William James and John Dewey on Embodied Action-Oriented Emotions

Hufendiek, Rebekka. (2016) William James and John Dewey on Embodied Action-Oriented Emotions. In: Pragmatism and the Embodied Cognitive Sciences. From Bodily Interaction to Symbolic Articulation. Berlin, pp. 269-288.

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In this paper I present William James’s theory of emotions and the central role it ascribes to the bodily reactions in emotions. I call the claim that there is a distinct pattern of bodily reactions that is constitutive for an emotion type
the essential-ingredient view. I discuss some of the famous objections that cognitivists have raised against the feeling theory and characterize the position that
cognitivist accounts take with regard to bodily reactions in emotions as the coincidental-byproduct view. With regard to current empirical research from psychophysiology
I argue that the coincidental-byproduct view and the essential-ingredient view are both untenable. Yet the Jamesian view can be understood in a broader context as not aiming to find essential ingredients of emotions but rather
taking the bodily arousal to be part of an organisms preparing for action. A reinterpretation of James in this manner has already been presented by John Dewey, who also provides a broader framework to think of emotion and perception as being co-constituted by action-tendencies.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Künste, Medien, Philosophie > Fachbereich Philosophie > Theoretische Philosophie (Wild)
UniBasel Contributors:Hufendiek, Rebekka
Item Type:Book Section, refereed
Book Section Subtype:Further Contribution in a Book
Publisher:De Gruyter
Series Name:Humanprojekt
Issue Number:14
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Book item
edoc DOI:
Last Modified:08 Mar 2018 11:25
Deposited On:14 Feb 2017 12:21

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