Cognition and emotion: Aristotelian affinities with contemporary emotion research

Theory and Psychology 15 (5):639-657 (2005)

Eric LaRock
Oakland University
We provide a critique of the usual functionalist, cognition-first reading of Aristotle’s theory of emotion and then offer an alternative understanding of Aristotle's theory of cognition and emotion that brings to bear certain biological considerations evidenced in his arguments on the integration of form and matter (hylomorphism) and the hierarchical organization of the biological world. This, of course, does not suggest that we are critical of all varieties of functionalism, but only those which fail to utilize and incorporate findings in neuroscience. One way to help bridge the gap between mind and the physical world is through empirical findings. Based upon our new reading of Aristotle, we identify affinities with contemporary research in the cognitive neuroscience of emotion and developmental research on emotion.
Keywords Aristotle  Emotion  Cognition
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