Ambivalence, Emotional Perceptions, and the Concern with Objectivity
Emotional perceptions are objectivist (objectivity-directed or cognitive) and conscious, both attributes suggesting they cannot be ambivalent. Yet perceptions, including emotional perceptions of value, allow for strictly objectivist ambivalence in which a person unitarily perceives the object in mutually undermining ways. Emotional perceptions became an explicandum of emotion for philosophers who are sensitive to the unique conscious character of emotion, impressed by the objectivist character of perceptions, and believe that the perceptual account solves a worry about the possibility of a conflict between an emotion and a judgement. Back into the 1980s Greenspan has argued that emotional ambivalence is possible, her reasons implying that objectivist accounts of emotion are inconsistent with ambivalence. Tappolet has more recently replied that perceptual accounts allow for emotional ambivalence since the opposed values seen in ambivalence are good or bad in different senses. The present paper identifies strict objectivist ambivalence between judgements and between emotional perceptions by contrasting them with such ambivalence of separate values such as evoked by Tappolet.