Third, it fails to account for the emotions of animals and infants, who arguably lack the capacity of assenting to propositions Deigh Judgmentalists have tried to address these critiques by clarifying what sorts of judgments emotions are and some, like Nussbaum and Neu, have explicitly rejected the label of judgmentalism. Several objections have been launched against this strategy. The trouble with this elastic strategy is not only that it is ad hoc, but also that it creates cross-purpose talk and ultimately amounts to a pyrrhic victory for the evaluative theory, because, on a sufficiently expanded notion of judgment, the identification of emotions with judgments becomes at best trivially true and fails to shed light on what emotions are Scarantino Two more promising strategies have been put in place to defend cognitivism from counterexamples.
The first, which we call the judgmentalist add-on strategy Goldie , consists of explicitly adding on to judgments other components of emotions, rather than embedding them into judgments through the elastic strategy.
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For instance, the motivational dimension of emotions has been accounted for by suggesting that emotions are not just judgments, but rather combinations of judgments or beliefs and desires Marks ; Green ; Gordon Other authors have added further elements, proposing that emotions are combinations of judgments, desires and feelings, a move intended to account for both motivational and phenomenological dimensions of emotions Lyons Another strategy, which may be called the alternate cognitions strategy , consists of replacing the broad notion of judgment with a variety of other types of cognitive evaluations that can account for the intentionality of emotions while avoiding some of the critiques that have been raised against judgmentalism.
Since most of the action in contemporary philosophy of emotions focuses on which alternate cognitions are to be preferred, we will devote a whole section to the topic. First, we discuss how the Evaluative Tradition has been developed in affective science. Roughly around the time when the Evaluative Tradition became popular in philosophy, a parallel tradition emerged in affective science through the pioneering work of Magda Arnold and Richard Lazarus.
What powered this development was in part the cognitivist revolution, the intellectual movement that replaced behaviorism in the s and put the cognitive processing of mental representations at the heart of the science of psychology. Arnold argued that emotion research had neglected to explain how emotions are elicited. To shed light on the matter, she introduced the notion of appraisal , the process through which the significance of a situation for an individual is determined.
Appraisal gives rise to attraction or aversion, and emotion is equated for Arnold with this. Several authors prior to Arnold had acknowledged that emotions must be produced by some sort of cognitive evaluation of the eliciting circumstances, either in the form of a judgment, a thought, a perception, or an act of imagination. After all, it is quite clear that the same stimulus can generate different emotions in different people, or in the same person at different times, which suggests that it is not stimuli as such that elicit emotions, but stimuli as appraised. Arnold was the first to subject the internal structure of the appraisal process to scientific investigation.
Appraisals, she suggested, are made along three primary dimensions: eliciting circumstances can be evaluated as good or bad, present or absent, and easy to attain or avoid.
For example, the cognitive evaluation that causes fear can be described as the appraisal of an event as bad, absent but possible in the future, and hard to avoid; whereas the cause of joy can be described as the appraisal of an event as good, present and easy to maintain. Broadly speaking, appraisal theories of emotions are accounts of the structure of the processes that extract significance from stimuli and differentiate emotions from one another. It is also frequently assumed that appraisal is a dynamic process: appraisals are followed by re-appraisals, which follow changes in the environment and in internal variables, and incrementally shape emotions over time.
It should be noted that appraisal theories do not properly qualify as theories of what emotions are, even though individual appraisal theorists often articulate such theories as a complement to their theories of the structure of appraisal. More specifically, appraisal theories are in principle compatible with theories of emotions that identify them as evaluations, feelings, or motivations, as long as such theories acknowledge that appraisals play an essential role in differentiating emotions from one another. This being said, a great many influential appraisal theorists—including Arnold, Lazarus and Scherer—offer theories of emotions that would best fit into the Motivational Tradition.
Scientific theories have significantly developed our understanding of the nature of appraisal, endowing it with even more structure than Arnold originally envisioned e. Lazarus b , for instance, introduced six structural dimensions of assessment, including 1 goal-relevance, 2 goal-congruence or incongruence, 3 type of ego-involvement, 4 blame or credit, 5 coping potential, and 6 future expectancy.
For example, guilt is assumed to be caused by the appraisal of an event as goal relevant, goal-incongruent, involving a moral transgression, and one for which the self is to blame coping potential and future expectancy appraisals are left open. Scherer et al.
Scherer The five organismic subsystems underlie five emotion components which, when engaged in coordinated changes, instantiate emotions: an appraisal, autonomic physiological changes, an action tendency, a motor expression, and a subjective feeling. A variant of appraisal theories has recently attracted some interest in affective computing, an interdisciplinary approach that combines insights from affective science and computer science see Picard For example, suppose you have a belief that your favorite candidate will lose the election and a desire that she win the election Reisenzein a.
Once new information that she has in fact won the election is acquired, a belief-belief-comparator system produces a belief disconfirmation signal subjectively experienced as surprise, and a belief-desire-comparator system produces a desire fulfillment signal subjectively experienced as pleasure. These signals are non-conceptual, in the sense that they do not presuppose concept use, and they bring about redirection of attention, updates of the belief and desire store, and, when above threshold, distinctive subjective experiences. A challenge faced by appraisal theories concerns whether appraisals are causes of emotions, entailments of emotions, parts of emotions, or some combination of the above.
