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300 words reflection – Today after 5 hours !

“What is an emotion?” That question was asked in precisely that form by William James, as the title of an essay he wrote for Mind over 100 years ago (James, 1884). But philosophers have been concerned and often worried about the nature of emotion since Socrates and the “pre-Socratics” who preceded him, and although the discipline has grown up (largely because of Socrates and his student Plato) as the pursuit of reason, the emotions have always lurked in the background–as a threat to reason, as a danger to philosophy and philosophers, as just plain unreasonable. Perhaps that is why one of the most enduring metaphors of reason and emotion has been the metaphor of master and slave, with the wisdom of reason firmly in control and the dangerous impulses of emotion safely suppressed, channeled, or (ideally) in harmony with reason. But the question “What is an emotion? has proved to be as difficult to resolve as the emotions have been to master. Just when it seems an adequate definition is in place, some new theory rears its unwelcome head and challenges our understanding.

The master-slave metaphor displays two features that still determine much of the philosophical view of emotion today. First and foremost, there is the inferior role of emotion–the idea that emotion is as such more primitive, less intelligent, more bestial, less dependable, and more dangerous than reason, and thus needs to be controlled by reason (all argument that Aristotle and other enlightened Athenians used to justify the political institution of slavery as well). Second, and more profoundly, there is the reason-emotion distinction itself–as if we were dealing with two different natural kinds, two conflicting and antagonistic aspects of the soul. Even those philosophers who sought to integrate them and reduce one to the other (typically reducing emotion to an inferior genus of reason, a “confused perception” or “distorted judgment”) maintained the distinction and continued to insist on the superiority of reason. It was thus a mark of his considerable iconoclasm that the Scottish skeptic David Hume (1739/1888), in the 18th century, famously declared that “reason is, and ought to be, the slave of the passions.” But even Hume, despite an ingenious analysis of the structure of emotions, ultimately fell back on the old models and metaphors.

Whatever else it may be, philosophy is a historical discipline, and the theories and debates of today cannot be understood or appreciated without some understanding of philosophy’s rich and convoluted past. Even when a philosopher pretends to understand the phenomenon of emotion “in itself ” or analyze the language of emotion without reference to history or to any earlier attempts to do so, both the wisdom and the folly of generations of accumulated reflection and argument are already embedded in the subject matter. And although one might impatiently demand from the outset that one “define the terms” before the current discussion commences, the truth is that a definition will emerge only at the end of a long discussion, and even then it will be merely tentative and appropriate only within a limited context and a certain model of culture and personal character.

In what follows, I have tried to sketch a somewhat selective history of philosophical attempts to understand emotion, followed by a brief summary of questions still central to philosophical debate. Given the nature of philosophy and its emphasis on reason, however, we would expect that the focus of most philosophical analysis has been and remains the more cognitive aspects of emotion, with the physiological and to a certain extent the social and behavioral dimensions of emotion diminished or in many cases even denied. That will be, I should admit from the outset, the bias of this account as well. But the dialectic of philosophy tends to go back and forth in its emphasis and rediscovery of these often neglected dimensions. Sometimes emotions are dismissed as mere feelings and physiology, utterly unintelligent, even inhuman. In reaction, emotions are ascribed the virtues of true wisdom; they are seen as the proper masters of reason and the very foundation of our being-in-the-world. Most philosophers, however, try to find some more moderate, multidimensional position.

One might object that philosophical theories of emotion tend to be “armchair” speculation, devoid of the empirical support supplied by social scientists. However, this objection ignores the fact that philosophers, contrary to their own self-styled reputations as men and women of pure reason, have emotions themselves, and in most (but not all) cases a sufficiently rich repertoire of emotions to fund and support a dozen theories of emotion. As Descartes (1649/1989) said, in his introduction to the subject, “everyone has experience of the passions within himself, and there is no necessity to borrow one’s observations from elsewhere in order to discover their nature.” Ultimately, there is no need for the perennial (in fact century-old) feud between philosophy and psychology, and the phenomenon of emotion lies equally open to both of them.

