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Morality and the Emotions by Justin Oakley

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This book argues that our emotions are directly morally significant. We often praise others for their emotional capacities, yet we possess deeply-held assumptions about the antipathy of emotions to reason and responsibility. Justin Oakley demonstrates that with a proper understanding of what emotions are we can see their fundamental role in our moral lives. He shows how a variety of important moral assessments may justifiably made of us because of our emotions, and he also reveals the extent to which we are responsible for those emotions.

Justin Oakley takes as his starting point Aristotle's claim that moral goodness requires not only acting well, but also having the right emotions towards the appropriate object to the right degree. He shows the inadequacy of modern ethical theories' attempts to accommodate the emotions, and in doing so attacks philosophical and psychological theories which would have us believe that Aristotle was exhorting us merely to have the right beliefs or desires, or to encourage in ourselves certain bodily changes.

Routledge, 1993.
ISBN: 9780415093415. 253 pp.
Softcover. Very good.

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