MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge, UK and
Mick J. Power
Department of Psychiatry, University of Edinburgh, UK
In the context of the history of ideas on emotion, the suggestion that there is an important link between the way we cognize about the world and our emotional responses to that same world is by no means new. In The Art of Rhetoric, Aristotle (1991) makes an eloquent case for thinking of emotions as a function of appraisals about what events mean. This thread has been unravelled across the centuries by the Stoic philosophers, Thomas Aquinas and Baruch Spinoza among others (see the chapter by Lyons). More recently, the debate about the relationship between cognition and emotion has become more fine-tuned (see the chapter by Lazarus), with many researchers coming full circle and seeing cognition as a fundamental component of emotion.
The main aim of the present Handbook of Cognition and Emotion has been to gather together contributions from the leading figures in the field in order to provide an overview of cognition and emotion research over 2000 years after Aristotle's contribution. In this final chapter we shall endeavour to identify the principal emergent themes in the area and make some suggestions about where research in cognition and emotion is currently heading. In order to facilitate this process, the chapter is divided into sections that mirror the parts in the book itself.