Framing emotion : Concepts, categories, and meta-scientific frameworks

Takaki, Kyle R.
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Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2008.
The following work is in part about framing various sciences of emotions. In addition to some modest interest in organizational issues pertaining to differing scientific research agendas, my further interest in focusing on emotions, specifically scientific perspectives on emotions, is that emotions are a type of "borderland" phenomena that, on the one hand, concern the felt experience of things---consequently they have an air of ineffability about them, making emotions the sort of topic apparently not amenable to appropriate scientific investigation---and on the other hand, concern neuro-physiological processes, observable behaviors, etc. which are to an extent "quantifiable"---consequently they appear to be the sort of topic a sophisticated science (pertaining to consciousness, artificial intelligence, and so on) would strive to understand. In other words, emotions are both a central part of human experience, and a "grail" which cognitive science seeks to more fully grasp.
What is at stake in exploring whether there can be a science of emotion is the question: Can there be a science of mind? Given the contemporary acknowledgement that apparently all "mind processes" are emotive-cognitive processes---or simply "affective systems"---modern research programs seek to better understand these affective systems in the search for a "science" of "the mind."
What prospects might science offer us in way of illuminating various emotive phenomena? The question I seek to explore (but not definitively answer) is whether a science of emotion is possible. To be sure, there are particular sciences, each of which investigates a restricted range of emotive phenomena. However, a science of emotion is broader than these particular investigations. Hence the question is really, what sense, if any, does it make to speak of a "science" of emotive phenomena, most generally speaking? There are two sciences that I bring to bear on this issue: biology---or more properly, the evolutionary framework by which biology "hangs together"---and the new "science" of complexity. I place most of the emphasis on evolutionary considerations; the concepts associated with complexity make their appearance in the final two chapters.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 321-334).
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355 leaves, bound 29 cm
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