Highly readable 1872 study by the great naturalist examines how people and animals display fear, anger, and pleasure. Abounding in anecdotes and quotations, it continues to inspire contemporary research. 21 figures, 7 plates.
The emotions are at the centre of our lives and, for better or worse, imbue them with much of their significance. The philosophical problems stirred up by the existence of the emotions, over which many great philosophers of the past have laboured, revolve around attempts to understand what this significance amounts to. Are emotions feelings, thoughts, or experiences? If they are experiences, what are they experiences of? Are emotions rational? In what sense do emotions give meaning to what surrounds us? (...) -/- The Emotions: A Philosophical Introduction introduces and explores these questions in a clear and accessible way. The authors discuss the following key topics: -/- the diversity and unity of the emotions the relations between emotion, belief and desire the nature of values the relations between emotions and perceptions emotions viewed as evaluative attitudes the link between emotions and evaluative knowledge the nature of moods, sentiments, and character traits. -/- Including chapter summaries and guides to further reading, The Emotions: A Philosophical Introduction is an ideal starting point for any philosopher or student studying the emotions. It will also be of interest to those in related disciplines such as psychology and the social sciences. (shrink)
The emotions we experience are crucial to who we are, to what we think, and to what we do. But what are emotions, exactly, and how do they relate to agency? The aim of this book is to spell out an account of emotions, which is grounded on analogies between emotions and sensory experiences, and to explore the implications of this account for our understanding of human agency. The central claim is that emotions consist in perceptual experiences of values, such (...) as the fearsome, the disgusting or the admirable. A virtue of this account is that it affords a better grasp of a variety of interconnected phenomena, such as motivation, values, responsibility and reason-responsiveness. In the process of exploring the implications of the Perceptual Theory of emotions, several claims are proposed. First, emotions normally involve desires that set goals, but they can be contemplative in that they can occur without any motivation. Second, evaluative judgements can be understood in terms of appropriate emotions in so far as appropriateness is taken to consist in correct representation. Third, by contrast with what Strawsonian theories hold, the concept of moral responsibility is not response-dependent, but the relationship between emotions and moral responsibility is mediated by values. Finally, in so far as emotions are perceptions of values, they can be considered to be perceptions of practical reasons, so that on certain conditions, acting on the basis of one's emotions can consist in responding to one's reasons. (shrink)
Michael S. Brady offers a new account of the role of emotions in our lives. He argues that emotional experiences do not give us information in the same way that perceptual experiences do. Instead, they serve our epistemic needs by capturing our attention and facilitating a reappraisal of the evaluative information that emotions themselves provide.
Moral Emotions builds upon the philosophical theory of persons begun in _Phenomenology and Mysticism _and marks a new stage of phenomenology. Author Anthony J. Steinbock finds personhood analyzing key emotions, called moral emotions. _Moral Emotions _offers a systematic account of the moral emotions, described here as pride, shame, and guilt as emotions of self-givenness; repentance, hope, and despair as emotions of possibility; and trusting, loving, and humility as emotions of otherness. The author argues these reveal basic structures of interpersonal experience. (...) By exhibiting their own kind of cognition and evidence, the moral emotions not only help to clarify the meaning of person, they reveal novel concepts of freedom, critique, and normativity. As such, they are able to engage our contemporary social imaginaries at the impasse of modernity and postmodernity. (shrink)
Life, on a day to day basis, is a sequence of emotional states: hope, disappointment, irritation, anger, affection, envy, pride, embarrassment, joy, sadness and many more. We know intuitively that these states express deep things about our character and our view of the world. But what are emotions and why are they so important to us? In one of the most extensive investigations of the emotions ever published, Robert Roberts develops a novel conception of what emotions are and then applies (...) it to a large range of types of emotion and related phenomena. In so doing he lays the foundations for a deeper understanding of our evaluative judgments, our actions, our personal relationships and our fundamental well-being. Aimed principally at philosophers and psychologists, this book will certainly be accessible to readers in other disciplines such as religion and anthropology. (shrink)
This book is about the anatomy of emotion. It shows what distinguishes emotions from related psychological phenomena that may resemble or even contribute to them, and it considers the light that this throws on the emotional life. It reappraises the relations between thought and feeling and urges that a non-reductive approach to feeling illuminates some of the risks that emotions can bring. This is essential reading for students studying philosophy of mind, philosophical psychology and aesthetics, as well as social (...) scientists working in fields such as social anthropology. Through a detailed account of feeling, the author draws on the notion of subjectivity. This places the book in the wider context of controversies in the philosophy of mind; subjectivity, reduction and consciousness. The final chapter uniquely assesses the contrast between belief, thought and feeling developed earlier to illuminate phenomenon of false emotions. This accessible text will appeal to students in philosophy and psychology Inventive illustrations are wide-ranging, up-to date and imaginative Written in a lively style with the student in mind. (shrink)