THE HISTORY OF THE PHILOSOPHY OF EMOTION

Although the history of philosophy has often been described as the history of the development of reason-for example, by the great 19th-century German philosopher G. W. F. Hegel-philosophers have never entirely neglected emotion, even if they have almost always denied it center stage. It would be a mistake, however, to put too much emphasis on the term “emotion,” for its range and meaning have altered significantly over the years, in part because of changes in theories about emotion. So, too, the word “passion” has a long and varied history, and we should beware of the misleading assumption that there is a single, orderly, natural class of phenomena that is simply designated by different labels in different languages at different times. The language of “passion” and “emotion” has a history into which various feelings, desires, sentiments, moods, attitudes, and more explosive responses enter and from which they exit, depending not on arbitrary philosophical stipulation but on an extensive network of social, moral, cultural, and psychological factors. Thus we will often find that the focus is not emotion as such, but rather some particular class of emotions or particular emotion and its role in the manners or morals of the time.

The emotions as such, accordingly, do not form one of the three aspects of Plato’s (c. 428-347 B.C.) tripartite soul as defined in The Republic (1974). These aspects are reason, spirit, and appetite; not only does what we call “emotion” seem divided between spirit and appetite, but, considering Plato’s discussion of eros as the love of the Good in his dialogue The Symposium (1989), there are emotions involved in reason as well. Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), by contrast, did seem to have a view of emotion as such; but although he had a mania for taxonomies, he spent relatively little time listing or analyzing the emotions, as he did, for example, the virtues and the various kinds of birds. In his Rhetoric (1941), however, he defined emotion “as that which leads one’s condition to become so transformed that his judgment is affected, and which is accompanied by pleasure and pain. Examples of emotion include anger, fear, pity, and the like, as well as the opposites of these.”‘ (He did not specify what these “opposites” might be.)

Aristotle discussed certain emotions at length, notably anger, which he described in remarkably modern terms. In the Rhetoric he defined anger as “a distressed desire for conspicuous vengeance in return for a conspicuous and unjustifiable contempt of one’s person or friends.” He added that “anger is always directed towards someone in particular, e.g. Cleon, and not towards all of humanity,” and mentioned (if only in passing) the physical distress that virtually always accompanies such emotion. The key to his analysis, however, is the notion of a “slight” as the cause of anger, and may be an instance of “scorn, spite, or insolence.” Aristotle made allowances for only imagined slights (in other words, unwarranted anger is nevertheless anger), and he gave a central place to the desire for revenge, thus introducing a behavioral component at the heart of the emotion.

We might note that Aristotle, who was so precocious in so many disciplines, seems to have anticipated most of the main contemporary theories. His analysis of anger includes a distinctive cognitive component, a specified social context, a behavioral tendency, and a recognition of physical arousal. He even noted that physical or psychological discomfort-sickness, poverty, love, war, breached expectations, or ingratitude yields a predisposition for anger. It is worth noting that Aristotle had little to say of “feeling,” presumably not because the Greeks were anesthetic, but rather because what we (inconsistently) call “affect” and inner sensation generally held little interest for them and played no significant role in their language or their psychology.

Perhaps the most important single point to make about Aristotle’s view of emotion is the fact that his analyses make sense only in the context of a broader ethical concern. Anger was of interest to him because it is a natural reaction to offense and a moral force, which can be cultivated and provoked by reason and rhetoric. (Thus its inclusion in a book on that topic.)

Anger (and several other emotions, notably pride) are also prominent in Aristotle’s classical list of virtues in his Nicomachean Ethics (1941), where he discussed in some detail those circumstances in which it is appropriate to get angry, those in which it is not, and what amount or intensity of anger is justified. He suggested that forgiveness may be a virtue, but only sometimes. He also insisted that only fools don’t get angry, and that although overly angry people may be “unbearable,” the absence of anger (aimed at the right offenses) is a vice rather than a virtue. In this, as in all else, Aristotle defended moderation, the “mean between the extremes.” So too, he discussed fear at length in the Ethics with regard to courage, which is not fearlessness or “overcoming” fear so much as it is having just the right amount of fear-not to be foolhardy or a coward either. The emotions, in other words, are central and essential to the good life, and the analysis of their nature is part and parcel of an ethical analysis.

So, too, in Roman times, we find the conjunction of ethics and emotion in the philosophy of the Stoics (see Rist, 1969). But whereas Aristotle took emotion to be essential to the good life, the Stoics analyzed emotions as conceptual errors, conducive to misery. In modem terms, the Stoics Seneca and Chryssipus developed a full-blooded cognitive theory of the emotions, two millenia ago. Emotions, in a word, are judgments-judgments about the world and one’s place in it. But the world of Roman society was not a happy or a particularly rational place. (Seneca served under the Emperor Nero, and ultimately committed suicide at his behest.) And as the Stoics saw the world they lived in as out of control and beyond any reasonable expectations, they saw the emotions, which impose such expectations on the world, as misguided judgments about life and our place in the world.

