"Basic Moods"

The hypothesis that some moods are emotions has been rejected in philosophy, and is an unpopular alternative in psychology. This is because there is wide agreement that moods have a number of features distinguishing them from emotions. These include lack of an intentional object and the related notion of lack of a goal; being of long duration; having pervasive or widespread effects; and having causes rather than reasons. Leading theories of mood have tried to explain these purported features by describing moods as global changes in the mind affecting such things as predispositions to holding certain beliefs or the thresholds for triggering a range of relevant behaviors. I show instead that our best understanding of emotions can show that basic emotions either have or can appear to have each of these features. Thus, a plausible hypothesis is that certain moods are emotions. This theory is more parsimonious than the global change theories, and for this reason is to be preferred as an explanation of some moods.
Philosophical Psychology, 19 (4): 527-538.