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Emotion Education without Ontological Commitment?

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Emotion education is enjoying new-found popularity. This paper explores the ‘cosy consensus’ that seems to have developed in education circles, according to which approaches to emotion education are immune from metaethical considerations such as contrasting rationalist and sentimentalist views about the moral ontology of emotions. I spell out five common assumptions of recent approaches to emotion education and explore their potential compatibility with four paradigmatic moral ontologies. I argue that three of these ontologies fail to harmonise with the common assumptions. Either those three must therefore be rejected or, if we want to retain one or more of them (for instance, Jesse Prinz’s recent rebranding of hard sentimentalism that I explore in detail), we need to revise our assumptions about the practice of emotion education in ways that are both radical and, I argue, ultimately unacceptable.

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Correspondence to Kristján Kristjánsson.

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Kristjánsson, K. Emotion Education without Ontological Commitment?. Stud Philos Educ 29, 259–274 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11217-009-9165-z

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  • Emotion education
  • Moral ontology
  • Rationalism
  • Sentimentalism
  • Jesse Prinz