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date: 21 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Emotion plays a fundamental role in mental illness. A central part of understanding mental illness is to make sense of the fragile character of human emotional life. Emotion research has long been divided into a biological approach and cognitive approach, arguing that the nature of human emotions is to be found in either our specific human cognition or in our cross-species biology. In fact, although human emotions are indeed characterized by intentionality and cognitive structures, many human emotional phenomena, for example, our feelings and moods, are non-intentional and cognitively impenetrable. Phenomenological psychopathology can help to clarify this interplay without renouncing either the biology or the rationality of human emotions. It offers a phenomenology of human experience that allows us to make sense of how emotions feel combined with a hermeneutics of the existential significance of our emotions, that is, what they are and why we feel the way we do.

Keywords: biology, rationality, feeling, emotion, mood, cognition, intentionality, phenomenology, hermeneutics, existential significance

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