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Summary What is a chair? What is a plant? What is reasoning? What is an emotion? Philosophers are interested in these questions for different reasons. The reason why they were interested in emotions was for a very long time that many of them considered emotions and rationality to be opposites. This is not the case any longer. There exist appraisal theories, narrative theories, cognitive theories, perceptual theories and natural reaction theories about emotions. Correspondingly to the particular theories emotions are reconstructed as evaluative or normative judgments, as desires, beliefs, appraisals, narratives, as perceptions, as an innate disposition, or else they combine one or two of these aspects. Philosophers are interested in emotions nowadays for quite many reasons. The relation between rationality and emotions is one of them, not because they are regarded to be opponents any longer but because of the cognitive role that emotions are thought to have. And then there is a substantial interest in emotions in philosophy of mind. Emotions are considered to be mental states, they are intentionally directed towards a situation or an object and at the same time they seem to be bodily reactions that are caused by something. These aspects make them to be ideal subjects for discussing reductionism and representationism concerning consciousness and phenomenal mental states. But these are not the only areas of interest when it comes to emotions. Their role as values is also much discussed in ethics, namely in value theory, the area of moral philosophy that is concerned with theoretical questions about value and goodness of all varieties. The role of emotions for motivation is eventually discussed in action theory.
Key works Kenny 1963 is an early work on emotions that by some means introduced the subject to analytic philosophy. de Sousa 1987 provides a systematic survey of the topic. Griffiths 1997 is combining philosophy of mind and an evolutionary perspective in order to address the neurobiology of emotions and cognitive science. Wollheim 1999 is introducing psychoanalysis and art to the analytic discussions on emotions. Goldie 2000 is presenting an elaborate narrative theory of emotions. These are some of the key works for the analytic tradition but there are also quite eminent ones for the phenomenological tradition among which only the most important one shall be mentioned: Scheler 1973.
Introductions A useful encyclopedia article is de Sousa 2007 The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Emotions offers an overview of systematic discussions as well as some historical positions. 
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  1. Giovanna Colombetti (2009). From Affect Programs to Dynamical Discrete Emotions. Philosophical Psychology 22 (4):407-425.
    According to Discrete Emotion Theory, a number of emotions are distinguishable on the basis of neural, physiological, behavioral and expressive features. Critics of this view emphasize the variability and context-sensitivity of emotions. This paper discusses some of these criticisms, and argues that they do not undermine the claim that emotions are discrete. This paper also presents some works in dynamical affective science, and argues that to conceive of discrete emotions as self-organizing and softly assembled patterns of various processes accounts more (...)
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  2. Andreas Elpidorou (forthcoming). Horror, Fear, and the Sartrean Account of Emotions. Southern Journal of Philosophy.
    Phenomenological approaches to affectivity have long recognized the vital role that emotions occupy in our lives. In this paper, I engage with Jean-Paul Sartre’s well-known and highly influential theory of the emotions as it is advanced in his Sketch for a Theory of the Emotions. I examine whether Sartre’s account offers two inconsistent explications of the nature of emotions. I argue that despite appearances there is a reading of Sartre’s theory that is free of inconsistencies. Ultimately, I highlight a novel (...)
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Cognitive Theories of Emotions
  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. Debra A. Bekerian & Susan J. Goodrich (1999). Forensic Applications of Theories of Cognition and Emotion. In Tim Dalgleish & M. J. Powers (eds.), Handbook of Cognition and Emotion. Wiley 783--798.
  7. A. Ben-Ze'ev (2000). What Emotions Really Are: The Problem of Psychological Categories. By Paul E. Griffiths. The European Legacy 5 (2):267-268.
  8. 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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  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 (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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  11. Aaron Ben-Ze’Ev (2004). Emotions Are Not Mere Judgments. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (2):450-457.
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  12. 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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  13. H. R. Bernstein (1981). Emotion, Thought, and Therapy. Journal of the History of Philosophy 19 (1):114-116.
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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. J. Adam Carter, Emma C. Gordon & S. Orestis Palermos (forthcoming). Extended Emotion. Philosophical Psychology:1-20.
    Recent thinking within philosophy of mind about the ways cognition can extend (e.g. Clark 2011; Clark & Chalmers 1998; Wilson 2000, 2004; Menary 2006) has yet to be integrated with philosophical theories of emotion, which give cognition a central role. We carve out new ground at the intersection of these areas, and in doing so, defend what we call the extended emotion thesis: i.e., the claim that some emotions can extend beyond skin and skull to parts of the external world.
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  20. 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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  21. Marcia Cavell (2003). Review: A Tear is an Intellectual Thing: The Meanings of Emotion. [REVIEW] Mind 112 (446):367-371.
