This article focuses on existential feelings. To begin with, it depicts how they differ from other affective phenomena and what type of intentionality they manifest. Furthermore, a detailed analysis shows that existential feelings can be subdivided, first, into elementary and nonelementary varieties, and second, into three foci of primary relatedness: oneself, the social environment, and the world as such. Eventually, five strategies of emotion regulation are examined with respect to their applicability to existential feelings. In the case of harmful existential (...) feelings, it turns out that none seems fitting except one, attentional deployment. (shrink)
The emerging consensus in the philosophy of cognition is that cognition is situated, i.e., dependent upon or co-constituted by the body, the environment, and/or the embodied interaction with it. But what about emotions? If the brain alone cannot do much thinking, can the brain alone do some emoting? If not, what else is needed? Do (some) emotions (sometimes) cross an individual's boundary? If so, what kinds of supra-individual systems can be bearers of affective states, and why? And does that make (...) emotions ?embedded? or ?extended? in the sense cognition is said to be embedded and extended? Section 2 shows why it is important to understand in which sense body, environment, and our embodied interaction with the world contribute to our affective life. Section 3 introduces some key concepts of the debate about situated cognition. Section 4 draws attention to an important disanalogy between cognition and emotion with regard to the role of the body. Section 5 shows under which conditions a contribution by the environment results in non-trivial cases of ?embedded? emotions. Section 6 is concerned with affective phenomena that seem to cross the organismic boundaries of an individual, in particular with the idea that emotions are ?extended? or ?distributed.? (shrink)
The concept of emergence is widely used in both the philosophy of mind and in cognitive science. In the philosophy of mind it serves to refer to seemingly irreducible phenomena, in cognitive science it is often used to refer to phenomena not explicitly programmed. There is no unique concept of emergence available that serves both purposes.
We will show that there is a strong form of emergence in cell biology. Beginning with C.D. Broad's classic discussion of emergence, we distinguish two conditions sufficient for emergence. Emergence in biology must be compatible with the thought that all explanations of systemic properties are mechanistic explanations and with their sufficiency. Explanations of systemic properties are always in terms of the properties of the parts within the system. Nonetheless, systemic properties can still be emergent. If the properties of the components (...) within the system cannot be predicted, even in principle, from the behavior of the system's parts within simpler wholes then there also will be systemic properties which cannot be predicted, even in principle, on basis of the behavior of these parts. We show in an explicit case study drawn from molecular cell physiology that biochemical networks display this kind of emergence, even though they deploy only mechanistic explanations. This illustrates emergence and its place in nature. (shrink)
Several theories of emergence will be distinguished. In particular, these are synchronic, diachronic, and weak versions of emergence. While the weaker theories are compatible with property reductionism, synchronic emergentism and strong versions of diachronic emergentism are not. Synchronice mergentism is of particular interest for the discussion of downward causation. For such a theory, a system's property is taken to be emergent if it is irreducible, i.e., if it is not reductively explainable. Furthermore, we have to distinguish two different types of (...) irreducibility with quite different consequences: If, on the one hand, a system's property is irreducible because of the irreducibility of the system's parts' behavior on which the property supervenes, we seem to have a case of "downward causation". This kind of downward causation does not violate the principle of the causal closure of the physical domain. If, on the other hand, a systemic property is irreducible because it is not exhaustively analyzable in terms of its causal role, downward causation is not implied. Rather, it is dubitable how unanalyzable properties might play any causal role at all. Thus, epiphenomenalism seems to be implied. The failure to keep apart the two kinds of irreducibility has muddled recent debate about the emergence of properties considerably. (shrink)
Often, the behavior of animals can be better explained and predicted, it seems, if we ascribe the capacity to have beliefs, intentions, and concepts to them. Whether we really can do so, however, is a debated issue. Particularly, Donald Davidson maintains that there is no basis in fact for ascribing propositional attitudes or concepts to animals. I will consider his and rival views, such as Colin Allen's three-part approach, for determining whether animals possess concepts. To avoid pure theoretical debate, however, (...) I will test these criteria using characteristic examples from ethology that depict a broad range of animal behavior. This will allow us to detect a series of gradations in animals' capacities, in the course of which we can think over what would count for or against an attribution of concepts and propositional attitudes to them in each single case. Self-conceit is our natural hereditary disease. Of all creatures man is the most wretched and fragile, and at once the most supercilious. ... It is by this conceit that man arrogates to himself ... divine properties, that he segregates himself from the mass of other creatures and raises himself above them .. (shrink)
Emergenztheorien werden stets dann interessant, wenn orthodox monistische und orthodox dualistische Antworten auf metaphysische Fragen nach der Natur bestimmter Phänomene nicht überzeugen können. So ist der nichtreduktive Physikalismus, eine Spielart des synchronen Eigenschaftsemergentismus, eine Reaktion auf die vermeintlichen Schwierigkeiten mit ,,Brentanos Problem" und dem Qualia-Problem. Von den reduktionistischen Positionen unterscheidet sich der Eigenschaftsemergentismus durch die Behauptung, einige systematische Eigenschaften seien irreduzibel bezüglich der Eigenschaften und Relationen der Bestandteile des betrachteten Systems. Die Charakterisierung eines Phänomens als emergent erfolgt nach positivistischer Auffassung (...) stets relativ zu einer Mikrostruktur und einer Theorie; daher sei es sinnlos, einen absoluten metaphysischen Begriff der Emergenz verwenden zu wollen. Dagegen spricht das „explanatory gap"-Argument für die Annahme absolut emergenter Eigenschaften. Ein absoluter Emergenzbegriff, der die Einwände der Positivisten ernst genug nimmt, wird vorgeschlagen. (shrink)