Ruth Leys: on Fear, Facial Expressions, and Paul Ekman

The new issue of Representations (Spring 2010), includes a wonderful essay by Ruth Leys (Humanities Center, Johns Hopkins University) which I thought would interest a number of you. Entitled “How Did Fear Become a Scientific Object and What Kind of Object Is It?”, Prof. Ley’s article is (among other things) a brilliant discussion and critique of Paul Ekman‘s influential theory of facial expressions. Working on a project on faces myself, I was of course immediately drawn to this piece, but I think it should be of great interest to anyone who cares about the philosophy of psychology more generally (which I think includes most of the regular readers of this blog). To access the essay online, please click here.

Here is a PDF preview of its introduction:

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