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The World, the Flesh and the SubjectContinental Themes in Philosophy of Mind and Body$
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Paul Gilbert and Kathleen Lennon

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780748614981

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748614981.001.0001

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Emotions

Emotions

Chapter:
(p.90) 5 Emotions
Source:
The World, the Flesh and the Subject
Author(s):

Paul Gilbert

Kathleen Lennon

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748614981.003.0005

The principal problem in understanding emotions is to see how their affective aspect – the way they make us feel and react physically – fits together with their cognitive aspect: the way they present us with a particular view of the world. On the one hand, physical reactions and sensations may seem to have nothing to do with representing the world in a certain way; on the other, no way of representing the world may seem essentially to require such reactions and sensations. Yet, somehow, in emotion, both are inextricably involved. Sartre makes the connection by regarding emotional reactions as a substitute for purposive behaviour when the world is too ‘difficult’ for that to be effective. But these ‘difficulties’ are not grasped unemotionally and, as a consequence of this, reacted to non-rationally. Heidegger, who influenced Sartre in many other respects, takes the view that purposive activity, as well as passionately emotional behaviour, is made possible only because our engagement with the world is pervaded by moods which come over us involuntarily.

Keywords:   affective aspect, cognitive aspect, sensations, Sartre, Heidegger, emotional reactions

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