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Grant number like: FB-51717-05

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Craig Stephen DeLancey
SUNY Research Foundation, College at Oswego (Oswego, NY 13126-3501)

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars
Research Programs

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2006 – 12/31/2006

Understanding the Purpose of Basic Emotions: Moving Beyond the Cognitivist-Noncognitivist Debate

This project aims to reformulate the debate between cognitive and noncognitive theories of emotions by offering a revised perspective both on the purpose of some emotions, and on what it means to be cognitive. Building on the hypothesis that certain basic emotions are essentially action programs, I will show that these programs provide a novel way to describe the biological purpose of these emotions. Next, an analysis of the various notions of "cognition" that have been used to describe emotions will allow the clarification of a heterogenous notion of cognition. These combined insights will solve a number of outstanding problems in the philosophy of emotion.