It can seem obvious that there are natural connections
between emotional states of mind, such as
being angry or fearful, and their conscious properties,
such as feeling anger and fear. However, there
is currently no agreed-on or settled understanding of
the precise relationships between these phenomena.
There are a number of reasons for this. A major factor
is the plethora of competing accounts about the
nature of emotions, which promote different views
about the importance of consciousness, and specific
types of consciousness, for understanding the emotions.
To give a sense of these options, this entry will
describe features of the purer forms of intellectual
and experiential accounts.
Emotions have been variously identified with
judgments or feelings of bodily changes, and they are
sometimes thought of as more structurally complex
mental states that, at least ordinarily, involve the
former as elementary constituents. Whether consciousness
is necessary or matters critically for understanding
emotion, and which variety or form matters
depends on the account of the emotions adopted.