|Summary||What is a chair? What is a plant? What is reasoning? What is an emotion? Philosophers are interested in these questions for different reasons. The reason why they were interested in emotions was for a very long time that many of them considered emotions and rationality to be opposites. This is not the case any longer. There exist appraisal theories, narrative theories, cognitive theories, perceptual theories and natural reaction theories about emotions. Correspondingly to the particular theories emotions are reconstructed as evaluative or normative judgments, as desires, beliefs, appraisals, narratives, as perceptions, as an innate disposition, or else they combine one or two of these aspects. Philosophers are interested in emotions nowadays for quite many reasons. The relation between rationality and emotions is one of them, not because they are regarded to be opponents any longer but because of the cognitive role that emotions are thought to have. And then there is a substantial interest in emotions in philosophy of mind. Emotions are considered to be mental states, they are intentionally directed towards a situation or an object and at the same time they seem to be bodily reactions that are caused by something. These aspects make them to be ideal subjects for discussing reductionism and representationism concerning consciousness and phenomenal mental states. But these are not the only areas of interest when it comes to emotions. Their role as values is also much discussed in ethics, namely in value theory, the area of moral philosophy that is concerned with theoretical questions about value and goodness of all varieties. The role of emotions for motivation is eventually discussed in action theory.|
|Key works||Kenny 1963 is an early work on emotions that by some means introduced the subject to analytic philosophy. de Sousa 1987 provides a systematic survey of the topic. Griffiths Paul 1997 is combining philosophy of mind and an evolutionary perspective in order to address the neurobiology of emotions and cognitive science. Wollheim 1999 is introducing psychoanalysis and art to the analytic discussions on emotions. Goldie 2000 is presenting an elaborate narrative theory of emotions. These are some of the key works for the analytic tradition but there are also quite eminent ones for the phenomenological tradition among which only the most important one shall be mentioned: Scheler 1973.|
|Introductions||A useful encyclopedia article is de Sousa 2007. The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Emotions offers an overview of systematic discussions as well as some historical positions.|
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