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Emotions are biologically and socially constituted: A response to Greenwood

ContributorsScherer, Klaus R.orcid
Published inNew Ideas in Psychology, vol. 10, no. 1, p. 19-22
Publication date1992

It is most refreshing to see a philosopher take a sober look at some of the psychological theories postulating the social constitution of emotion. Greenwood provides a sharp logical analysis of the theoretical premises and conclusions to be found in such theories and exposes some fundamental errors and/or confusions. Most of these are related to the mistaken presumption that the act of verbal labeling is actually constitutive for the occurrence of emotion as a phenomenon (refer to p. 11 of Greenwood's article). Greenwood is not opposed to the idea that the emotions are socially constituted. However, he bases his view on the notion that an emotion consists of the representation of intensional contents directed upon intentional objects in the social world. More precisely, he advances three bases for the social constitution of- emotion: (1) The socio-culturally specific evaluation and representation of reality; (2) the close relationship of emotion phenomena to socially constrained "identity projects"; and (3) social discourse as the "ontologi- cal vehicle" for emotion. While I agree with many of Greenwood's points, I would like to raise a number of objections to his analysis.

  • Biologically
  • Emotions
  • Socially constitued
Research group
Citation (ISO format)
SCHERER, Klaus R. Emotions are biologically and socially constituted: A response to Greenwood. In: New Ideas in Psychology, 1992, vol. 10, n° 1, p. 19–22. doi: 10.1016/0732-118X(92)90043-Y
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ISSN of the journal0732-118X

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