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April 25 , 2010

Emotion Concepts


This chapter briefly describes the general goals of the book, introduces the most fundamental features of the methodology that is employed to achieve these goals, and gives an outline of the structure of the book. A more detailed account of the goals and methodology is presented in chapters 2 and 3, respectively. What the Book Is About The main objective of this study is to attempt to answer the question: How do people understand their emotions? As we shall see in the next chapter, a large number of scholars have tried to provide answers to this question. The interest in the way people understand their emotions has led scholars to the issue of the nature of emotion concepts and emotional meaning. Since the notion of understanding involves or presupposes the notions of concept and meaning, it was only natural for scholars with an interest in the way people understand their emotions to tum their attention to emo­ tion concepts and the meaning associated with emotion terms. So the broader issue has often become more specific. For example, Davitz in his The Language of Emotion formulated the central question in the following way: "What does a person mean when he says someone is happy or angry or sad?" (Davitz 1969: 1).
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