Core affect and natural affective kinds

Philosophy of Science 76 (5):940-957 (2009)
It is commonly assumed that the scientific study of emotions should focus on discrete categories such as fear, anger, sadness, joy, disgust, shame, guilt, and so on. This view has recently been questioned by the emergence of the “core affect movement,” according to which discrete emotions are not natural kinds. Affective science, it is argued, should focus on core affect, a blend of hedonic and arousal values. Here, I argue that the empirical evidence does not support the thesis that core affect is a more “natural” category than discrete emotions. I conclude by recommending a splitting strategy in our search for natural affective kinds. †To contact the author, please write to: Andrea Scarantino, Department of Philosophy and Neuroscience Institute, Georgia State University, P.O. Box 4089, Atlanta, GA 30302‐4089; email:
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DOI 10.1086/605816
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References found in this work BETA
Edouard Machery (2005). Concepts Are Not a Natural Kind. Philosophy of Science 72 (3):444-467.
E. Bedford (1957). Emotions. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 57:281-304.

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Jennifer Radden (2013). Delusions Redux. Mind and Language 28 (1):125-139.

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