Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, Lewis & Clark College
Image from Paul Ekman's classic studies on emotion and facial expression.

Image from Paul Ekman's classic studies on emotion and facial expression.

These are the course readings for PHIL 453: Expression, Expressing, and Expressive Of: The Evolution of the Emotions and Their Expression in Ethics and Art. The readings below each week are to be read. The sub-indented works are further reading, which is optional. 

  • Prerequisites: 

What Are Emotions? 

  • Week 1: Classic Papers in Psychology and the Emotions

James, W. (1884) "What is an Emotion?" Mind 9: 188 - 205. 

Ekman, P. and W. Freisen (1971) "Constants Across Cultures in the Face and Emotion," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2: 124 - 129. 

Schachter, S. and J. E. Singer (162) "Cognitive, Social and Physiological Determinants of Emotional State," Psychological Review 69: 379 - 399. 

Lazarus, R. S., & Smith, C. (1993). "Appraisal Components, Core Relational Themes, and the Emotions." In N. Frijda (Ed.), Appraisal and Beyond (pp. 233-270). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. 

  • Week 2: Jesse Prinz's Gut Reactions 

Prinz, J. (2004) Gut Reactions: A Perceptual Theory of Emotion. Oxford University Press. [Chs. 1 - 6]

What Are Emotions For? 

  • Week 3: Classic Papers in Evolution and the Emotions

Darwin, C from The Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals.

Trivers, R. (1971) "The Evolution of Reciprocal Altruism," The Quarterly Review of Biology 46 (1): 35 - 57. 

Plutchik, R. (1980). A general psychoevolutionary theory of emotion. Emotion: Theory, research, and experience, 1(3), 3-33.

Tooby, J., & Cosmides, L. (1990). "The past explains the present: Emotional adaptations and the structure of ancestral environments," Ethology and sociobiology, 11(4), 375-424.

Frank, R. (2002) “Cooperation through Emotional Commitment,” in Randolph Nesse, ed., Evolution and the Capacity for Commitment, New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

  • Week 4: Paul Griffiths' What the Emotions Really Are

Griffiths, P. (1997) What the Emotions Really Are. University of Chicago Press. [1 - 6]

  • Week 5: Mitchell Green's Self-Expression

Green, M. (2007) Self-Expression. Oxford University Press. 

What Role Do Emotions Play in Moral Judgment? 

  • Week 6: Noncognitivism

Ayer, A. J. “Critique of Ethics and Theology” (Language, Truth, and Logic, ch. 6)

Stevenson, C. L. “The Emotive Meaning of Ethical Terms”

Blackburn, S. Spreading the Word, ch. 6 

Schueler, G. F. (1988). "Modus ponens and moral realism," Ethics, 492-500. Chicago.

Hale, B. (1986). "The Compleat Projectivist," The Philosophical Quarterly, 36(142), 65-84. Chicago. 

Unwin, N. (1999). "Quasi‐Realism, Negation and the Frege‐Geach Problem," The Philosophical Quarterly, 49 (196), 337-352. Chicago.

  • Week 7:

Gibbard, Wise Choices, Apt Feelings, ch. 5, 7

Gibbard: Thinking How to Live chs. 2-3

D’Arms, J., & Jacobson, D. (1994). "Expressivism, morality, and the emotions," Ethics, 104, 739–763.

Sinnott-Armstrong, W. (1993). Some problems for Gibbard's norm-expressivism. Philosophical Studies, 69(2-3), 297-313.

Railton, P. (1993) Noncognitivism about Rationality: Benefits, Costs, and an Alternative

Unwin, “Norms and Negation: A Problem for Gibbard’s Logic”

  • Week 8: Moral Sentimentalism

D’Arms, Justin and Daniel Jacobson (2006). “Sensibility Theory and Projectivism.” In Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory, ed. David Copp. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 

Nichols, S. (2008) "Sentimentalism Naturalized," in Sinnott-Armstrong, Walter (Ed), (2008). Moral psychology, Vol 2: The cognitive science of morality: Intuition and diversity, (pp. 255-274). Cambridge, MA, US: MIT Press.

