Emotion as a natural kind: Towards a computational foundation for emotion theory

Philosophical Psychology 8 (1):59-84 (1995)
In this paper I link two hitherto disconnected sets of results in the philosophy of emotions and explore their implications for the computational theory of mind. The argument of the paper is that, for just the same reasons that some computationalists have thought that cognition may be a natural kind, so the same can plausibly be argued of emotion. The core of the argument is that emotions are a representation-governed phenomenon and that the explanation of how they figure in behaviour must as such be undertaken in those terms. I conclude with some interdisciplinary reflections in defence of the hypothesis that emotions might be more fundamental in the organization of behaviour than cognition; that, in effect, we may be emoters before we are cognizers . The aim of the paper is: (1) to introduce a number of promising results in philosophical and empirical emotion theory to a wider audience; and (2) to begin the task of organizing those results into a computational theoretical framework
Keywords Cognition  Emotion  Empiricism  Natural  Psychology  Science
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