What Can Information Encapsulation Tell Us About Emotional Rationality?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


What can features of cognitive architecture, e.g. the information encapsulation of certain emotion processing systems, tell us about emotional rationality? de Sousa proposes the following hypothesis: “the role of emotions is to supply the insufficiency of reason by imitating the encapsulation of perceptual modes” (de Sousa 1987: 195). Very roughly, emotion processing can sometimes occur in a way that is insensitive to what an agent already knows, and such processing can assist reasoning by restricting the response-options she considers. This paper aims to provide an exposition and assessment of de Sousa’s hypothesis. I argue information encapsulation is not essential to emotion-driven reasoning, as emotions can determine the relevance of response-options even without being encapsulated. However, I argue encapsulation can still play a role in assisting reasoning by restricting response-options more efficiently, and in a way that ensures which options emotions deem relevant are not overridden by what the agent knows. I end by briefly explaining why this very feature also helps explain how emotions can, on occasion, hinder reasoning.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Value of Emotions for Knowledge
EditorsLaura Candiotto
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9783030156671
ISBN (Print)9783030156664
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'What Can Information Encapsulation Tell Us About Emotional Rationality?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this