Culture, Evolution, and the Emotions

Peter Goldie

in The Emotions

Published in print August 2002 | ISBN: 9780199253043
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597510 | DOI:
Culture, Evolution, and the Emotions

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The notion of paradigmatic narrative structures can help explain cross‐cultural similarities and differences in emotional experience, expression, and conception. Our capabilities for emotional experience are developmentally open or plastic. This is contrasted with the avocado‐pear conception, that basic emotions are hard‐wired, and that it is only the soft outer element that is culturally influenced. There is a defence of commonsense psychology, showing how it can learn from evolutionary psychology, rather than being threatened by it. In particular, the idea is discussed that weakness of the will or akrasia can be explained by reference to the cognitive impenetrability of some of our emotional responses, and our primitively intelligible emotional desires.

Keywords: akrasia; basic emotions; commonsense psychology; culture; emotion; evolutionary psychology; narrative structure; weakness of will

Chapter.  16487 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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