• Sergio Starkstein


The concept of fear includes several semantically-related emotions, such as anxiety, phobias, panic and anguish. Therefore, the first section of this chapter provides a lexical introduction to the concept of fear and cognate words by examining the roots of these terms in the secular Old Greek and Latin lexicons. The second section briefly reviews how fear has been conceptualised in contemporary philosophy, from traditions that consider it is possible to provide categorical definitions of fear and related terms, to those that argue that the word ‘fear’ includes a variety of semantically-related terms united by ‘family resemblances,’ but with fuzzy boundaries. The third and last section considers the importance of conducting a conceptual analysis of fear, given that conceptual analysis is a powerful technique for both clarifying the meaning of fear, and helping to understand the best therapeutic approaches.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Western AustraliaFremantleAustralia

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