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The article proposes an analogue of conceptual change in the context of comprehensive or deep emotional change and growth, and explores some aspects of its logic in that context. This is not to reduce emotions to concepts, but to say that concepts express the sense that is already inherent in experience and reality. When emotional states change so thoroughly that their applicable concepts become completely different, they shift from one logical structure to another. At the moment or phase when one conceptual structure transforms into another, two logically incompatible descriptions both apply to the same state at the same time. As a result, the correct description of this moment and its development involves conceptual confusion, non sequitur, and logical contradiction. In these contexts, the sense itself of the emotional experience and process is partly characterized by what are otherwise violations of sense. Failure of sense is part of how these experiences make sense. The article explores some of the consequences of this paradox of sense for the nature and experience of deep emotional change and for the meaning of change itself in this context.


This is the author’s accepted manuscript. The version of record is available from the publisher at

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