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Summary Traditionally emotions have been considered to be non-cognitive by nature, perhaps movements of the body or feelings or such-like. However, many emotion theorists have thought this traditional view to be mistaken. Thus it is often argued that emotions have intentional properties and can be assessed for their rationality - features that seem distinctive of belief and thought. Moreover some emotions seem clearly to involve cognitive content - for instance, it is difficult to see how one can be indignant and not have thoughts regarding injustices. However, cognitive theories of emotion are often criticized as well. One early critic, William James, claimed that such theories seem unsound for phenomenological reasons and more recently a number of emotion theorists have pointed out that it seems possible for people to have an emotion while failing to have the cognitive state that cognitive theorists typically think identify the emotion (say, thoughts of danger in the case of fear). This category is devoted to cognitive theories of emotion, detailing works that defend and develop such theories as well as works that are more critical of cognitive approaches to understanding emotion.      
Key works Key texts defending a cognitive theory of emotion include amongst others works by Robert Solomon (e.g. Solomon 2003), Jerome Neu (Neu 2000), and Martha Nussbaum (Nussbaum 2001). Critics of cognitive theories of emotion include amongst others William James (James 1884), Jesse Prinz (Prinz 2004), and John Deigh (Deigh 1994)
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  1. Maria Magoula Adamos (2002). How Are the Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Aspects of Emotion Related? Consciousness and Emotion 3 (2):183-195.
  2. Laird Addis (1995). The Ontology of Emotion. Southern Journal of Philosophy 33 (3):261-78.
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  3. D. Baltzly (2002). Emotion and Peace of Mind: From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 80 (2):235 – 236.
    Book Information Emotion and Peace of Mind: from Stoic agitation to Christian temptation. By Richard Sorabji. Oxford University Press. Oxford. 2000. Pp. xi + 499. Hardback, £30.
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  4. E. Bedford (1957). Emotions. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 57:281-304.
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  5. Kathy Behrendt (2010). A Special Way of Being Afraid. Philosophical Psychology 23 (5):669-682.
    I am interested in fear of non-existence, which is often discussed in terms of fear one’s own death, or as it is sometimes called, fear of death as such. This form of fear has been denied by some philosophers. Cognitive theories of the emotions have particular trouble in dealing with it, granting it a status that is simultaneously paradigmatic yet anomalous with respect to fear in general. My paper documents these matters, and considers a number of responses. I provide examples (...)
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  6. A. Ben-ze'ev (1990). Describing the Emotions. Philosophical Psychology 3 (2):305-17.
    Abstract This paper critically examines Ortony, Clore these are discussed and an alternative is suggested.
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  7. Aaron Ben-Ze'ev (2004). Emotions Are Not Mere Judgments. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (2):450-457.
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  8. Aaron Ben-Ze'ev (1990). Describing the Emotions: A Review of the Cognitive Structure of Emotions by Ortony, Clore & Collins. [REVIEW] Philosophical Psychology 3 (2 & 3):305 – 317.
    This paper critically examines Ortony, Clore & Collins's book The Cognitive Structure of Emotions. The book is found to present a very valuable, comprehensive and systematic account of emotions. Despite its obvious value the book has various flaws; these are discussed and an alternative is suggested.
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  9. Aaron Ben-Ze’Ev (2004). Emotions Are Not Mere Judgments. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (2):450-457.
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  10. Aaron Ben-Ze’Ev (1997). Appraisal Theories of Emotions. Journal of Philosophical Research 22:129-143.
    Today appraisal theories are the foremost approach to emotions in philosophy and psychology. The general assumption underlying these theories is that evaluations (appraisals) are the most crucial factor in emotions. This assumption may imply that: (a) evaluative pattems distinguish one emotion from another; (b) evaluative pattems distinguish emotions from nonemotions; (e) emotional evaluations of the eliciting event determine emotional intensity. These claims are not necessarily related. Accepting one of them does not necessarily imply acceptance of the others. I believe that (...)
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  11. H. R. Bernstein (1981). Emotion, Thought, and Therapy. Journal of the History of Philosophy 19 (1):114-116.
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  12. Richard Bett (2009). The Stoics (M.R.) Graver Stoicism and Emotion. Pp. X + 289. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2007. Cased, US$37.50. ISBN: 978-0-226-30557-. [REVIEW] The Classical Review 59 (01):77-.