How can we motivate ourselves to do what we think we ought? How can we deliberate about personal values and priorities? Bennett Helm argues that standard philosophical answers to these questions presuppose a sharp distinction between cognition and conation that undermines an adequate understanding of values and their connection to motivation and deliberation. Rejecting this distinction, Helm argues that emotions are fundamental to any account of value and motivation, and he develops a detailed alternative theory both of emotions, desires and (...) evaluative judgements and of their rational interconnections. The result is an innovative theory of practical rationality and of how we can control not only what we do but also what we value and who we are as persons. (shrink)
This 1996 book is the result of a uniquely productive union of philosophy, psychoanalysis and anthropology, and explores the complexity and importance of emotions. Michael Stocker places emotions at the very centre of human identity, life and value. He lays bare how our culture's idealisation of rationality pervades the philosophical tradition and leads those who wrestle with serious ethical and philosophical problems into distortion and misunderstanding. Professor Stocker shows how important are the social and emotional contexts of ethical dilemmas and (...) inner conflicts, and he challenges philosophical theories that try to overgeneralise and over-simplify by leaving out the particulars of each situation. In offering a realistic account of emotions and an in-depth analysis of how psychological factors affect judgments of all kind, this book will interest a broad range of readers across the disciplines of philosophy and psychology. (shrink)
Peter Goldie opens the path to a deeper understanding of our emotional lives through a lucid philosophical exploration of this surprisingly neglected topic. Drawing on philosophy, literature and science, Goldie considers the roles of culture and evolution in the development of our emotional capabilities. He examines the links between emotion, mood, and character, and places the emotions in the context of consciousness, thought, feeling, and imagination. He explains how it is that we are able to make sense of our (...) own and other people's emotions, and how we can explain the very human things which emotions lead us to do. He argues that it is only from the personal point of view that thoughts, reasons, feelings, and actions come into view. This fascinating book gives an accessible but penetrating exploration of an important but mysterious subject. Any reader interested in emotion and its role in understanding our lives will find much to think about here. (shrink)
Emotions often misfire. We sometimes fear innocuous things, such as spiders or mice, and we do so even if we firmly believe that they are innocuous. This is true of all of us, and not only of phobics, who can be considered to suffer from extreme manifestations of a common tendency. We also feel too little or even sometimes no fear at all with respect to very fearsome things, and we do so even if we believe that they are fearsome. (...) Indeed, instead of shunning fearsome things, we might be attracted to them. Emotions that seem more thought-involving, such as shame, guilt or jealousy, can also misfire. You can be ashamed of your big ears even though we can agree that there is nothing shameful in having big ears, and even though you judge that having big ears does not warrant shame. And of course, it is also possible to experience too little or even no shame at all with respect to something that is really shameful. Many of these cases involve a conflict between one’s emotion and one’s evaluative judgement. Emotions that are thus conflicting with judgement can be called ‘recalcitrant emotions’. The question I am interested in is whether or not recalcitrant emotions amount to emotional illusions, that is, whether or not these cases are sufficiently similar to perceptual illusions to justify the claim that they fall under the same general heading. The answer to this depends on what emotions are. For instance, the view that emotions are evaluative judgments makes it difficult to make room for the claim that emotional errors are perceptual illusions. Fearing an innocuous spider would simply amount to making the error of judging that the spider is fearsome while it is in fact innocuous. This might involve an illusion of some sort, but it certainly does not amount to anything like a perceptual illusion. In this chapter, I argue that recalcitrant emotions are a kind of perceptual illusion.. (shrink)
Alphonso Lingis is an original among American philosophers. An eloquent and insightful commentator on continental philosophers, he is also a phenomenologist who has gone to live in many lands. Dangerous Emotions continues the line of inquiry begun in Abuses, taking the reader to Easter Island, Japan, Java, and Brazil as Lingis poses a new range of questions and brings his extraordinary descriptive skills to bear on innocence and the love of crime, the relationships of beauty with lust and of joy (...) with violence and violation. He explores the religion of animals, the force in blessings and in curses. When the sphere of work and reason breaks down, and in catastrophic events we catch sight of cosmic time, our anxiety is mixed with exhilaration and ecstasy. More than acceptance of death, can philosophy understand joy in dying? Haunting and courageous, Lingis's writing has generated intense interest and debate among gender and cultural theorists as well as philosophers, and Dangerous Emotions is certain to introduce his work to an ever broader circle of readers. (shrink)