Nichols, S. (2002). How psychopaths threaten moral rationalism: Is it irrational to be amoral?. The Monist, 285-303.

Prinz, J. (2006). "The emotional basis of moral judgments," Philosophical Explorations, 9 (1), 29-43. Chicago.

Greene, J. D., R. B. Sommerville, L. E. Nystrom, J. M. Darley, and J. D. Cohen. 2001. An fMRI investigation of emotional engagement in moral judgment. Science 293: 2105–8.

Wheatley, T., & Haidt, J. (2005). Hypnotic Disgust Makes Moral Judgments More Severe. Psychological Science, 780-784. 

  • Week 9: Continued  

D'Arms, J. and D. Jacobson, (2000), “Sentiment and Value,” Ethics, 110(4): 722–48.

D’Arms, J. (2005). "Two arguments for sentimentalism," Philosophical Issues, 15(1), 4-21. Chicago

D'Arms, J. and D. Jacobson (2014) Sentimentalism and ScientismMoral Psychology and Human Agency: Philosophical Essays on the Science of Ethics

  • Week 10:  Empirical Studies of Theory of Mind 

Premack, D., & Woodruff, G. (1978). Does the chimpanzee have a theory of mind? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 4, 15-26 (and select commentaries).

Wimmer, H., & Perner, J. (1983). Beliefs about beliefs: Representation and constraining function of wrong beliefs in young children's understanding of deception. Cognition, 13, 103-128. 

Agnew, Z. K., Bhakooa, K. K., & Puria, B. K. (2007). The human mirror system: A motor resonance theory of mind-reading. Brain Research Reviews, 54, 286-293.

Gallese, V., & Goldman, A. (1998). Mirror neurons and the simulation theory of mind-reading. Trends in Cognitive Science, 2(12), 493-501. 

Colle, L., Baron-Cohen, S., & Hill, J. (2007). Do children with autism have a theory of mind? A non-verbal test of autism vs. specific language impairment. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37, 716-723. 

  • Week 11: Empathy, Simulation, and Mind Reading

Goldman, A., 1989, “Interpretation Psychologized,” Mind and Language, 4: 161–185; reprinted in M. Davies and T. Stone (eds.), Folk Psychology: The Theory of Mind Debate, Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1995.

Gallese, V., & Goldman, A., 1998, “Mirror neurons and the simulation theory of mind-reading,” Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 2: 493–501

Gordon, R., 1986, “Folk Psychology as Simulation”, Mind and Language, 1: 158–171; reprinted in M. Davies and T. Stone (eds.), Folk Psychology: The Theory of Mind Debate, Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1995.

Heal, J., 1986, “Replication and Functionalism”, in Language, Mind, and Logic, J. Butterfield (ed.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; reprinted in M. Davies and T. Stone (eds.), Folk Psychology: The Theory of Mind Debate, Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1995.

How Do Artifacts (Artworks) Express Emotion? 

  • Week 12: Landscape Aesthetics

Orians, G. H. and J. H. Heerwagen (1992). Evolved responses to landscapes. 

Balling, J. D. and J. H. Falk (1982). Development of visual preference for natural environments. Environment and Behavior 14(1), 5–28. 

Davies, S. (2013) The Artful Species. Oxford University Press. [Ch. 6]


  • Week 13: Artistic Expression

Davies, S. (2001). Philosophical perspectives on music’s expressiveness.Music and emotion: Theory and research, 23-44.

Levinson, J. (1996). Musical expressiveness. The Pleasures of Aesthetics, 90– 128. 

Matravers, D. (1998). Art and Emotion. Clarendon Press. [Chs. 9, 10] 

  • Week 14: Artistic Expression

Cochrane, T. (2010). A simulation theory  of musical expressivity. Australasian  journal of Philosophy 88(2), 191–207.

Currie, G. (2011). Empathy for objects. In A. Caplan and P. Goldie (Eds.), Em- pathy: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives, pp. 82–98. Oxford University Press. 

Davies, S. (2011). Infectious music: Music-listener emotional contagion.Empathy: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives, 134-48.

Lopes, D. (2007) Sight and Sensibility: Evaluating Pictures. Oxford University Press. [Ch. 2]