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EMOTION

In spiritual theology, any human tendency or inclination in which the sense participate. sometimes called concupiscence, it is produced by the awareness of good or evil in the imagination. It is said to be antecedent when the emotion precedes the action of the will and induces the will to consent. this takes place, for example, in the involuntary movements of anger, hatred, or sexual arousal. The emotion is called consequent when it follows the free decision of the will and is either freely consented to or deliberately aroused.

Antecedent emotion always lessens imputability and at times may remove it entirely, depending on the degree to which it either hinders the powers of reason to think clearly or of the will to consent freely. Consequent emotion never lessens imputability, but generally increases it, especially when a person deliberately fosters certain feelings, say of anger or sex, in order to perform an action more effectively or derive greater pleasure from sinful indulgence. (Etym. Latin emovere, to stir up, agitate.)

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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