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What are emotional mechanisms?
Bristol University Press
The article offers an account of emotional mechanisms (EMs). EMs are claimed to be personal, often unconscious, distinctively patterned, mental processes whereby an emotion of a given kind is transmuted into an emotion of a different kind. After preliminary considerations about emotions as felt evaluations, the article identifies three families of emotional mechanisms. These processes are set in motion when a given emotion (for example, envy, shame or anger) generates feelings of inferiority and/or impotence in the subject resulting in a negative sense of self. These feelings prompt an evaluative reappraisal of the emotionâ s intentional target. Based on the reappraisal, the subject comes to feel a different kind of emotion, which does not generate feelings of inferiority and/or impotence. Importantly, the second emotion entails a psychological disposition to be collectivised: the subject seeks confirmation of the revised evaluation by sharing the emotion with others. It is argued that these features set EMs apart from other emotion regulatory processes.
Affective intentionality , Emotion regulation , Emotional mechanism , Feelings of inferiority and impotence , Motions , Ressentiment
Salice, A. and Salmela, M. (2022) 'What are emotional mechanisms?', Emotions and Society, 4(1), pp. 49-68. doi: 10.1332/263169021X16369909628542
© 2022, the Authors. Published by Bristol University Press. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copy edited version of an article published in Emotions and Society. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1332/263169021X16369909628542