This book analyzes the uses of emotive language and redefinitions from pragmatic, dialectical, epistemic and rhetorical perspectives, investigating the relationship between emotions, persuasion and meaning, and focusing on the implicit dimension of the use of a word and its dialectical effects. It offers a method for evaluating the persuasive and manipulative uses of emotive language in ordinary and political discourse. Through the analysis of political speeches and legal arguments, the book offers a systematic study of emotive language in argumentation, rhetoric, (...) communication, political science and public speaking. (shrink)
Pour contrer le scepticisme au sujet de la connaissance des valeurs, la plupart soutiennent avec John Rawls qu’une croyance comme celle qu’une action est bonne est justifiée dans la mesure où elle appartient à un ensemble de croyances cohérent, ayant atteint un équilibre réfléchi. Christine Tappolet s’inspire des travaux de Max Scheler et d’Alexius von Meinong pour défendre une conception opposée au cohérentisme. La connaissance des valeurs est affirmée dépendre de nos émotions, ces dernières étant conçues comme des perceptions des (...) valeurs. (shrink)
Robert C. Roberts first presented his vivid account of emotions as 'concern-based construals' in his book Emotions: An Essay in Aid of Moral Psychology. In this new book he extends that account to the moral life. He explores the ways in which emotions can be a basis for moral judgments, how they account for the deeper moral identity of actions we perform, how they are constitutive of morally toned personal relationships like friendship, enmity, collegiality and parenthood, and how pleasant and (...) unpleasant emotions interact with our personal wellbeing. He then sketches how, by means of their moral dimensions, emotions participate in our virtues and vices, and for better or worse, express our moral character. His rich study will interest a wide range of readers working on virtue ethics, moral psychology and emotion theory. (shrink)
In this book, Rebekka Hufendiek explores emotions as embodied, action-oriented representations, providing a non-cognitivist theory of emotions that accounts for their normative dimensions. _Embodied Emotions_ focuses not only on the bodily reactions involved in emotions, but also on the environment within which emotions are embedded and on the social character of this environment, its ontological constitution, and the way it scaffolds both the development of particular emotion types and the unfolding of individual emotional episodes. In addition, it provides a (...) critical review and appraisal of current empirical studies, mainly in psychophysiology and developmental psychology, which are relevant to discussions about whether emotions are embodied as well as socially embedded. The theory that Hufendiek puts forward denies the distinction between basic and higher cognitive emotions: all emotions are embodied, action-oriented representations. This approach can account for the complex normative structure of emotions, and shares the advantages of cognitivist accounts of emotions without sharing their problems. _Embodied Emotions _makes an original contribution to ongoing debates on the normative aspects of emotions and will be of interest to philosophers working on emotions, embodied cognition and situated cognition, as well as neuroscientists or psychologists who study emotions and are interested in placing their own work within a broader theoretical framework. (shrink)
I discuss a large number of emotions that are relevant to performance at epistemic tasks. My central concern is the possibility that it is not the emotions that are most relevant to success of these tasks but associated virtues. I present cases in which it does seem to be the emotions rather than the virtues that are doing the work. I end of the paper by mentioning the connections between desirable and undesirable epistemic emotions.
The two central emotions of pride and jealousy have long been held to have no role in moral judgements, and have been a source of controversy in both ethics and moral psychology. Kristjan Kristjansson challenges this common view and argues that emotions are central to moral excellence and that both pride and jealousy are indeed ingredients of a well-rounded virtuous life.
My aim in this chapter is not to offer yet another theory of hope, but to re-orient the discussion about the nature of hope to focus on hope’s place in our hearts: on how, exactly, hope makes us feel. Although philosophers writing on hope have certainly paid attention to hope’s affective dimensions, when affect is discussed, it is often assumed that hope is positively valenced. I argue that descriptions of the phenomenology of hope as positively valenced paint hope as brighter (...) and cheerier than many hopes tend to be, and that hope is not always pleasant to experience (even in part). In making this argument, I focus specifically on hopes we form in response to non-ideal conditions, hopes that are tainted by the negatively valenced emotion of fear. I then consider the complex relationship between hope, fear, and basal emotions: those emotions which are "experiential backdrops" on which particular emotions arise. I close by reflecting on implications for the relationship between hope and motivation, and raise the question of whether hope itself is an emotion. (shrink)
Emotions and personhood are important notions within the field of mental health care. How they are related is less evident. This book provides a framework for understanding the important and complex relationship between our emotional wellbeing and our sense of self, drawing on psychopathology, philosophy, and phenomenology.