The emotions, consequently, make us miserable and frustrated. Accordingly, the Stoics made a careful study of the component judgments that compose the emotions-the presumptuousness of moral judgment in anger, the vulnerability of love, the self-absorption of security in fear. The alternative was seen as “psychic indifference,” or apatheia (apathy). The Stoics did believe, we might add, in a “higher” reason, one transcending the vanities of the social world. But they felt that the best life in that world could be achieved only by getting straight about the pointlessness of emotional attachments and involvement.

Throughout the Middle Ages, the study of emotion was again typically attached to ethics, and it was central to Christian psychology and the theories of human nature in terms of which the medievals understood themselves (see Hyman & Walsh, 1973). There were elaborate, quasi-medical studies of the effects of the various “humours” (gall, spleen, choler, and blood itself) on emotional temperament, but there were (as there were among the Stoics) especially rich studies of the cognitive and “conative” aspects of the emotions. Emotions were essentially linked with desires, particularly self-interested, self-absorbed desires. And so the Christian preoccupation with sin led to elaborate analyses of those emotions, passions, and desires designated as sins (notably greed, lust, anger, envy, and pride).

The tight linkage between the study of emotion and ethics is particularly evident in the curious fact that the highest virtues, such as love, hope, and faith, were not classified as emotions as such, but were rather elevated to a higher status and often (e.g., by Thomas Aquinas) equated with reason. The old master-slave metaphor remained alive and well, and as some emotions were seen as sins, the highest virtues could hardly be counted among the mere emotions.

Reviewing the ancient and medieval literature on emotion, RenĂ© Descartes (1596-1650) was provoked to write that what they taught was “so slight, and for the most part so far from credible, that I am unable to entertain any hope of approximating the truth excepting by shunning the paths they followed” (1649/1989). Descartes is typically recognized as the “father” of modern philosophy, and, in a more scholarly vein, as the bridge between the scholastic world of the Middle Ages and our own. But Descartes was fundamentally a scientist and a mathematician, awed by “the natural light of reason”; accordingly, he disdained the bodily and the bestial, insisting that the mind is a separate “substance” from the body (and that beasts do not have minds).

The separation of mind and body proved to be a famously difficult problem for Descartes and his successors, however, and nowhere was that problem more evident than in his attempt to deal with the emotions. Thoughts about mathematics may be clearly “in” the mind, as stomach contractions are in the body, but an emotion seems to require the interaction of mind and body in an undeniable way. Accordingly, Descartes defended a theory in his treatise On the Passions of the Soul (1649/1989), in which the mind and body “meet” in a small gland at the base of the brain (now known as the pineal gland), and the latter effects the former by means of the agitation of “anirnal spirits (minute particles of blood), which bring about the emotions and their physical effects in various parts of the body.

But the emotions involve not only sensations caused by this physical agitation, but perceptions, desires, and beliefs as well. Thus over and above the physical agitation and familiar sensations, the emotion hatred, Descartes declared, ultimately arises from the perception of an object’s potential harmfulness and involves a desire to avoid it. Accordingly, it is not as if an emotion is merely a perception of the body; it is rather, as Descartes put it, a perception of the soul, and some perceptions (as in dreams) may in fact be of things that do not exist at all.

An emotion is one type of -passion,” and Descartes defined the passions in general as “the perceptions, feelings or emotions of the soul which we relate specifically to it, and which are caused, maintained, and fortified by some movement of the [animal] spirits.” The passions in general are distinguished from “clear cognition,” and render judgment “confused and obscure.” Emotions are particularly disturbing passions. And yet emotions can be influenced by reason. For example, writing of courage, Descartes stated: To excite courage in oneself and remove fear, it is not sufficient to have the will to do so, but we must also apply ourselves to consider the reasons, the objects or examples which persuade us that the peril is not great; that there is always more security in defense than in flight, that we should have the glory and joy of having vanquished, while we should expect nothing but regret and shame for having fled, and so on.

