David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In D. Evans & Pierre Cruse (eds.), Emotion, Evolution, and Rationality. Oxford University Press. 69--87 (2004)
There are two major perspectives on the origin of emotions. According to one, emotions are the products of natural selection. They are evolved adaptations, best understood using the explanatory tools of evolutionary psychology. According to the other, emotions are socially constructed, and they vary across cultural boundaries. There is evidence supporting both perspectives. In light of this, some have argued both approaches are right. The standard strategy for compromise is to say that some emotions are evolved and others are constructed. The evolved emotions are sometimes given the label “basic,” and there is considerable agreement about a handful of emotions in this category. My goal here is to challenge all of these perspectives. I don’t think we should adopt a globally evolutionary approach, nor indulge the radical view that emotions derive entirely from us. I am equally dissatisfied with approaches that attempt to please Darwinians and constructivists by dividing emotions into two separate classes. I will defend another kind of ecumenicalism. Every emotion that we have a name for is the product of both nature and nurture. Emotions are evolved and constructed. The dichotomy between the two approaches cannot be maintained. This thesis will require making some claims that would be regarded as surprising to many emotion researchers. First, while there is a difference between basic emotions and nonbasic emotions, it is not a structural difference. All emotions are fundamentally alike. Second, the standard list of basic emotions, though by many to be universal across cultures, are not basic after all. We don’t have names for the basic emotions. All emotions that we talk about are culturally informed. And finally, this concession to constructivism does not imply that emotions are cognitive in any sense. Emotions are perceptual and embodied. They are gut reactions, and they are not unique to our species..
|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
Tatiana Bužeková & Monika Išová (2010). Disgust and Intimacy. Human Affairs 20 (3).
Similar books and articles
Elisa A. Hurley (2007). Working Passions: Emotions and Creative Engagement with Value. Southern Journal of Philosophy 45 (1):79-104.
Jason A. Clark (2010). Relations of Homology Between Higher Cognitive Emotions and Basic Emotions. Biology and Philosophy 25 (1):75-94.
Christoph Jäger & Anne Bartsch (2006). Meta-Emotions. Grazer Philosophische Studien 73 (1):179-204.
Paul Griffiths (2001). Basic Emotions, Complex Emotions, Machiavellian Emotions. Proceedings of the Royal Institute of Philosophy 52:39-67.
Robert W. Levenson (2011). Basic Emotion Questions. Emotion Review 3 (4):379-386.
Paul E. Griffiths (2003). Basic Emotions, Complex Emotions, Machiavellian Emotions. In A. Hatimoysis (ed.), Philosophy and the Emotions. Cambridge University Press. 39-67.
Alexandra Zinck & Albert Newen (2008). Classifying Emotion: A Developmental Account. Synthese 161 (1):1 - 25.
Keith Oatley & Philip N. Johnson-Laird (2011). Basic Emotions in Social Relationships, Reasoning, and Psychological Illnesses. Emotion Review 3 (4):424-433.
Jonathan H. Turner (2009). The Sociology of Emotions: Basic Theoretical Arguments. Emotion Review 1 (4):240-254.
Mark Devon (2006). The Origin of Emotions. Booksurge.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads139 ( #5,832 of 1,100,500 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #176,167 of 1,100,500 )
How can I increase my downloads?