1st Edition

Embodied Emotions A Naturalist Approach to a Normative Phenomenon

By Rebekka Hufendiek Copyright 2016
    202 Pages
    by Routledge

    202 Pages
    by Routledge

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    In this book, Rebekka Hufendiek explores emotions as embodied, action-oriented representations, providing a non-cognitivist theory of emotions that accounts for their normative dimensions. Embodied Emotions focuses not only on the bodily reactions involved in emotions, but also on the environment within which emotions are embedded and on the social character of this environment, its ontological constitution, and the way it scaffolds both the development of particular emotion types and the unfolding of individual emotional episodes. In addition, it provides a critical review and appraisal of current empirical studies, mainly in psychophysiology and developmental psychology, which are relevant to discussions about whether emotions are embodied as well as socially embedded. The theory that Hufendiek puts forward denies the distinction between basic and higher cognitive emotions: all emotions are embodied, action-oriented representations. This approach can account for the complex normative structure of emotions, and shares the advantages of cognitivist accounts of emotions without sharing their problems. Embodied Emotions makes an original contribution to ongoing debates on the normative aspects of emotions and will be of interest to philosophers working on emotions, embodied cognition and situated cognition, as well as neuroscientists or psychologists who study emotions and are interested in placing their own work within a broader theoretical framework.

    1. Cognitivism and the Normative Dimension of Emotions 2. Appraising Arousal: Emotions and the Body 3. Embodiment and the Intentionality of Emotions 4. Embedded Emotions and the Ontology of Core Relational Themes 5. Loving is as Loving Does: Embodied Action-Oriented Representations


    Rebekka Hufendiek is a postdoctoral candidate at the University of Basel. Her research focuses on philosophy of mind and psychology with a particular intereest in embodied cognition, emotion theories and naturalism. She has written several papers and reviews on embodiment, emotions, the modularity of mind and the vices and virtues of naturalist approaches to the mind.

    "The book is densely and carefully argued and its explanatory scope is highly ambitious ... On the whole, the book lives up entirely to its title. Hufendiek offers a carefully developed alternative to the lasting debate between cognitivists and feeling theories and overcomes what she sees as shortcomings of alternative theories." -- Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences

    "Rebekka Hufendiek presents and defends a position on emotions which is critical both of existing cognitivist as well as embodied and enactive approaches. She agrees with embodied approaches that cognitivists overintellectualize emotions and neglect the importance of the body. Yet she also is dissatisfied with the main embodied and enactive accounts ... The book is well organized, and the prose is clear ... If the book is seen as an exploration of where these ideas lead, as testing the waters rather than as offering a fully elaborated novel theory of emotions, it can be said to achieve its goals." -- Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews