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Type: Thesis
Title: The role of emotion in rational decision-making.
Author: Stratton, Alison Kathryn
Issue Date: 2012
School/Discipline: School of Humanities
Abstract: Within philosophy of emotion, there has been the development of a pro-emotion consensus that claims emotion plays a positive and important role within decision-making. It has been suggested that the pro-emotion consensus is replacing "traditional" views of emotion which claim emotion is disruptive to rationality and is often the cause of irrational behaviour; claims which appear to be supported by empirical evidence. In this thesis I will be examining several pro-emotion theories and historical theories of emotion. I will argue that the suggestion that all historical theories of emotion are "anti-emotion" theories is incorrect and fails to take into account the many differences between historical accounts. In fact, claims made by some of these historical theories are not unlike those made by some pro-emotion accounts; the view that emotion is disruptive to rationality is limited to a small number of historical theories. Although all pro-emotion theories agree that emotion is necessary for decision-making, there are differences between accounts regarding the exact function emotion serves. I will argue that perceptual pro-emotion theories provide the best explanation of the role of emotion and of emotionally-driven irrational behaviour. I aim to show that the claims made by these perceptual theories and (some) historical theories are compatible and when we combine the insights of these accounts we have a comprehensive explanation of the role of emotions within rational decision-making, which can account for emotionally driven irrational behaviour and still maintain that emotions are necessary for decision-making.
Advisor: Louise, Jennie
Cullity, Garrett Michael
Dissertation Note: Thesis (M.Phil.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Humanities, 2012
Keywords: emotion; rationality; irrational behaviour; decision; decision-making processes; public policy
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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