Virtue Reliabilism in the Philosophy of Emotion, Epistemology, and Action Theory: Three Implications

Student thesis: Phd


In this PhD thesis, I defend virtue reliabilism and use it to develop three innovative theories in the philosophy of emotion, epistemology, and action theory. In the first chapter "A New Epistemic Argument for the Perceptual Theory," I argue that emotional experiences share similar epistemic status and functions with their perceptual counterparts based on the notion of recognition abilities. In the second chapter "A Virtue Reliabilist Account of Justified Emotion," I argue that emotional experiences enjoy epistemic justification if, and only if, they are exclusively products of the agent's intellectual virtues, which are reliable emotion-making processes that have a sufficiently high probability of generating correct emotions. In the third chapter "Sentimental Willpower: An Emotional Theory of Synchronic Self-Control," I argue that, with the assistance of justified emotions that are correct and proportionate, which are exclusively products of the agent's intellectual virtues, it is psychologically possible for the agent to initiate the exercise of self-control while under the influence of a competing temptation, so she can act in alignment with the value she genuinely endorses.
Date of Award1 Aug 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorJonathan Mitchell (Supervisor), Thomas Smith (Supervisor) & Joel Smith (Supervisor)

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