On Sexual Lust as an Emotion

  • Larry A. Herzberg University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh
Keywords: Lust, Emotion, Sexual Attraction, Sexual Desire, Prinz, Ekman, Nagel


Sexual lust has frequently been viewed as a motivational appetite or urge, rather than as an emotional feeling. I argue that this view of lust is too limited. Using a “componentialist” theory of emotion that has Aristotelian roots and has recently been refined by an interdisciplinary cadre of emotion theorists, I argue that describing episodes of lust as emotional is both apt and helps to explain the psychological reciprocity and phenomenological richness of interpersonal lust, as it has been described by Thomas Nagel and others. In the process, I suggest a somewhat novel way of relating emotion and motivation, and hopefully put to rest some humanist concerns about the limits of scientific psychology.

How to Cite
Herzberg, L. (2019). On Sexual Lust as an Emotion. HUMANA.MENTE Journal of Philosophical Studies, 12(35), 271-302. Retrieved from https://www.humanamente.eu/index.php/HM/article/view/255