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  13. John Bolender (2003). The Genealogy of the Moral Modules. Minds and Machines 13 (2):233-255.
    This paper defends a cognitive theory of those emotional reactions which motivate and constrain moral judgment. On this theory, moral emotions result from mental faculties specialized for automatically producing feelings of approval or disapproval in response to mental representations of various social situations and actions. These faculties are modules in Fodor's sense, since they are informationally encapsulated, specialized, and contain innate information about social situations. The paper also tries to shed light on which moral modules there are, which of these (...)
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  14. Jason Brennan (2008). What If Kant Had Had a Cognitive Theory of the Emotions? In Valerio Hrsg v. Rohden, Ricardo Terra & Guido Almeida (eds.), Recht und Frieden in der Philosophie Kants. Walter de Gruyter. 1--219.
    Emotional cognitivists, such as the Stoics and Aristotle, hold that emotions have cognitive content, whereas noncognitivists, like Plato and Kant, believe the emotions to be nonrational bodily movements. I ask, taking Martha Nussbaum's account of cognitivism, what if Kant had become convinced of a cognitive theory of the emotions, what changes would this require in his moral philosophy. Surprisingly, since this represents a radical shift in his psychology, it changes almost nothing. I show that Kant's account of continence, virtue, the (...)
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  15. Richard Brown (2008). Review of 'Feeling and Emotion: The Amsterdam Symposium' by Manstead, Fridja & Fischer (Ed). [REVIEW] Philosophical Psychology 21 (1).
    As its title suggests, this anthology is a collection of papers presented at a conference on feelings and emotions held in Amsterdam in 2001. One of the symposium’s main goals was to draw some of the most prominent researchers in emotion research together and provide a multi-disciplinary ‘snap shot’ of the state of the art at the turn of the century. In that respect it is truly a cognitive science success story. There are articles from a wide range of fields, (...)
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  16. Brian Bruya (2001). Qing (情) and Emotion in Early Chinese Thought. Ming Qing Yanjiu 2001:151-176.
    In a 1967 article, A. C. Graham made the claim that 情 qing should never be translated as "emotions" in rendering early Chinese texts into English. Over time, sophisticated translators and interpreters have taken this advice to heart, and qing has come to be interpreted as "the facts" or "what is genuine in one." In these English terms all sense of interrelationality is gone, leaving us with a wooden, objective stasis. But we also know, again partly through the work of (...)
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  17. Cheshire Calhoun & Robert C. Solomon (eds.) (1984). What is an Emotion?: Classic Readings in Philosophical Psychology. Oxford University Press.
    This volume draws together important selections from the rich history of theories and debates about emotion. Utilizing sources from a variety of subject areas including philosophy, psychology, and biology, the editors provide an illuminating look at the "affective" side of psychology and philosophy from the perspective of the world's great thinkers. Part One features classic readings from Aristotle, Descartes, Spinoza, and Hume. Part Two, entitled "The Meeting of Philosophy and Psychology," samples the theories of thinkers such as Darwin, James, and (...)
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  18. Diana Fritz Cates (2003). Conceiving Emotions: Martha Nussbaum's "Upheavals of Thought". [REVIEW] Journal of Religious Ethics 31 (2):325 - 341.
    In "Upheavals of Thought", Martha Nussbaum offers a theory of the emotions. She argues that emotions are best conceived as thoughts, and she argues that emotion-thoughts can make valuable contributions to the moral life. She develops extensive accounts of compassion and erotic love as thoughts that are of great moral import. This paper seeks to elucidate what it means, for Nussbaum, to say that emotions are forms of thought. It raises critical questions about her conception of the structure of emotion, (...)
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  19. Marcia Cavell (2003). Review: A Tear is an Intellectual Thing: The Meanings of Emotion. [REVIEW] Mind 112 (446):367-371.
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  20. Louis C. Charland (1997). Reconciling Cognitive and Perceptual Theories of Emotion: A Representational Proposal. Philosophy of Science 64 (4):555-579.
    The distinction between cognitive and perceptual theories of emotion is entrenched in the literature on emotion and is openly used by individual emotion theorists when classifying their own theories and those of others. In this paper, I argue that the distinction between cognitive and perceptual theories of emotion is more pernicious than it is helpful, while at the same time insisting that there are nonetheless important perceptual and cognitive factors in emotion that need to be distinguished. A general representational metatheoretical (...)