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  22. Louis C. Charland (2002). Review of 'What Emotions Really Are: The Problem of Psychological Categories', by Paul E. Griffiths. [REVIEW] Mind and Language 17 (3):318-324.
  23. 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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  24. David Charles (2004). Emotion, Cognition and Action. Philosophy 55:105-136.
    Contemporary philosophers have not, at least until very recently, been much concerned with the study of the emotions. It was not always so. The Stoics thought deeply about this topic. Although they were divided on points of detail, they agreed on the broad outline of an account. In it emotions are valuational judgments and resulting affective states.
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  25. R. De Sousa (1999). PAUL E. GRIFFITHS, What Emotions Really Are: The Problem of Psychological Categories. Dialogue 38:908-910.
  26. Ronald de Sousa, Emotion. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  27. 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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  28. 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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  29. John Deigh (1994). Cognitivism in the Theory of Emotions. Ethics 104 (4):824-54.
  30. John Deigh (1990). Review: A Cognitivist's Approach to the Emotions. [REVIEW] Behavior and Philosophy 18 (1):63 - 67.
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  31. 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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  32. Julien A. Deonna & Fabrice Teroni (forthcoming). Emotions as Attitudes. Dialectica.
    In this article, we encourage a fresh understanding of the sense in which emotions qualify as evaluations. We argue that we should not follow mainstream accounts in locating the emotion-value connection at the level of content and that we should instead locate it at the level of attitudes or modes. We begin by explaining the contrast between content and attitude, a contrast in the light of which we situate the leading accounts of the emotions in the contemporary literature. We next (...)
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  33. Julien Deonna, Christine Tappolet & Fabrice Teroni (2015). Emotions: Philosophical Issues About. WIREs Cognitive Science 1:193-207.
    We start this overview by discussing the place of emotions within the broader affective domain – how different are emotions from moods, sensations and affective dispositions? Next, we examine the way emotions relate to their objects, emphasizing in the process their intimate relations to values. We move from this inquiry into the nature of emotion to an inquiry into their epistemology. Do they provide reasons for evaluative judgements and, more generally, do they contribute to our knowledge of values? We then (...)
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  34. Steven M. Duncan, Negative Emotions.
    I have a theory of the emotions that many people find unflattering. I contend that all emotions, as such, are negative and neither life-enhancing or truth-connected. In this essay, I present this theory and my reasons for it.
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  35. Sharin N. Elkholy (2002). Upheavels of Thought: The Intelligence of Emotions. Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 23 (2):235-238.
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  36. Andreas Elpidorou & Lauren Freeman (2014). The Phenomenology and Science of Emotions: An Introduction. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 13 (4):507-511.
    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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  37. 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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  38. 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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  39. 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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  40. 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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  41. Lukasz Andrzej Glinka (2013). Theorizing Emotions: A Brief Study of Psychological, Philosophical, and Cultural Aspects of Human Emotions. Cambridge International Science Publishing.
    This book presents the concise review of the psychological, philosophical, and cultural foundations for consistent theorizing emotions. The various aspects of the thing, based on the research literature, are compared and conclusions are presented. -/- Contents Foreword 1. Introduction 2. Psychological Basis - 1. Freud Psychoanalysis - 2. James-Lange Theory - 3. Schechter-Singer Theory - 4. Arnold-Frijda Approach - 5. Other Schools on Emotions 3. Individual Differences in Emotions 4. Philosophical Approach - 1. Husserl-Heidegger Phenomenology - 2. Sartre Phenomenology - (...)
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  42. Robert M. Gordon (1973). Judgmental Emotions. Analysis 34 (December):40-48.
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  43. Robert M. Gordon (1969). Emotions and Knowledge. Journal of Philosophy 66 (July):408-413.
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  44. Stephen Grant (2008). Emotion, Cognition and Feeling. Synthesis Philosophica 23 (1):53-71.
    This article examines recent developments in cognitivist theories of the emotions, and seeks to develop an original theory within that approach. The article specifically considers the criticism that such theories over-intellectualise emotions by reducing them to attitudes towards propositions and by excluding feelings. I argue that few cognitivists have ever held the former position, and that it is possible to claim that emotions are partly-constituted by feelings and remain within the parameters of a cognitivist theory. This is possible in virtue (...)
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  45. 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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  46. O. H. Green (1982). Explaining Emotions. Teaching Philosophy 5 (2):178-181.
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  47. O. Harvey Green (1992). The Emotions: A Philosophical Theory. Kluwer.
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  48. O. Harvey Green (1972). Emotions and Belief. American Philosophical Quarterly 6:24-40.
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