As we have seen, perhaps the most lengthy consideration of this question has been provided by the work of Gilbert Ryle in The Concept of Mind (1949). However, his account is firmly rooted in the behaviourist tradition and, consequently in our view, has its share of problems. Lyons also provides some discussion but declines to elaborate on the initial distinctions that he draws. We would like to propose a different analysis based on the cognitive theory of emotions. If, as we have argued, the process of appraisal is the central engine of emotion, then the notion of moods and dispositions within the cognitive framework must involve fluctuations in the likelihood of such appraisals taking place. So, within this analysis, an angry mood is a state during which those appraisals that are constituents of anger are more likely to occur or have a lower threshold of occurrence. Similarly, having an angry disposition or being an angry type of person can be viewed as a permanently low threshold for anger appraisals to take place. What a lowered threshold actually means in terms of underlying processes and how such lowering of thresholds comes about are really questions for psychology and we will consider them in Chapters 3 and 5.
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