Tracing the leading role of emotions in the evolution of the mind, a philosopher and a psychologist pair up to reveal how thought and culture owe less to our faculty for reason than to our capacity to feel. Many accounts of the human mind concentrate on the brain’s computational power. Yet, in evolutionary terms, rational cognition emerged only the day before yesterday. For nearly 200 million years before humans developed a capacity to reason, the emotional centers of the brain were (...) hard at work. If we want to properly understand the evolution of the mind, we must explore this more primal capability that we share with other animals: the power to feel. Emotions saturate every thought and perception with the weight of feelings. The Emotional Mind reveals that many of the distinctive behaviors and social structures of our species are best discerned through the lens of emotions. Even the roots of so much that makes us uniquely human—art, mythology, religion—can be traced to feelings of caring, longing, fear, loneliness, awe, rage, lust, playfulness, and more. From prehistoric cave art to the songs of Hank Williams, Stephen T. Asma and Rami Gabriel explore how the evolution of the emotional mind stimulated our species’ cultural expression in all its rich variety. Bringing together insights and data from philosophy, biology, anthropology, neuroscience, and psychology, The Emotional Mind offers a new paradigm for understanding what it is that makes us so unique. (shrink)
The emotions pose many philosophical questions. We don't choose them; they come over us spontaneously. Sometimes emotions seem to get it wrong: we experience wrongdoing but do not feel anger, feel fear but recognise there is no danger. Yet often we expect emotions to be reasonable, intelligible and appropriate responses to certain situations. How do we explain these apparent contradictions? Emotion, Imagination, and the Limits of Reason presents a bold new picture of the emotions that challenges prevailing philosophical orthodoxy. (...) Talia Morag argues that too much emphasis has been placed on the "reasonableness" of emotions and far too little on two neglected areas: the imagination and the unconscious. She uses these to propose a new philosophical and psychoanalytic conception of the emotions that challenges the perceived rationality of emotions; views the emotions as fundamental to determining one's self-image; and bases therapy on the ability to "listen" to one’s emotional episode as it occurs. Emotion, Imagination, and the Limits of Reason is one of the first books to connect philosophical research on the emotions to psychoanalysis. It will be essential reading for those studying ethics, the emotions, moral psychology and philosophy of psychology as well as those interested in psychoanalysis. (shrink)
I argue that on an understanding of imagination that relates it to an individual's environment rather than her mental contents imagination is essential to emotion, and brings together affective, cognitive, and representational aspects to emotion. My examples focus on morally important emotions, especially retrospective emotions such as shame, guilt, and remorse, which require that one imagine points of view on one's own actions. PUBLISHER'S BLURB: Recent years have seen an enormous amount of philosophical research into the emotions and (...) the imagination, but as yet little work has been done to connect the two. In his engaging and highly original new book, Adam Morton shows that all emotions require some form of imagination and goes on to fully explore the link between these two important concepts both within philosophy and in everyday life. We may take it for granted that complex emotions, such as hope and resentment, require a rich thinking and an engagement with the imagination, but Morton shows how more basic and responsive emotions such as fear and anger also require us to take account of possibilities and opportunities beyond the immediate situation. Interweaving a powerful tapestry of subtle argument with vivid detail, the book highlights that many emotions, more than we tend to suppose, require us to imagine a situation from a particular point of view and that this in itself can be the source of further emotional feeling. Morton goes on to demonstrate the important role that emotions play in our moral lives, throwing light on emotions such as self-respect, disapproval, and remorse, and the price we pay for having them. He explores the intricate nature of moral emotions and the challenges we face when integrating our thinking on morality and the emotions. This compelling and thought-provoking new book challenges many assumptions about the nature of emotion and imagination and will appeal to anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the role that these concepts play in our lives. The book also has far reaching implications that will spark debate amongst scholars and students for some time to come. (shrink)
This book proposes and defends a new theory of emotional experience. Drawing on recent developments in the philosophy of emotion, with links to contemporary philosophy of mind, it argues that emotional experiences are sui generis states, not to be modelled after other mental states – such as perceptions, judgements, or bodily feelings – but given their own analysis and place within our mental economy. More specifically, emotional experiences are claimed to be feelings-towards-values.
