Demystifying Emotion: Introducing the Affect Theory of Silvan Tomkins to Objectivists

Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 8 (1):1-18 (2006)

Abstract
Objectivism's approach to the nature of emotion is incomplete. It has oversimplified emotional phenomena and has substantially underestimated the importance of emotion as a tool of survival. This article presents an introduction to Affect Theory, an approach to understanding emotion based on ostensive definitions, which was developed by the American psychologist Silvan S. Tomkins. Affect theory subsumes the Objectivist theory of emotion while being true to all the complexities of our emotional lives. This theory provides an important supplement to Objectivist thinking. The relationship between emotion and reason and the role of affect in shaping sense of life are considered
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