The Ontogenesis, Metaphysics, and Expression of Human Emotionality
MIT Press 2016
Psychological and philosophical theories of the emotions tend to take the adult emotional repertoire as the paradigm case for understanding the emotions. From this standpoint, the emotions are usually distinguished into two categories: the basic emotions, like fear or happiness, and the higher cognitive emotions, like shame or pride. In her new book, Becoming Human: The Ontogenesis, Metaphysics, and Expression of Human Emotionality (MIT Press, 2016), Jennifer Greenwood challenges this standard division and related distinctions, such as which emotions are innate or learned. Greenwood, who is academic tutor in philosophy, education, and nursing at the University of Queensland, argues that there is just one natural kind, emotions, that develop from common precursor states by means of deeply interactive relations between the assistance-soliciting infant or child and the assistance-providing caregiver. This deep functional interaction justifies her claim that the emotions are a case of extended cognition, as well as the view that language mediates emotional ontogenesis.