This volume brings together new work by leading philosophers on the topics of emotion and value, and explores issues at their intersection. Recent work in philosophy and psychology has had important implications for topics such as the role that emotions play in practical rationality and moral psychology, the connection between imagination and emotion in the appreciation of fiction, and more generally with the ability of emotions to discern axiological saliences and to ground the objectivity of ethical or aesthetic (...) value judgements. This volume makes a unique contribution to scholarship on emotion and value by bringing together top authors from these lines of research. In addition, it explores various links between the emotions and self-understanding, touching on a range of themes that include depression, empathy, agency, guilt, and self-trust. All of these issues are approached from a number of different perspectives in order to present the reader with a wide view of this extremely rich terrain and to demonstrate how the latest thinking in a number of currently intensive areas of research is deeply interconnected. (shrink)
Emotions have long been of interest to philosophers and have deep historical roots going back to the Ancients. They have also become one of the most exciting areas of current research in philosophy, the cognitive sciences, and beyond. -/- This book explains the philosophy of the emotions, structuring the investigation around seven fundamental questions: What are emotions? Are emotions natural kinds? Do animals have emotions? Are emotions epistemically valuable? Are emotions the foundation for value and morality? Are emotions the basis (...) for responsibility? Do emotions make us better people? -/- In the course of exploring these questions, the book also discusses cutting-edge empirical research on emotion, feminist approaches to emotions and their value, and methodological questions on how to theorize about the emotions. The book also contains in-depth discussions of specific emotions like compassion, disgust, anxiety, and curiosity. It also highlights emerging trends in emotion research. (shrink)
Linking the process of rational decision making to emotions, an award-winning scientist who has done extensive research with brain-damaged patients notes the dependence of thought processes on feelings and the body's survival-oriented regulators. 50,000 first printing.
This chapter argues that emotion recognition is a skill. A skill perspective on emotion recognition draws attention to underappreciated features of this cornerstone of social cognition. Skills have a number of characteristic features. For example, they are improvable, practical, and flexible. Emotion recognition has these features as well. Leading theories of emotion recognition often draw inadequate attention to these features. The chapter advances a theory of emotion recognition that is better suited to this purpose. It (...) proposes that emotion recognition involves scripts. Emotion scripts describe how people are likely to behave in different emotional contexts. Scripts can be improved with the addition of richer social knowledge, they are practical in that they describe and guide social interaction, and they are flexible because they must accommodate the fact that emotions have different behavioral impact depending on the agents involved and the circumstances at play. Learning to recognize emotions through scripts qualifies as a skill. (shrink)
Consider a typical fear episode. You are strolling down a lonely mountain lane when suddenly a huge wolf leaps towards you. A number of different interconnected elements are involved in the fear you experience. First, there is the visual and auditory perception of the wild animal and its movements. In addition, it is likely that given what you see, you may implicitly and inarticulately appraise the situation as acutely threatening. Then, there are a number of physiological changes, involving a variety (...) of systems controlled by the autonomic nervous system. Your heart races, your breathing becomes strained and your start trembling. These changes are accompanied by an expression of fear on your face: your mouth opens and your eyes widen while you stare at the wolf. There is also a kind of experience that you undergo. You are likely to feel a sort of pang, something that might consist in the perception of the physiological changes you are going through. Moreover, a number of thoughts are likely to cross your mind. You might think that the wild beast is about to tear you into pieces and that you’ll never escape from this. In addition to this, your attention focuses on the wolf and its movement, as well as, possibly, ways of escaping or defending yourself. Last, but not least, your fear is likely to come with a motivation, such as an urge to run away or to strike back. Whatever the details of the story, it is clear that a typical emotion episode involves a number of different components. Roughly, these components are a) a sensory perception or more generally an informational component, b) a kind of appraisal, d) physiological changes, c) conscious feelings, d) cognitive and attentional processes, and e) an actiontendency or more generally a motivational component. One central question in the theory of emotion is which, if any, of these components, constitute the emotion.. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- Series Editors' Preface -- Acknowledgements -- Introduction -- The Essential Embodiment Thesis -- Essentially Embodied, Desire-Based Emotions -- Sense of Self,_Embodiment, and Desire-Based Emotions -- The Role of Emotion in Decision and Moral Evaluation -- Essentially Embodied, Emotive, Enactive Social Cognition -- Breakdowns in Embodied Emotive Cognition -- Conclusion -- Notes -- References -- Index.
In this paper, my aim is to bring together contemporary psychological literature on emotion regulation and the classical sentimentalism of David Hume and Adam Smith to arrive at a plausible account of empathy's role in explaining patterns of moral judgment. Along the way, I criticize related arguments by Michael Slote, Jesse Prinz, and others.
