I argue that naturalism is the best approach to explaining some
emotional actions, and thus is the best candidate to explain the
relevant emotions. I take naturalism to be the view that these
emotions are motivational states which must be identified by using
(not necessarily exclusively) naturalistic discourse which, if not
wholly lacking belief and other propositional attitude terms, at least
does not require reference to belief and desire. The kinds of
emotional actions I consider are ones which continue beyond the
satisfaction of the desires that could plausibly be said to motivate
the agent. As a contrast to a realist position about emotions I
examine interpretationist theories of mind, using Dennett and Davidson
as examples, and show that the emotional actions in question will fail
to be explained by these theories. In conclusion, I provide one weak
version of a natural realist view of emotions, and show how it
succeeds where interpretationism fails.
Philosophical Psychology, vol. 11, No. 4 (December) 1998.