Welcome to our discussion forum on Ronald de Sousa’s paper “Emotions and the Ontology of Values,” one of the lost 2020 Pacific APA sessions. Olivia Bailey has comments here. We welcome all who would like to participate in the discussion. (And we thank Iskra Fileva for organizational help.)
Abstract for “Emotions and the Ontology of Values”: Two features are commonly attributed to the identification of an emotion. One is its formal object, which specifies the emotion’s conditions of intrinsic appropriateness or ‘fittingness’. Another is a characteristic ‘action readiness’, based on some sort of ‘appraisal’. I focus here on the relation between them. I suggest that different emotions feature different relationships between formal objects and pertinent action tendencies. By attending to degrees of ‘practical specificity’ in the action tendencies entailed by cognitively sophisticated emotions, I argue that some emotions’ formal objects fail to set up any goals that would explain specific action tendencies. I argue that in such cases, exemplified notably by aesthetic emotions, they also fail to provide any non-trivial correctness conditions. As a result, we should accept that some classes of values differ from others in their ontological status.