Emotion and emotion science
European Journal of Analytic Philosophy, 2, (1), .
For a long time most philosophers and some psychologists sought to understand emotions in terms of the thoughts they characteristically involve. Recent achievements in neuroscience and experimental psychology have encouraged radical change: it has become easier to see emotions as essentially visceral experiences that are sometimes flanked by thoughts at one remove but are sometimes quite unmediated by thought. The neophysiological understanding of emotion has started to attract philosophers, who have sharpened its theoretical claims and extended its reach. The primary reliance now in understanding emotions must be on science and therefore on its investigative format and preferred vocabulary. In this paper I will contend that this approach to emotion carries costs, that while revealing much it also, and inevitably, obscures much. Indeed, some of the aspects of the emotional life that it pushes towards oblivion are ones that we should most care about.
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