The Individuation and Recognition of Emotion


First, we argue for the metaphysical claim that emotions are individuated as patterns of characteristic features. Our second claim concerns the epistemology of emotion recognition: We demonstrate that emotion recognition is a process pattern recognition that relies on the same type of pattern recognition typical for object recognition. The analogy allows us to defend a variant of a direct perception account of emotion recognition. We distinguish two forms of directly perceiving emotions: 1. perceiving an emotion (almost) without any top-down-processes, 2. perceiving an emotion involving some significant top-down-processes (including expectations and background knowledge), and in addition 3. an inference-based evaluation of an emotion.

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