Classifying emotions: Prospects for a psychoevolutionary approach

Philosophical Psychology 21 (6):759 – 777 (2008)
One of the most significant developments in the area of emotion theory in recent years is the revival of the psychoevolutionary approach to classification. This essay appraises the prospects for such an approach. The first contention is that the supposed advantages of psychoevolutionary classification over functional classification in scientific psychological research is less than presumed , particularly with respect to the utility of the classification , which is the basis of the argument for the superiority of psychoevolutionary classification. The second and central contention is that classification in terms of mechanisms proposed by empirical psychology and neuroscience has better prospects than psychoevolutionary classification with respect to both the utility for psychological research and the ability to carve psychological systems at their joints , that is , to produce natural kind divisions that distinguish emotions from other psychological traits.
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DOI 10.1080/09515080802513300
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