A lot depends on a clear understanding of feelings: success in relationships and the possibility of a self-determined life, for example. The author asks what it means to understand one’s own as well as other’s emotions, how this understanding works and to what extent it is possible. The following issues are discussed: what is an emotion, how did they come to be, what effects do they have, and how authentic are they? Emotions and understanding are explained in relation to one another. The subtle answer, illustrated with numerous examples, is a contribution to the philosophy of psychology as well as hermeneutics.