Emotions as Evaluative Feelings

Emotion Review 1 (3):248--55 (2009)
Abstract
The phenomenology of emotions has traditionally been understood in terms of bodily sensations they involve. This is a mistake. We should instead understand their phenomenology in terms of their distinctively evaluative intentionality. Emotions are essentially affective modes of response to the ways our circumstances come to matter to us, and so they are ways of being pleased or pained by those circumstances. Making sense of the intentionality and phenomenology of emotions in this way requires rejecting traditional understandings of intentionality and so coming to see emotions as a distinctive and irreducible class of mental states lying at the intersection of intentionality, phenomenology, and motivation.
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