Human Nature 1 (3):261-289 (1990)

Abstract
Emotions can be explained as specialized states, shaped by natural selection, that increase fitness in specific situations. The physiological, psychological, and behavioral characteristics of a specific emotion can be analyzed as possible design features that increase the ability to cope with the threats and opportunities present in the corresponding situation. This approach to understanding the evolutionary functions of emotions is illustrated by the correspondence between (a) the subtypes of fear and the different kinds of threat; (b) the attributes of happiness and sadness and the changes that would be advantageous in propitious and unpropitious situations; and (c) the social emotions and the adaptive challenges of reciprocity relationships. In addition to addressing a core theoretical problem shared by evolutionary and cognitive psychology, explicit formulations of the evolutionary functions of specific emotions are of practical importance for understanding and treating emotional disorders
Keywords Adaptation  Anxiety  Evolution  Fear  Feelings  Emotion  Mental disorders  Mood  Natural selection  Psychiatry  Psychology  Reciprocity  Relationships
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF02733986
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 60,021
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Sociobiology: The New Synthesis.Edward O. Wilson - 1975 - Journal of the History of Biology 33 (3):577-584.
Emotion.William Lyons - 1980 - Cambridge University Press.
Toward a New Philosophy of Biology: Observations of an Evolutionist.Ernst Mayr - 1988 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

View all 16 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 147 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Emotion Explained.Edmund T. Rolls - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
Can Evolution Explain Insanity?Dominic Murphy - 2005 - Biology and Philosophy 20 (4):745-766.
Which Emotions Are Basic?Jesse Prinz - 2004 - In Dylan Evans & Pierre Cruse (eds.), Emotion, Evolution, and Rationality. Oxford University Press. pp. 69--87.
Basic Emotions, Complex Emotions, Machiavellian Emotions.Paul E. Griffiths - 2003 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 52:39-67.
The Feeling Theory of Emotion and the Object-Directed Emotions.Demian Whiting - 2011 - European Journal of Philosophy 19 (2):281-303.
Emotional Selection and Human Personality.Ferdinand Fellmann - 2013 - Biological Theory 8 (1):64-73.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2013-11-24

Total views
65 ( #159,114 of 2,433,540 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
6 ( #116,077 of 2,433,540 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes