Article ID: CBB108623002

More Than a Feeling: Wittgenstein and William James on Love and Other Emotions (2016)


One of the most significant features of Wittgenstein's Remarks on the Philosophy of Psychology (written after he had completed most of the Philosophical Investigations) is his reflections on emotions. Wittgenstein's treatment of this topic was developed in direct response to his reading of William James’s chapter on emotions in his 1890 masterpiece, The Principles of Psychology. This paper examines the competing views of emotions that emerge in these works, both of which attempt to overcome the Cartesian dualist conception in different ways. The main point of disagreement concerns the relation between emotions and their bodily expression (e.g. the relation between grief and weeping). My interpretation focuses on Wittgenstein's remarks on the emotion of love because, I argue, it is a particularly problematic case. To elucidate his largely unexplored view of love, I draw on his remarks on understanding and criteria in the Philosophical Investigations. I argue that by examining the examples of complex emotions like love, we can arrive at a more accurate characterization of Wittgenstein's general view of mental concepts and mental phenomena.

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Authors & Contributors
James, William
Wassmann, Claudia
Leary, David E.
McGranahan, Lucas Robert
Ignas K. Skrupskelis, Elizabeth M. Berkeley
Coon, Deborah J.
History of Psychology
Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
History of Philosophy Quarterly
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Medicina nei Secoli - Arte e Scienza
Journal of the History of Ideas
University of Virginia Press
University of California, Santa Cruz
University of Chicago
CNRS Éditions
Oxford University Press
Emotions; passions
Pragmatism; instrumentalism
Collected correspondence
Primary literature (historical sources)
James, William
Peirce, Charles Sanders
Wundt, Wilhelm Max
Darwin, Charles Robert
James, Henry
Stumpf, Carl
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
20th century
18th century
United States

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