Everyday emotions and ethical emotions in Aristotle and Heidegger





This article studies an aspect of the relation between emotions and ethics that is usually neglected in the recent debate on moral emotions. By focusing on the contributions of common or everyday emotions to the development of moral behaviours and attitudes, the debate loses sight of the emotional side of the ethical attitude and the way it involves different, specifically ethical emotions. In contrast, such emotions play an important role in Aristotle’s and Heidegger’s thought. As will be shown, both authors identify emotions that are intrinsically tied to ethics in a broad sense and are structurally different from everyday emotions. Moreover, both characterize the two kinds of emotion in a similar fashion: where- as everyday emotions involve a limited form of activity and refer to a more immediate objective domain, the properly ethical emotions result from a superior form of activity and open up to a vaster domain or even to the entire reality, thus having a metaphysical character. The study of this distinction and what it involves will allow for a better understanding not only of emotions in general, but also of the emotional dimension of ethical life.

Keywords: affection, mood, virtue, authenticity, metaphysics.

Author Biography

Hélder Telo, Instituto de Filosofia da Nova (Universidade Nova de Lisboa)

Hélder Telo é atualmente membro integrado do Instituto de Filosofia da Nova (Universidade Nova de Lisboa). Doutorou-se em Filosofia na mesma universidade (2018) com uma tese intitulada The Unexamined Life on Trial: A Crucial Problem in Plato's Writings. Fez parte da sua investigação doutoral na Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg (onde integrou o grupo interdisciplinar SFB 1015 Muße/Otium) e no Boston College. Coeditou o livro In the Mirror of the Phaedrus (Academia, 2013) e publicou textos sobre Platão, Scheler e Heidegger. Trabalha também sobre Aristóteles, estoicos, Fichte, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche e Foucault. A sua investigação foca-se em questões como a filosofia como modo de vida, o desejo de verdade, o cuidado de si e dos outros, a amizade, o amor e as emoções em geral.