Emotion, the bodily, and the cognitive

Philosophical Explorations 13 (1):51 – 64 (2010)
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In both psychology and philosophy, cognitive theories of emotion have met with increasing opposition in recent years. However, this apparent controversy is not so much a gridlock between antithetical stances as a critical debate in which each side is being forced to qualify its position in order to accommodate the other side of the story. Here, I attempt to sort out some of the disagreements between cognitivism and its rivals, adjudicating some disputes while showing that others are merely superficial. Looking at evidence from neuroscience and social psychology, as well as thought experiments and theoretical arguments, I conclude that it is necessary to acknowledge both that emotions have intentional content and that they involve somatic agitation. I also point out some of the more promising directions for future research in this area.
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