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Review. Paul E Griffiths. What Emotions Really Are: The Problem of Psychological Categories. Chicago and London, University of Chicago Press, 1997

Review. Paul E Griffiths. What Emotions Really Are: The Problem of Psychological Categories. Chicago and London, University of Chicago Press, 1997

Abstract

Brit. J. Phil. Sci. 49 (1998), 642–648 PAUL E. GRIFFITHS What Emotions Really Are: The Problem of Psychological Categories Chicago and London, University of Chicago Press, 1997 Peter Goldie Dept of Philosophy, King’s College, London This is a very interesting and intriguing book: not only does Griffiths have many important things to say about the emotions; he also puts forward a novel and persuasive approach to the semantics of natural kinds, applying this approach to psychological categories and to the emotions in particular. The book is in two parts. Part 1 is on emotion, and Part 2 is on the nature of psychological categories, with a (slightly unsatisfactory) ‘coda’ on mood. Griffiths begins Part 1 with an attack on traditional conceptual analysis of the emotions, arguing that conceptual analysis can only tell us what our current beliefs are about that domain. He links this to a criticism of another view which he considers to be traditional, namely ‘propositional attitude’ theories of the emotions, by which he means those theories which attempt to analyse the emotions in terms of propositional attitudes: so, for example, an occurrent emotion of fear might be understood to include a belief that something is
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