Gut Reactions : A Perceptual Theory of Emotion: A Perceptual Theory of Emotion (Google eBook)

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Oxford University Press, Aug 12, 2004 - Psychology - 288 pages
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Gut Reactions is an interdisciplinary defense of the claim that emotions are perceptions of changes in the body. This thesis, pioneered by William James and resuscitated by Antonio Damasio, has been widely criticized for failing to acknowledge that emotions are meaningful insofar as they represent concerns, not respiratory function and blood pressure. Fear represents danger, sadness represents loss. To explain this fact, many researchers conclude that emotions must involve judgments regarding one's relationship to the environment. Prinz offers a new unified account of the emotions that reconciles these two theories. He argues that emotions are embodied appraisals--they are perceptions of the body, but, through the body, they also allow us to literally perceive danger, loss, and other matters of concern. The basic idea behind embodied appraisal theory is captured in the familiar notion of a "gut reaction," which has been overlooked by much emotion research. Using recent work in semantics, Prinz show how emotions can be meaningful without incorporating judgments or other cognitive states. Criticizing those who think that some emotions are social constructions, while others can be explained by evolutionary psychology, Prinz argues that all emotions are the same kind of phenomena, involving both nature and nurture. Prinz also distinguishes emotions from other affective states, such as motivations and moods, and offers a theory of emotional valence (what makes some emotions good and others bad). Ultimately, his theory of emotion consciousness is inspired by recent research on the neural correlates of conscious vision. Drawing a parallel between emotion consciousness and visual consciousness, Prinz shows that emotion is a form of perception in the fullest sense. Where vision reveals the identity of objects in a given situation, emotion reveals how that situation bears on our well-being.
  

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Review: Gut Reactions: A Perceptual Theory of Emotion (Philosophy of Mind)

User Review  - Gloriavirtutisumbra - Goodreads

Read part of this for a paper I had to write, and really interested in reading the rest of it eventually! Read full review

Contents

Piecing Passions Apart
3
2 Feeling Without Thinking
21
3 Embodied Appraisals
52
4 Basic Emotions and Natural Kinds
79
5 Emotions and Nature
103
6 Emotions and Nurture
131
7 Valence
160
8 A Typology of Affective States
179
9 Emotional Consciousness
198
10 Is Getting Mad Like Seeing Red?
221
Parting Ways
241
References
247
Index
265
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