The Emotional Mind: A control theory of affective states

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


In this book, Tom Cochrane develops a new control theory of the emotions and related affective states. Grounded in the basic principle of negative feedback control, his original account outlines a new fundamental kind of mental content called 'valent representation'. Upon this foundation, Cochrane constructs new models for emotions, pains and pleasures, moods, expressive behaviours, evaluative reasoning, personality traits and long-term character commitments. These various states are presented as increasingly sophisticated layers of regulative control, which together underpin the architecture of the mind as a whole. Clearly structured and containing numerous diagrams and examples to illustrate the discussion, this study draws on the latest research from fields including philosophy, psychology and neuroscience, and will appeal to readers interested in the philosophy and cognitive science of emotion.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages244
ISBN (Electronic)9781108658195
ISBN (Print)9781108429672
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • emotion
  • feelings
  • personality
  • mind
  • character
  • control theory

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