The Emotions: A Philosophical Exploration

Front Cover
Clarendon Press, Aug 1, 2002 - Philosophy - 272 pages
2 Reviews
Peter Goldie opens the path to a deeper understanding of our emotional lives through a lucid philosophical exploration of this surprisingly neglected topic. He illuminates the phenomena of emotion by drawing not only on philosophy but also on literature and science. He 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 such related phenomena as 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. A key theme of The Emotions is the idea of a personal perspective or point of view, contrasted with the impersonal stance of the empirical sciences. Goldie argues that it is only from the personal point of view that thoughts, reasons, feelings, and actions come into view. He suggests that there is a tendency for philosophers to over-intellectualize the emotions, and investigates how far it is possible to explain emotions in terms of rationality. Over-intellectualizing can also involve neglecting the centrality of feelings, and Goldie shows how to put them where they belong, as part of the intentionality of emotional experience, directed towards the world from a point of view. Goldie argues that the various elements of emotional experience—including thought, feeling, bodily change, and expression—are tied together in a narrative structure. To make sense of one's emotional life one has to see it as part of a larger unfolding narrative. The narrative is not simply an interpretative framework of a life: it is what that life is. Goldie concludes by applying these ideas in a close study of one particular emotion: jealousy. This fascinating book gives an accessible but penetrating exploration of a subject that is important but mysterious to all of us. Any reader interested in emotion, and its role in our understanding of our lives, will find much to think about here.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

A seminal work.

Contents

Introduction
1
What emotions are and their place in psychological explanation
11
What emotions are
12
The intentionality of the emotions
16
Education of the emotions and the recognitionresponse tie
28
Explanation of an emotion and of action out of emotion
37
Conclusion
47
Emotions and feelings
50
Conclusion
139
Emotion mood and traits of character
141
Emotion and mood
143
Character traits
151
The fundamental attribution error
160
Excuses
167
Conclusion
175
How we think of others emotions
176

Bodily feeling
51
Feeling towards
58
Unreflective and reflective consciousness
62
Feeling towards believing and desiring
72
Conclusion
83
Culture evolution and the emotions
84
The evidence across different cultures
86
Evolutionary explanations and developmental openness
95
The concepts of commonsense psychology and the concepts of science
101
Education of the emotions cognitive impenetrability and weakness of the will
106
Conclusion
122
Expression of emotion
123
Expressive actions and the role of belief in explanation
125
Imagination and the wish
129
Expressions of emotion which are not actions
136
Understanding and explaining anothers emotions
181
Emotional contagion
189
Empathy inhisshoes imagining and other imaginative processes
194
Imagination prediction and the importance of character
205
Sympathy
213
Conclusion
219
Jealousy
220
envy
221
Jealousy
224
An assessment of jealousy
232
Conclusion
241
Suggested reading
243
Bibliography
251
Index
261
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2002)


Peter Goldie is Visiting Lecturer in Philosophy at King's College London.

Bibliographic information