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Open Access Publications from the University of California

On Theories About the Nature of Emotion

  • Author(s): Lewis, Michael
  • Lewis, Benjamin G
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

Professor Salzen presents us with his theory of emotion. At the outsetof his essay he tells us two things of importance for understanding whatis to follow. First, he asks, "Why add another grand theory of emotion?"His answer is that "the very multiplicity of theories suggest that nonehas a central point of view or a deductive or generative principle thatprovides a satisfactory or complete explanation of the phenomena ofemotion" (p. 47), We have some difficulty with such an assertion sincemultiplicity of theories do not, on scientific grounds, mean none arenecessarily satisfactory. An understanding of the property of light requiresat least two theories that happen to have the feature that if oneis true, the other is not. Wave and particle theories of light both serveto explain features of phenomena, and physics does quite well with multipleexplanation, even contradictory ones


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