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Getting Bodily Feelings into Emotional Experience in the Right Way’

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Teroni Fabrice, Deonna Julien,
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Emotion Review
Volume (Issue) 9(1)
Page(s) 55 - 63
Title of proceedings Emotion Review
DOI 10.1177/1754073916639666


We argue that the main objections against two central tenets of a Jamesian account of the emotions, i.e. that (1) different types of emotions are associated with specific types of bodily feelings (Specificity), and that (2) emotions are constituted by patterns of bodily feeling (Constitution), do not succeed. In the first part, we argue that several reasons adduced against Specifity, including one inspired by Schachter and Singer’s work, are unconvincing. In the second part, we argue that Constitution, too, can withstand most of the objections raised against it, including the objection that bodily feelings cannot account for the outward-looking and evaluative nature of emotions. In both sections, we argue that the kinds of felt bodily changes posited by a Jamesian account of emotions are best understood in terms of felt states of action-readiness.