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Best Laid Schemes: The Psychology of the Emotions

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Keith Oatley draws on theories from psychology, philosophy and linguistics, as well as writings from other social sciences, to show how emotions are central to any understanding of human actions and mental life.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
" extraordinarily learned and well-argued account of the ways in which emotions function within our cognitive systems....Oatley's erudite and integrative presentation of his theory of emotions should be a part of every library's psychology collection." Choice

" exceptional work which does more than justice to the cognitive science approach to the emotions." Martin Conway, The Times Higher Education Supplement

"...has many of the characteristics of good literature as well as good science." James R. Averill, Cognition and Emotion

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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of figures and tables
A wider range of evidence 1
The Romantic movement 2
An integrative theory 3
Style and the question of insight 4
Organization and content of the book 6
Pt. I Theory and function 9
1 The structure of emotions 14
Body and mind 14
What is an emotion? 16
Simple plans 24
Augmented planning 31
Emotions as communications 44
2 Intuitive and empirical approaches to understanding 69
Literature, language, and emotions 69
Ordinary language and emotion terms in English 74
Theory and evidence 88
Emotions, intuitions, and insight 122
3 Rationality and emotions 130
Are emotions irrational? 130
What is rationality? 148
Overcoming limitations of individuals 165
Assembly of fragments into complex plans 172
4 Mutual plans and social emotions 178
Cooperation 178
Interpersonal schemata of emotions 204
And speaking of emotions...the pragmatics of emotion terms 217
Pt. II Conflict and unpredictability 221
5 Plans and emotions in fictional narrative 225
Homer and the archaeology of mind 225
George Eliot's Middlemarch 238
6 Stress and distress 262
Epidemiology and illness 262
Stress and psychosomatic illness 264
Life events and depression 282
A theory of depression 293
The statistics of science and the portraits of art 303
7 Freud's cognitive psychology of intention: the case of Dora 307
Cognitive psychology as natural science and human science 307
The case of the missing intentions 311
Multiple intentions and the repercussions of conflict 321
Whose intentions? 332
Telling one's own story: Dorothea and Dora 339
Pt. III Enjoyment and creativity 347
8 Happiness 350
The correspondences of happiness 350
Where and when does happiness occur? 360
The interpersonal structure of happiness 364
How might one become happy? 376
9 Putting emotions into words 383
Communication and change 383
Three types of disjunction in emotions 385
Joining semantic and nonsemantic aspects 393
Epilogue 411
Emotions and cognitive change 411
Four bases of understanding emotions 414
Notes 419
References 477
Author Index 505
Subject Index 513
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