Journal Article

Towards A Computational Theory of Mood

Laura Sizer

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 51, issue 4, pages 743-770
Published in print December 2000 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online December 2000 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/51.4.743
Towards A Computational Theory of Mood

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Moods have global and profound effects on our thoughts, motivations and behavior. To understand human behavior and cognition fully, we must understand moods. In this paper I critically examine and reject the methodology of conventional ‘cognitive theories’ of affect. I lay the foundations of a new theory of moods that identifies them with processes of our cognitive functional architecture. Moods differ fundamentally from some of our other affective states and hence require distinct explanatory tools. The computational theory of mood I propose places them within the context of other mental phenomena and is consistent with the empirical data on moods.

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Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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