Article ID: CBB001200594

Chasing the Bear: William James on Sensations, Emotions and Instincts (2012)


William James's account of emotions is frequently categorised as a feeling theory of emotions. Consideration of James's views about sensations, however, reveals that this categorisation is untenable. Instead, many of James's emotions are more appropriately categorised as instincts. The categorisation of emotions as instincts entails that emotions do have a function -- contrary to a criticism often levied against James's account.

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Authors & Contributors
Wassmann, Claudia
Daston, Lorraine J.
Leary, David E.
James, William
Ignas K. Skrupskelis, Elizabeth M. Berkeley
Keen, Ernest
History of Psychology
Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
History of Philosophy Quarterly
Osiris: A Research Journal Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society
University of Chicago
University of Virginia Press
Farrar, Straus & Giroux
University of California, Santa Cruz
Emotions; passions
Discipline formation
Science and religion
Experimental psychology
James, William
Wundt, Wilhelm Max
Münsterberg, Hugo
Darwin, Charles Robert
James, Henry
Stumpf, Carl
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
20th century
United States
Great Britain

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