Constructionism and anger, rage and indignation. Deconstructing the discrete and adaptive character of emotions


  • Rodrigo Sebastián Braicovich Universidad Nacional de Rosario/CONICET



anger, discrete emotions, adaptation, evolution, moral psychology, constructionism


A widespread conception of anger both within and outside academia proposes to interpret it (along with other emotions) as an adaptive response to certain recurrent problems in our evolutionary past, which implies interpreting anger as a discrete, basic, innate and adaptive emotion. In view of the crisis that the Basic Emotions thesis is going through, and taking into account a number of important objections that have been raised to the idea that anger represents a discrete emotion, I will suggest that the definitive abandonment of the concept of anger (and its close relatives, rage and indignation) has important hermeneutical advantages, including the possibility of approaching the problem of the phylogenesis of our sense of justice from a perspective that avoids the rupturist and continuist extremes that rely on a discrete conception of the emotions.


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How to Cite

Braicovich, R. S. (2023). Constructionism and anger, rage and indignation. Deconstructing the discrete and adaptive character of emotions. RHV. An International Journal of Philosophy, (21), 43–64.