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What Emotions Really Are

The Problem of Psychological Categories

In this provocative contribution to the philosophy of science and mind, Paul E. Griffiths criticizes contemporary philosophy and psychology of emotion for failing to take in an evolutionary perspective and address current work in neurobiology and cognitive science. Reviewing the three current models of emotion, Griffiths points out their deficiencies and constructs a basis for future models that pay equal attention to biological fact and conceptual rigor.

"Griffiths has written a work of depth and clarity in an area of murky ambiguity, producing a much-needed standard at the border of science, philosophy, and psychology. . . . As he presents his case, offering a forthright critique of past and present theories, Griffiths touches on such issues as evolution, social construction, natural kinds (categories corresponding with real distinctions in nature), cognition, and moods. While addressing specialists, the book will reward general readers who apply themselves to its remarkably accessible style."—Library Journal

"What Emotions Really Are makes a strong claim to be one of the best books to have emerged on the subject of human emotion."—Ray Dolan, Nature

293 pages | 2 halftones, 7 line drawings, 3 tables | 6 x 9 | © 1997

Science and Its Conceptual Foundations series

Philosophy: General Philosophy

Psychology: General Psychology

Table of Contents

1: Introduction
2: Philosophy and Emotion—The Poverty of Conceptual Analysis
3: The Psychoevolutionary Approach to Emotion
4: Affect Programs and Emotion Modules
5: The Higher Cognitive Emotions: Some Research Programs
6: The Social Construction of Emotion
7: Natural Kinds and Theoretical Concepts
8: Natural Kinds in Biology and Psychology
9: What Emotions Really Are
10: Coda - Mood and Emotion

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