And so the physiological account gives way to a cognitive account, and the emotions move from the merely bodily to an essential ingredient in wisdom: “The utility of the passions consist alone in their fortifying and perpetuating in the soul thoughts which it is good that it should preserve, and which without that might easily be effaced from it.” How then can there be “bad” emotions? “The harm is that they fortify these thoughts more than necessary, or they conserve others on which it is not good to dwell.” So, bewildered by the physiology (though he was at the head of his class in the latest scientific knowledge), Descartes too tended to a value-oriented, wisdom-minded analysis of emotion. His six “primitive passions-wonder, love, hatred, desire, joy, and sadness-are not meaningless agitations of the animal spirits, but ingredients in the good life.

Baruch (Benedict) Spinoza (1632-1677) might well be considered to be a latter-day Stoic, like Chrysippus and Seneca in ancient Rome. Just as the Stoics saw the emotions as misguided judgments about life and our place in the world, Spinoza too saw the emotions as a form of “thought” that, for the most part, misunderstand the world, and consequently make us miserable and frustrated. But unlike the Stoics, Spinoza did not aspire to that “psychic indifference” known as apatheia (apathy); rather, in his Ethics (1677/1982), he urged the attainment of a certain sort of “bliss,” which can be achieved only once we get straight our thinking about the world. In particular, we have to give up the idea that we are or can be in control of our own lives, and adopt instead the all-embracing idea of ourselves and our minds as part of God. Most of the emotions, which are passive reactions to our unwarranted expectations of the world, will leave us hurt, frustrated, and enervated.

The active emotions, by contrast, emanate from our own true natures and heighten our sense of activity and awareness. Spinoza, like the Stoics, developed an early version of the cognitive theory of emotion. But Spinoza also defended a grand and complex metaphysics, in which all substance is one and mind and body are but dual “aspects” of one and the same being. Accordingly, he did not face Descartes’s formidable “mind-body’ problem”; although he himself could not have attempted to work this out, he anticipated the subtle emotion-brain research that is being carried out today by some philosophers as well as by neuropsychologists.

David Hume (1711-1776) was one of the most outspoken defenders of the Enlightenment, that very vocal and often rebellious intellectual movement that challenged old orthodoxies, elevated science and put religion on the defensive, attacked superstition and irrationality in all quarters, practiced and encouraged vigorous debate and discussion, and put a premium on the virtues of reason. But Hume, in carrying out the directives of reason to challenge, debate, and question, came to question the role and capacities of reason itself, and in particular the power of reason to motivate even the most basic minimum of moral behavior. “It is not against reason,” he declared in one of his most outrageous proclamations, “to prefer the destruction of half the world to the scratching of my finger” (1739/1888).

What motivates us to right (and wrong) behavior, Hume insisted, are our passions, and rather than being relegated to the margins of ethics and philosophy, the passions deserve central respect and consideration. Accordingly, he gave the passions large middle portion of his great first book, A Treatise of Human Nature (1739/ 1888). Not surprisingly, however, most philosophers then and since have preferred to read the first and third parts, on knowledge and ethics, and to ignore the central position of the passions.

Hume’s theory is especially important not only because he challenged the inferior place of passion in philosophy and questioned the role of reason. He also advanced a theory of the passions that, although limited and encumbered by his general theory of mind, displayed dazzling insight and a precocious attempt to grapple with problems that would only be formulated generations later. Hume, like many of his contemporaries and predecessors, defined an emotion as a certain kind of sensation, or what he called an “impression,” which (as in Descartes) is physically stimulated by the movement of the “animal spirits” in the blood. Such impressions are either pleasant or unpleasant, but the differentiation of the many emotions is not to be found in the nature of these impressions as such. Rather, the impressions that constitute our emotions are always to be located within a causal network of other impressions and, importantly, ideas.

Ideas cause our emotional impressions, and ideas are caused in turn by them. The pleasant impression of pride, for example, is caused by the idea that one has achieved or accomplished something significant, and the impression in turn causes another idea, which Hume described as an idea of the self, simpliciter. The emotion, in other words, cannot he identified with the impression or sensation alone, but can only be identified by the whole complex of impressions and ideas. What Hume again acknowledged with his emphasis on the essential place of ideas in emotion is what we now call the cognitive dimension of emotion, in addition to the physiological (“animal spirits”) and merely sensational (“impression”) aspects of emotion. Moreover, his inclusion of the second idea of the self in this example indicates his grappling with the notion of intentionality (the “aboutness” of emotions)-an effort that is further reinforced by his somewhat obscure insistence that the connection between an emotion (the impression) and this consequent idea is “original” or “natural,” or something more than the merely causal associations that form the usual bonds between ideas and impressions.

