Philosophy of Emotion (Spring 2012) - Second Exam

Philosophy of Emotion (S12) - Second Exam

Before you begin writing, read this entire document.

Answer four (4) questions. All key terms, theories, and named objections must be explained.

I. Answer question 1. (Perceptual Theories)

1. Evaluate Goldie's arguments for the claim that feeling toward is not merely a matter of belief. (see: pp.72-8)

(This question requires evaluation. Explain the notion of "feeling toward." How does it differ from a bodily feeling. Explain its role in Goldie's theory of the emotions. Then explain Goldie's arguments for the claim that feeling toward cannot be reduced to belief. He appears to offer four. Evaluate each in turn.)

II. Answer question 2 or 3. (Concern and the Emotions)

2. Why does Robert's argue that love is not an emotion, but a disposition to a range of emotions?

(This question does not require evaluation. I want you to explain Roberts theory of the emotions. Explain the role of concern. You might explain how it help Roberts avoid the passionless judgment problem facing Solomon's judgmentalism. Then explain why he thinks love is not an emotion. What role do love and its kin play in emotion?)

3. Evaluate Robert's argument for the claim that humor is not an emotion, at least not a standard emotion.

(This question requires evaluation. Explain Robert's argument. He thinks that there are two important differences. After explaining his argument, evaluate it. If you find it convincing, you should consider and reply to an objection.)

III. Answer question 4 or 5. (The Moralistic Fallacy)

4. D'Arms and Jacobson omit concern from their analysis of envy? Does this pose a problem for the Moralistic Fallacy? Why or why not. Might the appropriateness of one's concern affect the appropriateness of envy?

(This question requires evaluation. Explain the Moralistic Fallacy. Explain their analysis of envy. It appears to be incomplete. Explain how. Then show how this might be a problem for their argument. How might they reply?)

(Note: You cannot answer #5 if you answered #3 above.)

5. D'Arms and Jacobson use humor as their principle example. Why might this be problematic? How does humorous amusement differ from standard emotions? Are these differences relevant to the Moralistic Fallacy?

(This question requires evaluation. Explain the Moralistic Fallacy. Explain how humor differs from standard emotions. Then show how this might be a problem for their argument. How might they reply?)

IV. Answer question 6 or 7. (Rationality)

6. Evaluate Greenspan's arguments for the claim that the standards of rationality for emotion are different from those of the rationality of belief. She offers two arguments: The suspicion case and the rival friend case.

(This question requires evaluation. Explain Greenspan's arguments. Evaluate both.)

7. Evaluate Jones's argument for the claim that her theory of the overall rationality of emotions is superior to Greenspan's.

(This question requires evaluation. Explain Jones's position. You will need to discuss the example involving seductive Peter and the three women. Which case does Jones say that Greenspan's account gets wrong? Do you agree? Is the "reliable" in Jones's account a virtue or a liability?)

Note: When evaluating an argument, you need to build up the argument and then show where it might go wrong. To build up an argument, you must do more than merely offer a formalization. You must explain the argument. Explain why someone might believe the premises. Typically, showing where an argument goes wrong will require arguing that one of the premises is false. When providing your own evaluations, be sure to consider obvious, compelling replies to your objections. If you think an argument is good, then you will need to defend it against the strongest objections that you can think of.

Note: Keep quotations to an absolute minimum. Never use a quotation to speak for you. I can't think of a good reason why you would need to use many quotes.

Due Date

Thursday 4/19/2012


The complete exam should be no more than 3,300 words. This is approximately 11 pages double-spaced in Arial 12 point font.


The exam must be typed. It should be double spaced. It should have one inch margins. You should use a 12 point font. I prefer Arial, since it is easy to read. Please follow the general paper and exam instructions under the "course documents / writing" section on Blackboard.

Write a separate short essay for each answer. Do NOT try to answer all the questions in a single essay. Formal introductions and conclusions are unnecessary, though you must use paragraphs.

Please skip a line or two between your answers. Include the question number at the start of each answer. Do not copy the questions.


You don't have much space, so you will need to be clear and to the point. Clarity should be your chief goal in writing the midterm. Pick your words carefully. Write to be understood. Assume that you are writing the paper to be read by someone completely unfamiliar with the issues.

I want you to explain the theories and objections as clearly as you can within the space allotted. I do not want papers that are longer than the word limit. The space limitation is designed to force you to practice verbal economy. That said, it is impossible to write a set of adequate answers in much less than the allocated space. You'll have to use most of the space, and use it well.


You are required to hand in a paper copy at the start of class on the due date. In addition you must submit the midterm through Safe Assign via Blackboard by 11:59 pm on the due date. (11:59 pm is after class, not to be confused with the night before.) Safe Assign is a plagiarism detection tool. It will compare your paper against others available online, in journals, submitted in this class, RIC, and from all other universities that use the software.

Note: Plagiarism will result in a failing grade in the class, not just on this assignment.


Your paper should be clearly written, well-structured, and free of grammatical and spelling errors. It is practically impossible to get higher than a C if you start writing the night before the paper is due. The grading scale is as follows:

A = excellent

B = good

C = meets minimal expectations

D = bad

F = awful


Before writing this paper you must read several documents under the writing section of Blackboard. Read the following: 1. Writing Tip Sheet, 2. General Instructions, and 3. Pryor's "Guidelines for Writing Philosophy Papers". The last document is the most important.