Philosophy 189: Philosophy of Emotion

Spring Semester, 2017

Jacksonville University

Dr. Scott Kimbrough

Office: Council 121

Office hours: M 11:00-12:00, R 11:00-12:00, or by appointment

Office phone: 256-7118


Last updated 3/8/17

Resources and Announcements

·         2/1 First exam

·         2/20 First paper: paper topics

·         2/27 Second exam

·         3/8 Second paper: paper topics

·         3/29 Third exam

·         4/19 Fourth exam

·         Research journals: 3/13, 3/27, 4/3, 4/10, 4/17

·         Template for research journal entries

·         4/26 Final exam date (for research presentations)

·         Links


Course Description:

What is an emotion? In one way, the answer couldn’t be more obvious: we feel our own emotions and talk confidently about the emotions of others. But there is widespread disagreement among theorists about the nature of emotions and how best to study them. This class will explore some of the main historical and contemporary theories about emotion, including the James-Lange theory (emotions as the detection of internal states), Darwinian theories, cognitive theories (according to which emotions are a kind of judgment), and social constructivist theories. Issues to be discussed include the relationship between emotion and feeling, the rationality (or lack thereof) of emotion, the relevance of neuroscientific studies, and the role of emotions in ethics. Students will conduct inter-disciplinary research about a particular emotion as a case study to evaluate the general theories covered in the course.

Required Book:

Robert Solomon (ed.). What is an Emotion?: Classic and Contemporary Readings, 2nd edition, Oxford University Press, 2003.

Grading policy

Course Requirements

Course objectives

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