Toward a Working Definition of Emotion

Emotion Review 4 (4):345-357 (2012)
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A definition of emotion common to the affective sciences is an urgent desideratum. Lack of such a definition is a constant source of numerous misunderstandings and a series of mostly fruitless debates. There is little hope that there ever will be agreement on a common definition of emotion, given the sacred traditions of the disciplines involved and the egos of the scholars working in these disciplines. Our aim here is more modest. We propose a list of elements for a working definition of emotion and discuss the justification for the inclusion of elements from our respective perspectives (philosophy and psychology). This working partial definition may at least serve as a litmus test to examine theories of emotion, old and new, across disciplinary boundaries.



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Kevin Mulligan
University of Geneva

References found in this work

Intentionality: An Essay in the Philosophy of Mind.John R. Searle - 1983 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
The Emotions.Nico H. Frijda - 1986 - Cambridge University Press.

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