For thousands of years, many Western thinkers have assumed that emotions are, at best, harmless luxuries, and at worst outright obstacles to intelligent action. In the past decade, however, scientists and philosophers have begun to challenge this 'negative view of emotion'. Neuroscientists, psychologists and researchers in artificial intelligence now agree that emotions are vital to intelligent action. Evolutionary considerations have played a vital role in this shift to a more positive view of emotion.
This book brings together some of the leading thinkers about emotion from a variety of disciplines. In a series of fascinating and challenging essays, they examine the role that evolutionary considerations can play in helping us to understand the role of emotions in rational thought and decision-making. How should we understand the evolutionary role of emotions? And can this explain the relationship between emotions and rationality?
... a wealth of well-presented empirical findings, rich theorising and thought-provoking debate. The book should serve as an excellent summary of the current status of this fascinating and useful area and deserves to be widely read by any who are interested in the relation between cognition and emotion, in particular, perhaps, by those involved in the development of cognitive treatments for emotional disorders. (The Psychologist
does an excellent job at clarifying the confusion surrounding an important area of evolutionary psychology - why emotions have evolved in humans. (The Psychologist