David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In R. Solomon (ed.), Thinking About Feeling: Contemporary Philosophers on Emotions. Oxford University Press (2004)
In one of the most frequently quoted passages in the history of emotion research, William James (1884: 189f) announces that emotions occur when the perception of an exciting fact causes a collection of bodily changes, and “our feeling of the same changes as they occur IS the emotion.” The same idea occurred to Carl Lange (1984) around the same time. These authors were not the first to draw a link between the emotions and the body. Indeed, this had been a central theme of Descartes’ exquisite opus, The Passions of the Soul. But James and Lange wanted to push things farther than most, suggesting that emotions are exhausted by bodily changes or perceptions thereof. Other kinds of mental episodes might co-occur when we have an emotion state. For James, an emotion follows an exciting perception. But the exciting perception is not a part of the emotion it excited (Ellsworth, 1994, reads James differently, but see Reisenzein et al.’s 1995 convincing response). The majority of contemporary emotion researchers, especially those in philosophy, find this suggestion completely untenable. Surely, emotions involve something more. At their core, emotions are more like judgments or thoughts, than perceptions. They evaluate, assess, or appraise. Emotions are amendable to rational assessment; they report, correctly or incorrectly, on how we are faring in the world. Within this general consensus, there is a further debate about whether the body should figure into a theory of emotions at all. Perhaps James and Lange offer a theory that is not merely incomplete, but entirely off base. Where they view judgments as contingent and non-constitutive concomitants of emotions, it is actually bodily perceptions that deserve this demotion. Perhaps emotions can be, and often are, disembodied in some fundamental sense
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Sean Greenberg (2007). Descartes on the Passions: Function, Representation, and Motivation. Noûs 41 (4):714–734.
Berit Brogaard (2012). Moral Relativism and Moral Expressivism. Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (4):538-556.
Christoph Jäger (2009). Affective Ignorance. Erkenntnis 71 (1):123 - 139.
Similar books and articles
Matthew P. Spackman & David Miller (2008). Embodying Emotions: What Emotion Theorists Can Learn From Simulations of Emotions. [REVIEW] Minds and Machines 18 (3):357-372.
Jesse J. Prinz (2004). Which Emotions Are Basic? In D. Evans & Pierre Cruse (eds.), Emotion, Evolution, and Rationality. Oxford University Press. 69--87.
Peter M. S. Hacker (2004). The Conceptual Framework for the Investigation of the Emotions. International Review of Psychiatry 16 (3):199-208.
Demian Whiting (2011). The Feeling Theory of Emotion and the Object-Directed Emotions. European Journal of Philosophy 19 (2):281-303.
Elizabeth J. Horberg, Christopher Oveis & Dacher Keltner (2011). Emotions as Moral Amplifiers: An Appraisal Tendency Approach to the Influences of Distinct Emotions Upon Moral Judgment. Emotion Review 3 (3):237-244.
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.
Irwin Goldstein (2002). Are Emotions Feelings? A Further Look at Hedonic Theories of Emotions. Consciousness and Emotion 3 (1):21-33.
Peter Goldie (2004). Emotion, Feeling, and Knowledge of the World. In Robert C. Solomon (ed.), Thinking About Feeling: Contemporary Philosophers on Emotions. Oxford University Press.
Edoardo Zamuner (2008). Knowledge and Self-Knowledge of Emotions. Dissertation, University of Edinburgh
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads226 ( #3,042 of 1,687,390 )
Recent downloads (6 months)7 ( #33,995 of 1,687,390 )
How can I increase my downloads?