Towards a grammar of emotions

New Universities Quarterly 36 (3):230-238 (1982)
My favourite leading question when teaching Philosophy of Mind is ‘Could a goldfish long for its mother?’ This introduces the philosophical technique of ‘conceptual analysis’, essential for the study of mind (Sloman 1978, ch. 4). By analysing what we mean by ‘A longs for B’, and similar descriptions of emotional states we see that they inv olve rich cognitive structures and processes, i.e. computations. Anything which could long for its mother, would have to hav e some sort of representation of its mother, would have to believe that she is not in the vicinity, would have to be able to represent the _possibility _of being close to her, would have to desire that possibility, and would have to be to some extent pre-occupied or obsessed with that desire. That is, it should intrude into and interfere with other activities, like admiring the scenery, catching smaller fish, etc. If the desire were there, but could be calmly put aside, whilst other interests were pursued, then it would not be truly a state of longing. It might be a state of preferring. Thus longing involves computational interrupts. The same seems to be true of all emotions
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,316
External links
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

24 ( #196,884 of 1,926,176 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #456,082 of 1,926,176 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.