"Emotions and Akratic Feelings - Insights into Morality through Emotions"

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


The chapter will argue that the obscure nature of emotions is a catalyst for our effort to understand emotional episodes better, recognizing their metaemotional level, enhancing and refining empathic behaviour, and promoting the need for continual self-knowledge (Mendonça 2013). Acknowledging this will
reinforce the role of emotions as unique repositories of information on morality. The combination of emotions’ obscure nature with their reflective character allows us to explore the ways in which this symbiosis creates a new platform for empathy. The chapter begins by establishing the existence of akratic feelings (Mele, 1989), and how they give rise to a meta-emotional feeling of puzzlement. Afterwards, I show how the meta-emotional platform afforded by these feelings impacts on empathic processes. It will become clear how both akratic feelings and meta-emotions (Mendonça, 2013) provide the ground for deeper sense of empathy and how they promote a continual move for self-knowledge, further solidifying the possibility for empathy. While the empathic connection is made stronger as people struggle to understand their own and other people’s feelings, there is no point at which people can finally say they are fully transparent.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMorality and Emotion: (Un)conscious Journey to Being
EditorsSara Silva
Place of PublicationLondon & New York
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)978-1-1-138-12130-0
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Emotions
  • Akratic Feelings
  • Meta-Emotions
  • Empathy


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