These questions raise complex conceptual issues we cannot address here see Moors , but they are essential for assessing the evidentiary support for appraisal theory. We mentioned earlier that a popular response to the critiques received by philosophical judgmentalism has been the alternate cognitions strategy , intended to better account for their intentionality, differentiation, motivational power, and phenomenology, as well as their potential recalcitrance.
This has led to a gradual convergence of the Evaluative and Feeling Traditions, with the former now identifying emotions as evaluative perceptions with a distinctive phenomenology and the latter identifying emotions as evaluative feelings with a distinctive intentionality. As a result, the distinction between evaluative or cognitivist theories and feeling theories is increasingly blurred, with most of the dominant accounts in the philosophy of emotions now qualifying as hybrids.
Strong versions generally assume that emotions are genuine forms of perception along the lines of sensory perception; weak versions stress key properties emotions share with sensory perception, while also acknowledging important differences. For Prinz , we can speak of a bona fide perceptual system when we are in the presence of a dedicated input system with specialized transducers and mental representations. Sensory perception clearly has input systems dedicated to vision, olfaction, touch, hearing, and taste. Thus, emotions literally are perceptions of bodily changes, either at the visceral, hormonal, or musculoskeletal levels, or in the form of changes in the somatosensory brain areas.
Prinz adds that emotions are not just perceptions of bodily changes, from which it follows that two emotions can differ from one another despite involving indistinguishable perceptions of bodily changes. To sum up, subjects literally perceive bodily changes the nominal content and indirectly perceive the formal object the real content by virtue of the fact that bodily changes represent formal objects.
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Weak perceptual theories take emotions to be relevantly analogous to sensory perception or proprioception. In addition, most take emotions to be direct perceptions of formal objects rather than perceptions of bodily changes with the function of tracking formal objects. Along similar lines, Tappolet suggests that emotions are perceptual experiences of evaluative properties a. Some authors add that such evaluative properties are not available through any others means, just like color properties are not available except by courtesy of visual perception see, e.
This would explain why creatures who do not possess concepts, like animals and pre-linguistic infants, can have emotions, and it would account for emotional recalcitrance, which can be understood along the lines of a visual illusion. As we visually perceive a pencil as bent while judging it to be straight, so we emotionally perceive a transparent platform over the Grand Canyon as dangerous while judging it to be non-dangerous.
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Tappolet lists additional features that help explain why so many authors have come to think of emotions as perceptions: a both emotions and perceptions have salient phenomenal properties, b both are elicited automatically by real or imagined objects, c both have correctness conditions because they represent the world as being a certain way, and d both play the epistemic role of providing defeasible reasons for belief e. These analogies notwithstanding, several critics have rejected perceptual theories of emotions e.
A prominent critique concerns their inability to account for emotional recalcitrance. For example, Helm has argued that perceptualists have ended up removing the irrationality that is distinctive of recalcitrance.
If perceiving a transparent platform over the Grand Canyon as dangerous while judging it to be non-dangerous were just like a visual illusion, then there would be nothing irrational about it, as there is nothing irrational in seeing a pencil as bent while judging it to be straight. But there clearly is some measure of irrationality involved in recalcitrant emotions: unlike perceptual illusions, they motivate us to act.
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In other words, they involve a passive assent which contradicts the active assent captured by the contradicting judgment. Several authors have proposed theories that endow feelings with intentionality. For example, when I feel fear about slipping on ice, my feeling is towards the ice as being dangerous. This sort of feeling is a matter of thinking of the ice with feeling, and cannot be reduced to a combination of a non-intentional bodily feeling and a non-emotional evaluative thought.
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As Goldie puts it,. Goldie ; see also Ratcliffe , Helm This explains why emotions motivate action: feeling that something is worthy of attention and action is being motivated. It also explains what makes a recalcitrant emotion irrational. In some variants of representationalism, the emotional phenomenology that gets to be reduced is merely somatic, in the sense that the feeling is directed at bodily events e.
In other variants, the phenomenology is much richer, as it comprises somatic, cognitive, conative and irreducibly affective components directed at particular and formal objects in the world e. An alternative embraced by some contemporary feeling theorists is to argue that emotions are feelings devoid of any intentional objects. On this view, fear of the ice is a composite mental state consisting of an emotion—the objectless feeling of fear—plus a thought with the ice as its intentional object.
In themselves, emotions are merely hedonic feelings without intentionality. For example, there are innumerable things I could in principle be focusing on as I find myself face to face with a grizzly bear on a hike, but my fear focuses my attention squarely on the bear, on how to interpret its movements, and on how to infer and execute an escape strategy. But de Sousa aims to draw attention to the broader role emotions play in providing the framework for cognitions of both perceptual varieties e. Some philosophers suggest that the directive power that emotions exert over cognitions is partly a function of their essentially dramatic or narrative structure Rorty .
Goldie offers a particularly subtle examination of the role of narrative in constituting our emotions over the long term. It seems conceptually incoherent to suppose that one could have an emotion—say, an intense jealousy or a consuming rage—for only a fraction of a second Wollheim One explanation of this feature of emotions is that a story plays itself out during the course of each emotional episode, and stories take place over stretches of time.
These scenarios are drawn first from our daily life as small children and later reinforced by the stories, art, and culture to which we are exposed. Once our emotional repertoire is established, we interpret new situations through the lens of different paradigm scenarios. When a particular scenario suggests itself as an interpretation, it arranges or rearranges our perceptual, cognitive, and inferential dispositions.