Emotion, Evolution and Rationality / Edition 1

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Michael Joel Schrift, D.O., M.A.(University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This is an interesting and scholarly new book covering the influence that emotion has on rational thought in the context of evolution. The book is derived from papers and presentations given at an international conference in April 2002 at King's College in London. Written and edited by influential individuals in the fields of neuroscience and philosophy, this book is a valuable contribution to cognitive neuroscience, evolutionary psychology, and philosophy.
Purpose: The purpose is to explore for the reader the role that ideas derived from evolutionary theory can play in helping to answer the "age-old question of whether emotions are helpful or detrimental to rational thought and decision making." The editors and chapter authors have put together a very thought provoking book.
Audience: The intended audience includes neuroscientists, psychologists, and researchers in artificial intelligence.
Features: Part 1 of the book's four parts covers neuroscientific foundations and has an excellent chapter by Damasio on William James and the neurobiology of emotion. Part 2 focuses on emotion, belief, and appraisal. The chapter by Griffiths on a Machiavellian theory of emotional appraisal was fascinating. Part 3 is on evolution and the rationality of emotion and part 4 concludes with a philosophical perspective with an exceptional chapter on emotion, reason, and virtue. Each chapter ends with relevant and timely references and the book concludes with a helpful index section.
Assessment: This is an excellent, unique, and paradigm-changing book on emotion's effect on rational thinking from an evolutionary perspective. I highly recommend it.

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198528982
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 6/17/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

University of the West of England, Bristol

Universite Catholique de Louvain

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Table of Contents

Pt. I Neuroscientific foundations
1 William James and the modern neurobiology of emotion 3
2 Homologizing human emotions 15
Pt. II Emotion, belief and appraisal
3 Emotional behaviour and the scope of belief-desire explanation 51
4 Which emotions are basic? 69
5 Towards a 'Machiavellian' theory of emotional appraisal 89
6 Unpicking reasonable emotions 107
Pt. III Evolution and the rationality of emotion
7 Evolution, culture and the irrationality of the emotions 133
8 The role of emotions in ecological and practical rationality 159
9 The search hypothesis of emotion 179
10 Adaptive illusions: optimism, control and human rationality 193
11 Emotion versus reason as a genetic conflict 209
Pt. IV Philosophical perspectives
12 Conscience and conflict : Darwin, Freud, and the origins of human aggression 225
13 Emotion, reason, and virtue 249
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