Emotions: Motivating Feelings

Jesse J. Prinz

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mind

Published in print January 2009 | ISBN: 9780199262618
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

 Emotions: Motivating Feelings

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Historically philosophers have given considerable attention to the topic of emotions. We find important theories being proposed by Aristotle, Descartes, Spinoza, and Hume, among many others. In recent years, after a long hiatus, emotions have come back into vogue. Over the last few decades numerous theories of the emotions have been proposed, and there has also been a flowering of scientific research. This article does not offer a complete review of the literature. Instead, it focuses on one central debate. Roughly, it is a debate about whether emotions are thoughts or feelings. It argues that the evidence currently supports the view that emotions are feelings, and also suggests that this sheds light on the contribution that emotions make to decision making and action.

Keywords: emotions; thoughts or feelings; theories of emotions; decision making; action; motivation

Article.  6575 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Mind

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