Emotion as Process
The ways we are moved are as various as the lights in a forest;
and they may intersect, sometimes without cancelling each
other, take shape and dissolve, conflict, explode into passion,
or be transfigured.
Susanne Langer, Problems of Art
In Ch. 1 we examined judgement theories of emotion, and concluded that judgements all by themselves cannot explain the occurrence of emotional responses. At the same time it looked as though some kind of evaluation may be essential to emotion. Emotions are typically triggered by some kind of evaluation that an important goal or want or interest is at stake, and different emotions seem to be distinguished by different kinds of evaluation. Some philosophers have suggested that the evaluations in question need not be judgements but are more like different ways of looking at things, or different points of view on things, but even with this qualification the judgement theory has problems. The main problem is that a person can make the right kind of judgement or 'see' things in the right way and still not respond emotionally. Something is missing.
In Ch. 2 we explored the possibility that the something missing is some kind of physiological activity or action tendency. I endorsed William James's idea that physiological changes of some sort are essential to emotions, and that indeed we don't call a response emotional unless it is a physiological response that has been produced