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  • Print publication year: 2004
  • Online publication date: June 2012

1 - Introduction



This book arose from the twenty-four keynote papers presented at a meeting that had the same title as this volume: “Feelings and Emotions: The Amsterdam Symposium.” It was held in June 2001, in Amsterdam, and was hosted by the Department of Psychology at the University of Amsterdam.

Our purpose in organizing this symposium was to review the current state of the art of research on emotions from a multidisciplinary perspective. Stock-taking of this kind has been undertaken before. In 1927 a meeting was held under the title Feelings and Emotions: The Wittenberg Symposium (Reymert, 1928). In 1948 Feelings and Emotions: The Mooseheart Symposium was held in Chicago (Reymert, 1950); and in 1969 Feelings and Emotions: The Loyola Symposium took place at Loyola University, again in Chicago (Arnold, 1970). Those interested in knowing more about these earlier Feelings and Emotions symposia can find the title pages of all three of these books reproduced in the present volume, following p. 4.

The Amsterdam Symposium was inspired by these previous efforts and borrowed its title from them. The turn of the century seemed to be an appropriate moment to take stock of current scientific reflection on emotions. Emotions are central to human behavior and experience. This central role notwithstanding, theory and research had largely ignored emotions during most of the twentieth century. This situation changed rather dramatically during the last thirty years of that century, however.

Arnold, M. B. (Ed.) (1970). Feelings and emotions: The Loyola symposium. New York: Academic Press
Reymert, M. L. (Ed.) (1928). Feelings and emotions: The Wittenberg symposium. Worcester, MA: Clark University Press
Reymert, M. L. (Ed.) (1950). Feelings and emotions: The Mooseheart symposium. New York: McGraw-Hill