Thursday, March 28, 2019
Are Emotions Ethically Significant? :: Philosophy Philosophical Papers
Are Emotions Ethically Significant? Introduction The ethical deduction of the emotions is a potentially enormous and difficult topic. Some of the positions that can be maintained include 1 No moral judgements (either positive or negative) can legitimately be made of emotions. 2 Emotions atomic number 18 upshot area to moral panegyric or blame in just the aforementioned(prenominal) elan (or, analogous to the way) that acts are. 3 Emotions are subject to moral praise or blame, but in a very different way from acts. 4 Emotions are the primary carriers of value, while rationality is purely subservient (reason is a value-neutral technique) therefore moral judgement should properly concern itself simply with the emotions, their origins and effects. The issue The issue is ambiguously, and hence interestingly, stated by Brecht in Der Dreigroschenoper. Polly Peachum, who is laborious unsuccessfully to resist the steamy and sensual spell of Macheath, sings the soulful Barbara-Song, i ncluding in the first stanza the line Ja, da muss man kalt und herzlos sein. Indeed, one moldiness be cold and heartless (Note man Polly here is trying to state a general truth, not (yet) directly applying it to herself.) Since we (and Macheath) know that he cares little virtually Polly in the way she would like to be cared for, can we say that Macheaths emotional attentions to her are unethical? Or not? On what basis? devil arguments that there is no ethical significance to the emotions Before proceeding to the analysis, we must consider two possible arguments against the thesis that emotional states are subject to any moral praise or blame at all. If they are not, then that is the end of the discussion, or rather, it is the beginning of a different discussion. I believe these arguments fail, but the reasons why each fails point the way to concord why and in what way the emotions do have ethical significance. commencement argument The first argument is this (a) An act (includi ng failure to act) can be subject to moral praise or blame only to the completion that it directly or indirectly affects (harms or benefits) the cistron himself, or a moral patient (up to and including Nature as a whole), or if the agent could reasonably (as a moral agent) have anticipated this effect. (b) However, by this comment the ethical significance of the act lies only in its actual or possible consequences, and in the intentions and beliefs held by or ascribed to the agent concerning them.