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The Ascent of Affect – Genealogy and Critique - Chicago Scholarship Online
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The Ascent of Affect: Genealogy and Critique

Ruth Leys


This book analyzes the conflicting paradigms and interpretations that have governed the study of the emotions from the 1960s to the present. It seems obvious to the majority of today's researchers and commentators that the affects, defined as a limited set of phylogenetically old, indeed universal "basic emotions," are inherently independent of cognition or meaning. They are not "about" objects in the world but rather are reflex-like discharges of "affect programs located subcortically in the brain. Such a claim has underwritten hundreds of experiments and research papers, as well as arguments ... More

Keywords: affect programs, basic emotions, cognitivism, Paul Ekman, Alan J. Fridlund, intentionality, Paul Griffiths, John McDowell, non-cognitivism, Silvan S. Tomkins

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780226488424
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2018 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226488738.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ruth Leys, author
Johns Hopkins University