The emotions, for Hume, form an essential part of ethics. There are good emotions and bad emotions. Pride, he declared, is a good emotion; humility, its opposite (an unpleasant feeling brought about by the idea that we have accomplished something), is a bad emotion, a “monkish” emotion. Here we can see again the extent to which, as so often, a theory of emotion serves to grind some larger philosophical ax-in this case, Hume’s Enlightenment attack on religion. In this regard too, we might mention another aspect of Hume’s moral philosophy, followed in kind by his illustrious Edinburgh friend and colleague Adam Smith (1723-1790, also the author of The Wealth of Nations [1776/1976], the bible of modem capitalism).

Hume and Smith both defended the importance of what they called “the moral sentiments” (see Smith, 1759/1976), the foremost of which is sympathy, our ability to “feel with other people and appreciate (if not suffer with) their misfortunes. Sympathy, they argued, is a universal feature of human nature (countering and mitigating the self-interest that Smith in particular famously championed in The Wealth of Nations), and it is the bedrock foundation of society and morality. Emotion, in other words, is not an embarrassment or part of the refuse of the human psyche, but rather the very essence of human social existence and morality. It is not to be unfavorably contrasted and opposed to reason, but, on the contrary, is to be celebrated and defended along with it.

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) was also a champion of the Enlightenment, but he too questioned the capacities and limits of reason. He was uncompromising in its defense, however, against Hume’s skepticism, against any attempt to replace reason by irrational faith, and against any attempt to ground ethics on fleeting human feeling instead of the universal and necessary dictates of reason. Thus Kant reinforced the crucial distinction between reason and what he called “the inclinations” (emotions, moods, and desires), and dismissed the latter (including the moral sentiments) as inessential to morals at best and intrusive and disruptive or worse. And yet, although Kant felt no need to develop a theory of emotion to accompany his elaborate and brilliant “critiques” of reason, his position on the “inclinations” is more ambiguous than is usually supposed, and his “respect for feeling” more significant.

It was Kant, a quarter-century before Hegel (who is credited with it), who insisted that “nothing great is ever done without passion,” and it was Kant, in his Critique of Judgment (1793/1951; concerned in part with art and aesthetics), who celebrated the importance of shared (“intersubjective) feelng in the appreciation of beauty and the awe with which we try to comprehend the wonder of God’s creation. Indeed, even Kant’s central notions of respect and human dignity, the very heart of his rationalist ethics, are sometimes suggested to be matters of feeling as well as reason, thus calling into question the harshness of his ruthlessly divided self. When his successor Hegel (1770-1831) took over the reins of German philosophy in the early 19th century, the overstated distinction between reason and passion was again called into question, and Hegel’s own odyssey of reason (in an epochal book called The Phenomenology of Mind, 1807/1977) has rightly been called a “logic of passion” as well.

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) was a philosopher for whom passion was the watchword and reason a source of suspicion. He was the culmination of a long line of “Romantics,” beginning with the Sturm und Drang poets of the 18th century and continuing through the philosophy of Nietzsche’s own favorite influence, the neo-Kantian pessimist Arthur Schopenhauer. Nietzsche anticipated the global skepticism and conceptual chaos of the 20th century; like Freud, who admired him, he described (and celebrated) the darker, more instinctual, and less rational motives of the human mind. Accordingly, in his On the Genealogy of Morals (1887/1967), he praised the passions and, in an ironic twist, described the passions as themselves having more reason than Reason.

But this was not to say that all passions are wise; some, he declared, “drag us down with their stupidity,” and others, notably the “slave morality’ emotion of resentment, are devious and clever but to a disastrous end, the “leveling” of the virtuous passions and the defense of mediocrity. Nietzsche never developed a “theory” of emotions, but his distinctions were remarkable in their insight and subtlety. His celebration of passion scared the wits out of a great many philosophers in Europe, however, who saw more than enough passion and irrationality in the Great War an then the rise of National Socialism in Germany. Accordingly, the ancient celebration of reason would once more rule philosophy, and emotion was again relegated to the sidelines.

