Boiling of the Blood

Jenefer Robinson

in Deeper than Reason

Published in print April 2005 | ISBN: 9780199263653
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603211 | DOI:
Boiling of the Blood

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William James argued that bodily changes are essential to an emotion; they are what put the ‘emotionality’ into emotion. There is good empirical evidence that some bodily responses are universal for particular emotions. Paul Ekman has demonstrated that there are universal spontaneous facial expressions for the ‘basic’ emotions of fear, anger, surprise, disgust, sadness, happiness, and contempt. There is also evidence that many emotional responses are inbuilt or very easily acquired, such as the human fear of snakes. Robert Zajonc's research shows that some emotional responses happen too fast for ‘higher’ cognitive processes to be involved.

Keywords: William James; bodily responses; emotional responses; Paul Ekman; fear; anger; surprise; Robert Zajonc; cognitive processes

Chapter.  10669 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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