Emotions cannot be fully understood in purely cognitive terms. Nor can they be fully understood as mere feelings with no content. But it has not been easy to give an account of the relation of affect and cognition in a way that preserves the perceived unity of emotional experience. Consequently, emotion theories tend to lean either toward cognitivism, or, alternatively, the view that emotions are basically non-cognitive affairs. The aim of this paper is to argue for an account of emotion as a unity of affect and cognition. Emotions, it will be suggested, do not combine, blend, add, or causally relate cognition to affect, or affect to cognition, but are rather original unities which should be viewed as coordinate with, rather than subordinate to, either cognition, perception, feeling, or any other basic mental category.
ASJC Scopus subject areas