Wittgenstein and the grammar of pride: The relevance of philosophy to studies of self-evaluative emotions

New Ideas in Psychology 25 (3):233-252 (2007)
In this paper, Wittgenstein's philosophical approach and remarks are used to highlight features of pride that are not represented in contemporary psychological theories. Wittgenstein's scattered philosophical and autobiographical remarks on pride are arranged in order to engage with aspects of pride (e.g., as a self-conscious emotion) that can appear to have only empirical answers. Important themes to emerge in the resulting surview include the temptation to talk of pride as having or being a structure, the role of personal context in understanding intense emotions, the difficulty of finding a referent for proud feelings, choices of words to convey or capture feelings, the possibility of further descriptions of one's inner experiences, bodily and immediate features of the experience of pride, and the need to reconcile occasional immediate bodily and behavioural manifestations of pride with the popular view of pride as a “thoughtful” emotion. The results suggest that new perspectives can emerge through assembling reminders of the everyday use of a concept and engaging with existing research.
Keywords Pride  Emotion  Wittgenstein  Grammar  Self-evaluative emotion  Self-conscious emotion
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