Are emotions feelings?: A further look at hedonic theories of emotions

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Abstract:

Many philosophers sharply distinguish emotions from feelings. Emotions are not feelings, and having an emotion does not necessitate having some feeling, they think. In this paper I reply to a set of arguments people use sharply to distinguish emotions from feelings. In response to some arguments these “anti-feeling theorists” use I examine and entertain a hedonic theory of emotion that avoids various anti-feeling objections. Proponents of this hedonic theory analyze an emotion by reference to forms of cognition (e.g., thought, belief, judgment) and a pleasant or an unpleasant feeling. Given this theory, emotions are feelings in some important sense of “feelings”, and these feelings are identified as particular emotions by reference to their hedonic character and the cognitive state that causes the hedonic feelings.

Keywords: Wittgenstein; emotion; fear; feeling; joy; pleasure; sensation

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/ce.3.1.04gol

Affiliations: Davidson College

Publication date: August 1, 2002

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