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  21. David Charles (2004). Emotion, Cognition and Action. Philosophy 55:105-136.
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  22. Ronald de Sousa, Emotion. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  23. Ronnie de Sousa (2007). Review of Robert C. Solomon, True to Our Feelings: What Our Emotions Are Really Telling Us. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2007 (10).
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  24. Remy Debes (2009). Neither Here nor There: The Cognitive Nature of Emotion. Philosophical Studies 146 (1):1 - 27.
    The philosophy of emotion has long been divided over the cognitive nature of emotion. In this paper I argue that this debate suffers from deep confusion over the meaning of “cognition” itself. This confusion has in turn obscured critical substantive agreement between the debate’s principal opponents. Capturing this agreement and remedying this confusion requires re-conceptualizing “the cognitive” as it functions in first-order theories of emotion. Correspondingly, a sketch for a new account of cognitivity is offered. However, I also argue that (...)
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  25. John Deigh (1994). Cognitivism in the Theory of Emotions. Ethics 104 (4):824-54.
  26. John Deigh (1990). Review: A Cognitivist's Approach to the Emotions. [REVIEW] Behavior and Philosophy 18 (1):63 - 67.
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  27. Craig DeLancey (1998). Real Emotions. Philosophical Psychology 11 (4):467-487.
    I argue that natural realism is the best approach to explaining some emotional actions, and thus is the best candidate to explain the relevant emotions. I take natural realism 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 intentional 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 (...)
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  28. Sharin N. Elkholy (2002). Upheavels of Thought: The Intelligence of Emotions. Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 23 (2):235-238.
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  29. Andreas Elpidorou & Lauren Freeman (forthcoming). The Phenomenology and Science of Emotions: An Introduction. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-5.
    Phenomenology, perhaps more than any other single movement in philosophy, has been key in bringing emotions to the foreground of philosophical consideration. This is in large part due to the ways in which emotions, according to phenomenological analyses, are revealing of basic structures of human existence. Indeed, it is partly and, according to some phenomenologists, even primarily through our emotions that the world is disclosed to us, that we become present to and make sense of ourselves, and that we relate (...)
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  30. Luc Faucher & Christine Tappolet (2007). Introduction: Modularity and the Nature of Emotions. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 36 (5S).
    In this introduction, we give a brief overview of the main concepts of modularity that have been offered in recent literature. After this, we turn to a summary of the papers collected in this volume. Our primary aim is to explain how the modularity of emotion question relates to traditional debates in emotion theory.
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  31. Justin C. Fisher, Emotions as Modes of Cognition.
    I. Introduction. II. Ratiocination vs. Cognition. III. Emotions as Modes of Cognition. IV. Four Competing Proposals. V. The Impact of Emotion on Cognition. VI. The Kinematics of Ratiocination. VII. Competing Cognitive Theories. VIII. Why think Emotions are Beliefs? IX. The Intentionality of Emotions. X. The Kinematics of Emotions. XI. A Unified Account of the Emotions. XII. The Rationality of Emotions.
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  32. Nico H. Frijda (2009). Emotion Experience and its Varieties. Emotion Review 1 (3):264-271.
    Emotion experience reflects some of the outcomes of the mostly nonconscious processes that compose emotions. In my view, the major processes are appraisal, affect, action readiness, and autonomic arousal. The phenomenology of emotion experience varies according to mode of consciousness (nonreflective or reflective consciousness), and to direction and mode of attention. As a result, emotion experience may be either ineffable or articulate with respect to any or all of the underlying processes. In addition, emotion experience reflects the degree to which (...)
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  33. Rick Anthony Furtak (2010). Emotion, the Bodily, and the Cognitive. Philosophical Explorations 13 (1):51 – 64.
    In both psychology and philosophy, cognitive theories of emotion have met with increasing opposition in recent years. However, this apparent controversy is not so much a gridlock between antithetical stances as a critical debate in which each side is being forced to qualify its position in order to accommodate the other side of the story. Here, I attempt to sort out some of the disagreements between cognitivism and its rivals, adjudicating some disputes while showing that others are merely superficial. Looking (...)
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  34. Robert M. Gordon (1973). Judgmental Emotions. Analysis 34 (December):40-48.
