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CONCLUSION

The theory of the emotions outlined in the preceding pages was intended to serve as an experiment for the constitution of a phenomenological psychology. Naturally, its character as an example has prevented our entering upon the developments to which it should lead.1 On the other hand, since it was necessary to make a clean sweep of the ordinary psychological theories of emotion, we have had to ascend gradually from the psychological considerations of James to the idea of signification. A phenomenological psychology which was sure of itself, and had already cleared the ground, would begin by first of all establishing, in an eidetic reflection, the essence of the psychological fact it was investigating. That is

what we have tried to do for the mental image in a work that will shortly appear. But in spite of these reservations of detail, we hope we have succeeded in showing that a psychological fact like emotion, commonly supposed to be a lawless disorder, possesses a signification of its own, and cannot be understood in itself, without the comprehension of this signification. We now wish to indicate the limitations of such a psychological investigation.