Pub date
Feb 2003
Very Short Introductions
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  • 'a pop science classic' (John Walsh, Independent on Sunday)
  • Popular science writing at its best, on a topic of universal interest
  • Includes some of the very latest research in AI and neuroscience
  • Illustrated with entertaining examples from fiction, film, and popular culture
  • Non-technical but comprehensive introduction for the lay reader

Was love invented by European poets in the Middle Ages or is it part of human nature? Will winning the lottery really make you happy? Is it possible to build robots that have feelings? These are just some of the intriguing questions explored in this guide to the latest thinking about the emotions. Drawing on a wide range of scientific research, from anthropology and psychology to neuroscience and artificial intelligence, Emotion: A Very Short Introduction takes the reader on a fascinating journey into the human heart.


1: The universal language
2: Why Spock could never have evolved
3: Shortcuts to happiness
4: The head and the heart
5: The computer that cried
Further reading

About the author: 

Dylan Evans is a Research Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at King's College London, where he directs a research project in the evolution of the emotions. In his previous lives, he worked as a film-maker and psychotherapist. He is the author of Introducing Evolutionary Psychology (Icon, 1999) and Rethinking Emotion (MIT Press), and contributes regularly to the Guardian. In his spare time he is also a DJ.

Review from previous edition 
a pop science classic - John Walsh, Independent on Sunday

Evans provides a charming crash course on human sentiments - The Times

a fun little book . . .Highly accessible, this little gem deserves to sell well . . . student friendly . . . excellent introductory book - Simon Baron-Cohen, Nature

readable and thought provoking account - Susan Aldridge, Focus

Evans roams enjoyably through the firelds of psychology, psychotherapy, robotics, drugs and old-fashioned romance, like Alian de Botton in a labcoat - The Guardian (Review)

This book is a charming primer on the up-and-coming science of emotions. - James Kingsland New Scientist

An admirably clear, intelligent and witty introduction - Steven Poole, Guardian

a wealth of good sense backed by evidence - Marek Kohn, Evening Standard

a witty little book - Iain Finlayson, The Times

At last, an accessible and fascinating account of a neglected aspect of our mental lives. - Lewis Wolpert, author of "Malignant Sadness"

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