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Psychology

Theses/Dissertations

Emotion

University of Pennsylvania

2018

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Actually Embodied Emotions, Jordan Christopher Victor Taylor Jan 2018

Actually Embodied Emotions, Jordan Christopher Victor Taylor

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

This dissertation offers a theory of emotion called the primitivist theory. Emotions are defined as bodily caused affective states. It derives key principles from William James’s feeling theory of emotion, which states that emotions are felt experiences of bodily changes triggered by sensory stimuli (James, 1884; James, 1890). However, James’s theory is commonly misinterpreted, leading to its dismissal by contemporary philosophers and psychologists. Chapter 1 therefore analyzes James’s theory and compares it against contemporary treatments. It demonstrates that a rehabilitated Jamesian theory promises to benefit contemporary emotion research. Chapter 2 investigates James’s legacy, as numerous alterations ...