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Reconciling Cognitive and Perceptual Theories of Emotion: A Representational Proposal

Louis C. Charland
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 64, No. 4 (Dec., 1997), pp. 555-579
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/188561
Page Count: 25
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Reconciling Cognitive and Perceptual Theories of Emotion: A Representational Proposal
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Abstract

The distinction between cognitive and perceptual theories of emotion is entrenched in the literature on emotion and is openly used by individual emotion theorists when classifying their own theories and those of others. In this paper, I argue that the distinction between cognitive and perceptual theories of emotion is more pernicious than it is helpful, while at the same time insisting that there are nonetheless important perceptual and cognitive factors in emotion that need to be distinguished. A general representational metatheoretical framework for reconciling cognitive and perceptual theories is proposed. This is the Representational Theory of Emotion (RTE). A detailed case study of Antonio Damasio's important new contribution to emotion theory is presented in defense of the RTE. The paper is intended for readers interested in the foundations of emotion theory and cognitive science.

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