questions will be drawn from the following 19 questions:
1. What are emotions according to Descartes? Do you agree with his theory? Why?
Emotions are bare feelings, feelings are the essential part of emotions, emotions
are passive, feelings do not represent anything, and feelings do not have content
Passions: feelings (thoughts caused by the body, perceptions (any thought that is
2. To what type of evidence does Descartes appeal to support his theory of emotions? Is it a
legitimate source of evidence for a theory of emotions? Why?
Stimulus > eyes > animal spirits > pineal gland > feelings and desires
Bear > eyes > animal spirits > pineal gland > “I want to flee”
Legitimate for the time, animal spirits don’t make sense, but all things considered, he
wasn’t too far off.
3. What are emotions according to James? Do you agree with his theory? Why?
Body changes cause emotion, emotions are essentially conscious feelings,
feelings are perceptions of body changes, emotions represent body changes, and emotions
are a specific kind of internal perception
No, because the theory only applies to a limited number of emotions, mostly strong
4. What is the Stoics’ theory of emotions? Do you agree with their theory? Why?
Judgments and propositional attitudes (desires) are the essential element of
emotions, assents: to believe an impression is true; impulse: desire toward object, instead
of judgments (assents), emotions = mistaken impulses (chocolate is good, but it really
isn’t good for you), wise man shows no emotion
I don’t agree… some situations people need to act on impulse, emotions can be good,
decisions made too quickly
5. Do you think that the empirical evidence that we have seen in class supports the
cognitivist theories of emotions or the feeling theories of emotions? Why?
Feeling theory evidence
: Zajonc, the ü study, use of smiling muscle leads to
happier emotions; pen in mouth study, cartoons funnier when using smiling muscles. Paul
Ekman facial expression study
Supports the theory, but no causal relationship
6. What is Lazarus's theory of emotions? Do you agree with his theory? Why?
Cognitivist theorist: judgments are the essential element of emotions