What Basic Emotions Really Are: Encapsulated or Integrated?

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Wiegman, Isaac
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conference paper description
While there is ongoing debate about the existence of basic emotions (BEs) and about their status as natural kinds, these debates usually carry on under the assumption that BEs are encapsulated from cognition and that this is one of the criteria that separates the products of evolution from the products of culture and experience. I aim to show that this assumption is entirely unwarranted, that there is empirical evidence against it, and that evolutionary theory itself should not lead us to expect that cognitive encapsulation marks the distinction between basic and higher cognitive emotions. Finally, I draw out the implications of these claims for debates about the existence of basic emotions in humans.