In this book, Tom Cochrane develops a new control theory of the emotions and related affective states. Grounded in the basic principle of negative feedback control, his original account outlines a new fundamental kind of mental content called 'valent representation'. Upon this foundation, Cochrane constructs new models for emotions, pains and pleasures, moods, expressive behaviours, evaluative reasoning, personality traits and long-term character commitments. These various states are presented as increasingly sophisticated layers of regulative control, which together underpin the architecture of (...) the mind as a whole. Clearly structured and containing numerous diagrams and examples to illustrate the discussion, this study draws on the latest research from fields including philosophy, psychology and neuroscience, and will appeal to readers interested in the philosophy and cognitive science of emotion. (shrink)
While human beings might be rational animals, they are emotional animals as well. Emotions play a central role in all areas of our lives and if we are to have a proper understanding of human life and activity, we ought to have a good grasp of the emotions. Michael S. Brady structures Emotion: The Basics around two basic, yet fundamental, questions: What are emotions? And what do emotions do? In answering these questions Brady provides insight into a core component (...) of all our lives, covering: the nature of emotion; emotion, knowledge, and understanding; emotion and action; emotions and social groups; emotion, morality, and art. In this concise and insightful introduction, Brady explains why we are often better off as a result of emotion rather than reason being in the driving seat, as our lives, both individual and social, would be significantly impoverished without the emotions. With a glossary of key terms and suggestions for further reading, Emotion: The Basics is an ideal starting point for anyone seeking a full introduction to the philosophical study of emotion. (shrink)
A new theory of how the brain constructs emotions that could revolutionize psychology, health care, law enforcement, and our understanding of the human mind Emotions feel automatic, like uncontrollable reactions to things we think and experience. Scientists have long supported this assumption by claiming that emotions are hardwired in the body or the brain. Today, however, the science of emotion is in the midst of a revolution on par with the discovery of relativity in physics and natural selection in (...) biology--and this paradigm shift has far-reaching implications for us all. Leading the charge is psychologist and neuroscientist Lisa Feldman Barrett, whose theory of emotion is driving a deeper understanding of the mind and brain, and shedding new light on what it means to be human. Her research overturns the widely held belief that emotions are housed in different parts of the brain and are universally expressed and recognized. Instead, she has shown that emotion is constructed in the moment, by core systems that interact across the whole brain, aided by a lifetime of learning. This new theory means that you play a much greater role in your emotional life than you ever thought. Its repercussions are already shaking the foundations not only of psychology but also of medicine, the legal system, child-rearing, meditation, and even airport security. Why do emotions feel automatic? Does rational thought really control emotion? How does emotion affect disease? How can you make your children more emotionally intelligent? How Emotions Are Made answers these questions and many more, revealing the latest research and intriguing practical applications of the new science of emotion, mind, and brain. (shrink)
Was love invented by European poets in the middle ages, as C. S. Lewis claimed, or is it part of human nature? Will winning the lottery really make you happy? Is it possible to build robots that have feelings? These are just some of the intriguing questions explored in this new guide to the latest thinking about the emotions. Drawing on a wide range of scientific research, from anthropology and psychology to neuroscience and artificial intelligence, Emotion: The Science of (...) Sentiment takes the reader on a fascinating journey into the human heart. Illustrating his points with entertaining examples from fiction, film, and popular culture, Dylan Evans ranges from the evolution of the emotions to the nature of love and happiness to the language of feelings, offering readers the most recent thinking on real life topics that touch us all. But Emotion is also a book filled with surprises. Readers will discover, for instance, that the basic emotions are felt the world over--whether we live in the shadow of Times Square or in the depths of the rain forest, we all feel the emotions of disgust, joy, surprise, anger, fear, and distress. We find out that, according to research, winning the lottery does not cause a lasting increase in happiness--a short-lived euphoria is followed in almost every case with a return to our usual emotional state, if not worse. And we meet Kismet, an MIT robot that can express a wide range of emotions, from fear to happiness. Fun to read and based on the latest scientific thinking, here is a stimulating look at our emotions. (shrink)
Emotion processing is known to be impaired in psychopathy, but less is known about the cognitive mechanisms that drive this. Our study examined experiencing and suppression of emotion processing in psychopathy. Participants, violent offenders with varying levels of psychopathy, viewed positive and negative images under conditions of passive viewing, experiencing and suppressing. Higher scoring psychopathics were more cardiovascularly responsive when processing negative information than positive, possibly reflecting an anomalously rewarding aspect of processing normally unpleasant material. When required to (...) experience emotional response, by ‘getting into the feeling’ of the emotion conveyed by a negative image, higher factor 1 psychopathic individuals showed reduced responsiveness, suggesting that they were less able to do this. These data, together with the absence of corresponding differences in subjective self-report might be used to inform clinical strategies for normalising emotion processing in psychopathic offenders to improve treatment outcome, and reduce risk amongst this client group. (shrink)