In the 20th century, one can trace the fate of emotion in Western philosophy through two very different tracks. In North America and in England, the emotions were given particularly short schrift, in large part because of the newly exaggerated emphasis on logic and science. The great British philosopher Bertrand Russell gave elaborate praise to love and passion in the opening pages of his autobiography (1967), but in his philosophy he said virtually nothing about them. Of course, the nature of emotion was a major concern of William James and the young John Dewey in the early years of the century, but with James’s emphasis on the physiological nature of emotion (he argued [1884] that an emotion is a sensation or set of sensations caused by a physiological disturbance, which in turn is prompted by some “perception” or other), coupled with the subsequent and quite unfortunate split between philosophy and psychology as academic discipline, questions about emotion were relegated to the realm of psychology (where they were also treated with less than the full respect due them).

Indeed, the first major attention to emotion in Anglo-American philosophy came in mid-century, when an ethical theory named “emotivism” came to dominate both the English and the North American scene. But emotivism, which was part and parcel of an across-the-board philosophical purgative known as “logical positivism,” was essentially a dismissal of ethical (and many other) questions in philosophy as “meaningless” (i.e., unscientific and without verifiable solutions). Emotion came back onto the stage of philosophy, but only as the butt of the argument: Ethical statements were meaningless because they were nothing but expressions of emotion.

During the same period in Europe, however, the emotions enjoyed more attention. Franz Brentano (1874/1971) succeeded the British “moral sentiment” theorists in attempting to found an ethics on a foundation of emotions. (Sigmund Freud was one of his Students.) Following the “phenomenology” of Edmund Husserl (1938/1960) (another Brentano student and a mathematician who showed little or no interest in emotion), Max Scheler (1916/1970), Martin Heidegger (1927/1962), and more recently Paul Ricouer (1950/1966) developed ambitious philosophies in which emotions were given central place in human existence and accorded considerable respect.

In the shadow of World War 11, Jean-Paul Sartre offered the slim but important The Emotions: Sketch of a Theory (1939/1948), followed by his monstrous tome Being andNothingness (1943/1956), which includes embedded within its many pages a number of detailed “phenomenological” analyses of emotion. Sartre’s conception of emotions as “magical transformations of the world”–willful stratagems for coping with a difficult world-added a new “existential” dimension to the investigation of emotion. But, predictably, philosophy in both France and Germany turned again to other interests, though the study of emotion continued despite the perennial shift in fashions.

In Anglo-American philosophy, however, the fortunes of emotion were also to change. In an article simply entitled “Emotion” (indicating how rarely the topic had even been broached), Errol Bedford (1956/1964) addressed the Aristotelean Society in London on the nature of emotion and the errors of thinking of emotions as “feelings.” The essay might have sat on the shelves gathering dust except for the fact that the then dean of Oxford philosophers, J. L. Austin (1956-1957), took it upon himself to remark on one of Bedford’s claims. (Austin’s own essay was not about emotions at all.) Austin’s attention kept the article alive and occasionally anthologized until the 1960s, when the subject seemed to come to life again.

Today, one finds a rich variety of arguments about emotions on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean and the English Channel. Given the nature of philosophy and its current concern with epistemological matters, it is again not surprising that the focus is on the conceptual structures of emotion, rather than the sensory, social, or physiological aspects of emotion. But there has been a reaction even within philosophy to the “hypercognizing” of emotion; consequently, there has been a serious effort to join forces with psychologists, neurologists, anthropologists, and moral philosophers to obtain a more holistic theory of emotion.

SOME PHILOSOPHICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT EMOTION

What is an emotion? Because philosophy is a discipline concerned with the essential nature and the “definition” of things, the basic question facing theories of emotion in philosophy is still the question posed by James and answered in a fashion by Aristotle. It is, on the face of it, a quest for a definition, a conceptual analysis. But it is also a much larger quest for an orientation: How should we think about emotion-as intrusive, as essential to our rationality, as constitutive of meaning, as dangerous, as dispensable, as an excuse for irresponsibility, or as a mode of responsibility? Which of the evident aspects of emotion-that is, the various sensory, physiological, behavioral, cognitive, and social phenomena that typically correspond with an emotion-should we take to be essential?

Many philosophers hold onto the old “Cartesian” view that an emotion cannot lack its “subjective” or “introspective” aspect, although what this means (and how accessible or articulate an emotion must be on inspection) is itself a subject of considerable dispute (Lyons, 1980; Sartre, 1943/1956; Freud, 1915/1935). Many philosophers