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  35. Robert M. Gordon (1969). Emotions and Knowledge. Journal of Philosophy 66 (July):408-413.
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  36. Margaret Graver (2007). Stoicism & Emotion. University of Chicago Press.
    On the surface, stoicism and emotion seem like contradictory terms. Yet the Stoic philosophers of ancient Greece and Rome were deeply interested in the emotions, which they understood as complex judgments about what we regard as valuable in our surroundings. Stoicism and Emotion shows that they did not simply advocate an across-the-board suppression of feeling, as stoicism implies in today’s English, but instead conducted a searching examination of these powerful psychological responses, seeking to understand what attitude toward them expresses the (...)
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  37. O. H. Green (1982). Explaining Emotions. Teaching Philosophy 5 (2):178-181.
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  38. O. Harvey Green (1992). The Emotions: A Philosophical Theory. Kluwer.
    UNDERSTANDING EMOTIONS I. INTRODUCTION Commonsense psychology comprises a prescientific assemblage of concepts and generalizations which readily, ...
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  39. O. Harvey Green (1972). Emotions and Belief. American Philosophical Quarterly 6:24-40.
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  40. Patricia Greenspan (1980). A Case of Mixed Feelings: Ambivalence and the Logic of Emotion. In A. O. Rorty (ed.), Explaining Emotions. University of California Press. 223--250.
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  41. Patricia S. Greenspan (1981). Emotions as Evaluations. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 62 (April):158-169.
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  42. Paul E. Griffiths (2010). Emotion on Dover Beach: Feeling and Value in the Philosophy of Robert Solomon. Emotion Review 2 (1):22-28.
    Robert Solomon’s philosophy of emotion should be understood in the light of his lifelong commitment to existentialism and his advocacy of “the passionate life” as a means of creating value. Although he developed his views in the framework of the “cognitive theory” of emotions, closer examination reveals many themes in common with a socially situated, transactionalist view of emotions.
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  43. Paul E. Griffiths (1997). What Emotions Really Are: The Problem of Psychological Categories. University of Chicago Press.
    Paul E. Griffiths argues that most research on the emotions has been as misguided as Aristotelian efforts to study "superlunary objects" - objects...
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  44. Paul E. Griffiths (1989). The Degeneration of the Cognitive Theory of Emotions. Philosophical Psychology 2 (3):297-313.
    The type of cognitive theory of emotion traditionally espoused by philosophers of mind makes two central claims. First, that the occurrence of propositional attitudes is essential to the occurrence of emotions. Second, that the identity of a particular emotional state depends upon the propositional attitudes that it involves. In this paper I try to show that there is little hope of developing a theory of emotion which makes these claims true. I examine the underlying defects of the programme, and show (...)
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  45. P. M. S. Hacker (2009). The Conceptual Framework for the Investigation of Emotions. In Ylva Gustafsson, Camilla Kronqvist & Michael McEachrane (eds.), Emotions and Understanding: Wittgensteinian Perspectives. Palgrave Macmillan.
    The experimental study of the emotions as pursued by LeDoux and Damasio is argued to be flawed as a consequence of the inadequate conceptual framework inherited from the work of William James. This paper clarifes the conceptual structures necessary for any discussion of the emotions. Emotions are distinguished from appetites and other non-emotional feelings, as well as from agitations and moods. Emotional perturbations are distinguished from emotional attitudes and motives. The causes of an emotion are differentiated from the objects of (...)
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  46. Gary Hatfield (2007). Did Descartes Have a Jamesian Theory of the Emotions? Philosophical Psychology 20 (4):413-440.
    Philosophical Psychology 20 (2007), 413–40. Key words: Cognitive theories of emotion, Rene Descartes, embodiment, emotions, evolution, historical methodology, instinct, mechanistic theories of behavior, mind–brain relations, passions, William James.
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  47. Anthony E. Hatzimoysis (2003). Philosophy and the Emotions. Cambridge University Press.
  48. B. W. Helm (2002). The Emotions: A Philosophical Exploration. Philosophical Review 111 (1):132-135.
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  49. Lester Hunt (2006). Martha Nussbaum on the Emotions. Ethics 116 (3):552-577.
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  50. No Authorship Indicated (2002). Review of Upheavals of Thought: The Intelligence of Emotions. [REVIEW] Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 22 (1):76-76.
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