In this chapter we argue that emotions are mediated in an incomplete way in online social media because of the heavy reliance on textual messages which fosters a rationalistic bias and an inclination towards less nuanced emotional expressions. This incompleteness can happen either by obscuring emotions, showing less than the original intensity, misinterpreting emotions, or eliciting emotions without feedback and context. Online interactions and deliberations tend to contribute rather than overcome stalemates and informational bubbles, partially due to prevalence of anti-social (...) emotions. It is tempting to see emotions as being the cause of the problem of online verbal aggression and bullying. However, we argue that social media are actually designed in a predominantly rationalistic way, because of the reliance on text-based communication, thereby filtering out social emotions and leaving space for easily expressed antisocial emotions. Based on research on emotions that sees these as key ingredients to moral interaction and deliberation, as well as on research on text-based versus non-verbal communication, we propose a richer understanding of emotions, requiring different designs of online deliberation platforms. We propose that such designs should move from text-centred designs and should find ways to incorporate the complete expression of the full range of human emotions so that these can play a constructive role in online deliberations. (shrink)
This paper explores substantive accounts of emotional phenomenology so as to see whether it sheds light on key features of emotions. To this end, we focus on four features that can be introduced by way of an example. Say Sam is angry at Maria’s nasty remark. The first feature relates to the fact that anger is a negative emotion, by contrast with positive emotions such as joy and admiration (valence). The second feature is how anger differs from other emotions (...) such as sadness, fear and joy (individuation). The third concerns the objects of anger and the sense in which anger discloses the significance of Maria’s remark to Sam (intentionality). Finally, there is anger’s relation to behaviour (motivation). Does focussing on emotional phenomenology encourage specific accounts of these features? We shall see that there are reasons to think it does. Still, are these reasons of sufficient import to dispel the scepticism of those who think that nothing of consequence plays out at the personal level of emotional experience? Given the role of emotional experience in our evaluative practices, we shall conclude that they are. Our discussion is structured as follows: section 1 focuses on feeling approaches to phenomenology, section 2 on componential approaches, section 3 on perceptual approaches and section 4 on attitudinal approaches. Section 5 concludes with some observations regarding the significance of emotional phenomenology. (shrink)
What produces emotions? Why do we have emotions? How do we have emotions? Why do emotional states feel like something? This book considers these questions, going beyond examining brain mechanisms of emotion, by proposing a theory of what emotions are, and an evolutionary, Darwinian, theory of the adaptive value of emotion.
The majority of emotion researchers reject the feeling theory of emotions; they deny that emotions are feelings. Some of these researchers admit that emotions have feelings as components, but they insist that emotions contain other components as well, such as cognitions. I argue for a qualified version of the feeling theory. I present evidence in support William James's conjecture that emotions are perceptions of patterned changes in the body. When such perceptions are conscious, they qualify as feelings. But the (...) bodily perceptions constituting emotions can occur unconsciously. When that occurs, emotions are unfelt. Thus, emotions are feelings when conscious, and they are not feelings when unconscious. In the end of the paper, I briefly sketch a theory of how emotions and other perceptual states become conscious. (shrink)
'Understanding Emotions' presents eight original essays on the emotions from leading contemporary philosophers in North America and the U.K - Simon Blackburn, Bill Brewer, Peter Goldie, Dan Hutto, Adam Morton, Michael Stocker, Barry Smith, and Finn Spicer. Goldie and Spicer's introductory chapter sets out the key themes of the ensuing chapters - surveying contemporary philosophical thinking about the emotions, and raising challenges to a number of prejudices that are sometimes brought to the topic from elsewhere in the philosophy of mind (...) and moral philosophy. Brewer, Hutto, Goldie and Smith explore the conceptual and epistemological problems of other minds that the emotions raise, and how the emotions can be a source of knowledge of the world around us. The chapters by Stocker, Blackburn and Morton are broadly concerned with issues in morality - Stocker argues for the traditional Aristotelian view that emotions reveal value and are constitutive of value; Blackburn, from a more Augustinian perspective, argues that the virtuous person, like the rest of us, will be emotional but he or she will have the right emotions towards the right objects; Morton questions the idea of emotions and narrative as sources of self-understanding. An extensive bibliography completes the book. Drawing together the arguments of leading contemporary philosophers, focusing on issues in the philosophy of mind, epistemology and moral philosophy, this book offers a wide and deep understanding of the emotions, and will be of interest across the philosophical spectrum to students and researchers of this fascinating and important topic. (shrink)
