Inviting complementary perspectives on situated normativity in everyday life

In everyday life, situations in which we act adequately yet entirely without deliberation are ubiquitous. We use the term “situated normativity” for the normative aspect of embodied cognition in skillful action. Wittgenstein’s notion of “directed discontent” refers to a context-sensitive reaction of appreciation in skillful action. Extending this notion from the domain of expertise to that of adequate everyday action, we examine phenomenologically the question of what happens when skilled individuals act correctly with instinctive ease. This question invites exploratory contributions from a variety of perspectives complementary to the philosophical/ phenomenological one, including cognitive neuroscience, neurodynamics and psychology. Along such lines we try to make the normative aspect of adequate immediate action better accessible to empirical research. After introducing the idea that “valence” is a forerunner of directed discontent, we propose to make progress on this by first pursuing a more restricted exploratory question, namely, ‘what happens in the first few hundred milliseconds of the development of directed discontent?’.
Keywords Embodied cognition  Emotion  Unreflective action  Skills  Wittgenstein  Methodology  Philosophy and neuroscience  Valence  Instinctive normative action  Directed discontent
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DOI 10.1007/s11097-009-9133-7
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Jaegwon Kim (1999). Making Sense of Emergence. Philosophical Studies 95 (1-2):3-36.

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