The contents of perception and the contents of emotion
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Several philosophers think there are important analogies between emotions and perceptual states. Furthermore, considerations about the rational assessibility of emotions have led philosophers—in some cases, the very same philosophers—to think that the content of emotions must be propositional content. If one finds it plausible that perceptual states have propositional contents, then there is no obvious tension between these views. However, this view of perception has recently been attacked by philosophers who hold that the content of perception is object-like. I shall argue for a view about the content of emotions and perceptual states which will enable us to hold both that emotional content is analogous to perceptual content and that both emotions and perceptual states can have propositional contents. This will involve arguing for a pluralist view of perceptual content, on which perceptual states can have both contents which are proposition-like and contents which are object-like. I shall also address two significant objections to the claim that emotions can have proposition-like contents. Meeting one of these objections will involve taking on a further commitment: the pluralist account of perceptual content will have to be one on which the contents of perception can be non-conceptual.