The Feeling Body: Toward an Enactive Approach to Emotion

Abstract
For many years, emotion theory has been characterized by a dichotomy between the head and the body. In the golden years of cognitivism, during the 1960s and ’70s, emotion theory focused on the cognitive antecedents of emotion, the so-called “appraisal processes.” Some saw bodily events largely as by-products of cognition, and as too unspecifi c to contribute to the variety of emotion experience. Cognition was conceptualized as an abstract, intellectual, “heady” process separate from bodily events. Although current emotion theory has moved beyond this disembodied stance by conceiving of emotions as involving both cognitive processes (e.g., perception, attention, and evaluation) and bodily events (e.g., arousal, behavior, and facial expressions), the legacy of cognitivism persists in the tendency to treat cognitive and bodily events as separate constituents of emotion. Th us, the cognitive aspects of emotion are supposedly distinct and separate from the bodily ones. Th is separation indicates that cognitivism’s disembodied conception of..
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