Core affect and natural affective kinds

Philosophy of Science 76 (5):940-957 (2009)
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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: [email protected]



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Andrea Scarantino
Georgia State University

References found in this work

The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals.Charles Darwin - 2018 - Mineola, New York: Courier Dover Publications.
The Concept of Mind.Gilbert Ryle - 1949 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 141:125-126.

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