Pre-theoretically, it seems obvious that there are deep and multifarious relations between memory and emotions. On the one hand, a large chunk of our affective lives concerns the good and bad events that happened to us and that we preserve in memory. This is one amongst the many ways in which memory is relevant to the nature and causation of emotions. What does recent research teach us about these relations? § 1 surveys some key issues in this regard. On the (...) other hand, which events we happen to preserve in memory very much depends on how we affectively reacted to them when they took place. Emotions are relevant to the nature and causation of memory in this and many other ways. Key issues regarding these relations are surveyed in § 2. (shrink)
Emotion is at the centre of our personal and social lives. To love or to hate, to be frightened or grateful is not just a matter of how we feel on the inside: our emotional responses direct our thoughts and actions, unleash our imaginations, and structure our relationships with others. Yet the role of emotion in human life has long been disputed. Is emotion reason?s friend or its foe? From where do the emotions really arise? Why do (...) we need them at all? In this accessible and carefully argued introduction, Carolyn Price focuses on some central questions about the nature and function of emotion. She explores the ways in which emotion contrasts with belief and considers how our emotional responses relate to our values, our likes and our needs. And she investigates some of the different ways in which emotional responses can be judged as fitting or misplaced, rational or irrational, authentic or inauthentic, sentimental or profound. Throughout, she develops a particular view of emotion as a complex and diverse phenomenon, which reflects both our common evolutionary past and our different cultural and personal histories. Engagingly written with lots of examples to illuminate our understanding, this book provides the ideal introduction to the topic for students and scholars and anyone interested in delving further into the intricate web of human emotion. (shrink)
There are emotively powerful words that can modify our judgment, arouse our emotions, and influence our decisions. The purpose of this paper is to provide instruments for analyzing the structure of the reasoning underlying the inferences that they trigger, in order to investigate their reasonableness conditions and their persuasive effect. The analysis of the mechanism of persuasion triggered by such words involves the complex systematic relationship between values, decisions, and emotions, and the reasoning mechanisms that have been investigated under the (...) label of “heuristics.” On the one hand, arguing using ethical words is shown to sometimes involve value-based practical reasoning grounded on evaluative classifications stemming from hierarchies of values and maxims of experience. On the other hand, ethical words provide representations bound to the interlocutor’s experiences and judgments, which trigger specific emotions yielding a particular reaction. This chain of judgments and reactions and the potential fallaciousness thereof can be inquired into by examining the relationship between the heuristic processes of reasoning and the more complex argumentative structure that the use of such words involves. The analysis of the 2013 Italian political campaign and the ad hominem arguments used by the political candidates shows the different strategies and counterstrategies for the manipulation of emotions. (shrink)
Phenomenology has done more than any other school of thought for bringing emotions to the forefront of philosophical inquiry. The main reason for the interest shown by phenomenologists in the nature of emotions is perhaps not easily discernible. It might be thought that phenomenologists focus on emotions because the felt the quality of most emotional states renders them a privileged object of inquiry into the phenomenal properties of human experience. That view, in its turn, might lead one to think that (...) phenomenologists attend to emotional experience for its highly subjective character. On the contrary, it is the ability of emotions to engage with reality that makes them crucial for phenomenological analysis. Emotional experience is an opening to the salient features of a situation; undergoing an emotion is a way – and, for some phenomenologists, the principal way – in which the world manifests itself to us. The exact character of that manifestation will be the main topic of discussion in the present chapter. We look at the two major accounts of the way in which that manifestation is structured. The first account is due to Martin Heidegger, and the second is articulated in the writings of Jean-Paul Sartre. (shrink)
In this book Mark Wynn argues that the landscape of philosophical theology looks rather different from the perspective of a re-conceived theory of emotion. In matters of religion, we do not need to opt for objective content over emotional form or vice versa. On the contrary, these strategies are mistaken at root, since form and content are not properly separable here - because 'inwardness' may contribute to 'thought-content', or because emotional feelings can themselves constitute thoughts; or because, to put (...) the point a further way, in religious contexts, perception and conception are often infused by feeling. Wynn uses this perspective to forge a distinctive approach to a range of established topics in philosophy of religion, notably: religious experience; the problem of evil; the relationship of religion and ethics, and religion and art; and in general, the connection of 'feeling' to doctrine and tradition. (shrink)