The subtlety of emotions

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Although emotions punctuate almost all the significant events in our lives, the nature, causes, and consequences of the emotions are among the least well understood aspects of human experience. Despite their apparent familiarity, emotions are an extremely subtle and complex topic which was neglected by many social scientists and philosophers. Emotions are highly complex and subtle phenomena whose explanation requires an interdisciplinary and systematic analysis of their multiple characteristics and components. Providing such an analysis is the major task of my book. The book is unique in the broad perspective it takes on emotions: it provides both a conceptual framework for understanding emotions and a detailed analysis of the major emotions. Part I provides an answer to the question : "What is an emotion?" It does so by analyzing the typical characteristics and components of emotions, distinguishing emotions from related affective phenomena, classifying the emotions, and discussing major relevant issues such as: emotional intensity, functionality and rationality, emotional intelligence, emotions and imagination, regulating the emotions, and emotions and morality. The principal emotions discussed in Part II are envy, jealousy, pity, compassion, pleasure-in-others'- misfortune, anger, hate, disgust, love, sexual desire, happiness, sadness, pride, regret, pridefulness and shame.

Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 2001


  • Affect
  • Change
  • Comparison
  • Emotion
  • Evaluation
  • Feeling
  • Intensity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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