Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics (MA)


Philosophy and Religious Studies

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Mitchell Haney

Second Advisor

Dr. Sarah Mattice


The aim of this thesis is to call attention to some of the shortcomings of a cognitivist theory’s incorporation of feeling into a philosophy of emotion. There has been a tendency within the cognitivist theories to assume as irreducible the intentional structures through which these theories operate. A consequence of this tendency often sees feelings compartmentalized through internal and external distinctions, such as bodily feelings and world-directed feelings. What appears to be ignored is the notion that prior to all emotional experience we have already found ourselves belonging to a world, and attempts at a phenomenological understanding of a category of feeling as a pre-intentional background sense of belonging to a world prior to experience become obscured or dismissed. I argue for developing a phenomenological approach in illuminating the background structure of emotion presupposed by a cognitivist view.