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Thinking about the EmotionsA Philosophical History$
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Alix Cohen and Robert Stern

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198766858

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198766858.001.0001

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In Pursuit of Emotional Modes

In Pursuit of Emotional Modes

The Philosophy of Emotion after James

(p.291) 14 In Pursuit of Emotional Modes
Thinking about the Emotions

Fabrice Teroni

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on fundamental trends in the philosophy of emotion since the publication of William James’ seminal and contentious view. James is famous for his claim that undergoing an emotion comes down to feeling (psychological mode) specific changes within the body (content). Philosophers writing after him have also attempted to analyse emotional modes in terms of other psychological modes (believing, desiring, and perceiving) and to adjust their contents accordingly. The discussion is organized around a series of contrasts that have played fundamental roles in shaping these approaches to the emotions. These contrasts are those between emotions and feelings, between specific and unspecific phenomenology, and between dependent and independent modes. Focus on these contrasts enables a review of some dramatic turning points in the recent history of theorizing about the emotions; it also serves to bring to light fundamental constraints bearing on emotion theory.

Keywords:   mode, content, feeling, William James, emotion phenomenology, perceptual theory, evaluative judgement theory

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