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Drunk and in the Mood: Affect and Judgment

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image of Journal of Moral Philosophy

This paper spells out the following line of thought: (A) How much we care about various things is in constant flux, even as the world remains as it was. Internal affective shifts due to changes in mood, arousal-states or even hunger cause us to be more or less concerned about something. (B) Further, there often isn't any fact of the matter about how much we ought to care about something. As I argue, it isn't the case that there are prudential or moral norms that fix how worried we should be about every state of affairs in the world. (C) And this suggests that what we should do, both prudentially and morally, is often subject to our affective shifts, at least if how much we (permissibly) care about something is an important element of practical reasoning.

Affiliations: 1: Philosophy Department, University of Maryland,


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