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Document Details :
Title: James als neurofenomenoloog
Subtitle: Emoties in de filosofische antropologie van William James
Author(s): POTT, Heleen
Journal: Tijdschrift voor Filosofie
Volume: 75 Issue: 1 Date: 2013
Emotions are ‘feelings of bodily changes’, according to William James (1884). This definition was the starting point of a debate that has been going on for more than a century now. James’ approach soon seemed empirically falsified by experimental psychologists and it was seriously undermined by philosophers who called his views untenable, because he seemed to reduce emotions to non-cognitive sensations. But time and again James rose from his grave. Today we witness his revival in the work of ‘neo-Jamesians’ like Jesse Prinz (2004) and ‘neo-phenomenologists’ like Matthew Ratcliffe (2008). In this article the main reactions to James’ ‘feelings of bodily changes’ are examined. My conclusion is that both his critics and his supporters have started from an incomplete interpretation of the theory. James’ pragmatically embedded psychology of emotion as the experience of a dynamic, bodily self has until today received insufficient philosophical attention.