Article

Emotional Responses to Music: What Are They? How Do They Work? And Are They Relevant to Aesthetic Appreciation?

Jenefer Robinson

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Emotion

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780199235018
Published online January 2010 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199235018.003.0030

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

 Emotional Responses to Music: What Are They? How Do They Work? And Are They Relevant to Aesthetic Appreciation?

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It is widely agreed nowadays that emotions are set off by an appraisal of a situation. Many theorists think that each so-called basic emotion has its own type of appraisal corresponding to a particular “adaptational encounter” or “core relational theme”, losses, offences, threats, and so on. A cognitive appraisal that a “demeaning offence” has been committed against me or one of “my own” is what sets off an angry emotional response. Sadness is initiated by the apprehension of some kind of loss, fear by an appraisal that one is under threat, and so on. Alternatively, the appraisals that trigger emotions may be less specific to particular emotions and better analysed in terms of their various dimensions such as pleasantness or familiarity. Whatever the details of their proposals, however, almost everyone agrees that these appraisals are, broadly speaking, cognitive, requiring some sort of interpretation of a situation in terms of its significance to the survival and/or well-being of me or mine.

Keywords: cognitive appraisal; basic emotions; emotional response; pleasantness; well-being; cognition

Article.  14531 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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