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Profile: Giovanna Colombetti (University of Exeter)
  1. Giovanna Colombetti (web). Enaction, Sense-Making and Emotion. In S. J. Gapenne & E. Di Paolo (eds.), Enaction: Towards a New Paradigm for Cognitive Science. MIT Press.
    The theory of autopoiesis is central to the enactive approach. Recent works emphasize that the theory of autopoiesis is a theory of sense-making in living systems, i.e. of how living systems produce and consume meaning. In this chapter I first illustrate (some aspects of) these recent works, and interpret their notion of sense-making as a bodily cognitive- emotional form of understanding. Then I turn to modern emotion science, and I illustrate its tendency to over-intellectualize our capacity to evaluate and understand. (...)
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  2. Giovanna Colombetti & Joel Krueger (forthcoming). Scaffoldings of the Affective Mind. Philosophical Psychology:1-20.
    In this paper we adopt Sterelny's framework of the scaffolded mind, and his related dimensional approach, to highlight the many ways in which human affectivity is environmentally supported. After discussing the relationship between the scaffolded-mind view and related frameworks, such as the extended-mind view, we illustrate the many ways in which our affective states are environmentally supported by items of material culture, other people, and their interplay. To do so, we draw on empirical evidence from various disciplines , and develop (...)
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  3. Giovanna Colombetti & Tom Roberts (forthcoming). Extending the Extended Mind: The Case for Extended Affectivity. Philosophical Studies:1-21.
    The thesis of the extended mind (ExM) holds that the material underpinnings of an individual’s mental states and processes need not be restricted to those contained within biological boundaries: when conditions are right, material artefacts can be incorporated by the thinking subject in such a way as to become a component of her extended mind. Up to this point, the focus of this approach has been on phenomena of a distinctively cognitive nature, such as states of dispositional belief, and processes (...)
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  4. Giovanna Colombetti & Evan Thompson (forthcoming). The Feeling Body: Towards an Enactive Approach to Emotion. In W. F. Overton, U. Mueller & J. Newman (eds.), Body in Mind, Mind in Body: Developmental Perspectives on Embodiment and Consciousness. Erlbaum.
    For many years emotion theory has been characterized by a dichotomy between the head and the body. In the golden years of cognitivism, during the nineteen-sixties and seventies, emotion theory focused on the cognitive antecedents of emotion, the so-called “appraisal processes.” Bodily events were seen largely as byproducts of cognition, and as too unspecific to contribute to the variety of emotion experience. Cognition was conceptualized as an abstract, intellectual, “heady” process separate from bodily events. Although current emotion theory has moved (...)
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  5. Giovanna Colombetti (2013). The Feeling Body: Affective Science Meets the Enactive Mind. The Mit Press.
    A proposal that extends the enactive approach developed in cognitive science and philosophy of mind to issues in affective science.
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  6. Giovanna Colombetti & Matthew Ratcliffe (2012). Bodily Feeling in Depersonalization: A Phenomenological Account. Emotion Review 4 (2):145-150.
    This paper addresses the phenomenology of bodily feeling in depersonalization disorder. We argue that not all bodily feelings are intentional states that have the body or part of it as their object. We distinguish three broad categories of bodily feeling: noematic feeling, noetic feeling, and existential feeling. Then we show how an appreciation of the differences between them can contribute to an understanding of the depersonalization experience.
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  7. Giovanna Colombetti (2011). Varieties of Pre-Reflective Self-Awareness: Foreground and Background Bodily Feelings in Emotion Experience. Inquiry 54 (3):293 - 313.
    How do we feel our body in emotion experience? In this paper I initially distinguish between foreground and background bodily feelings, and characterize them in some detail. Then I compare this distinction with the one between reflective and pre-reflective bodily self-awareness one finds in some recent philosophical phenomenological works, and conclude that both foreground and background bodily feelings can be understood as pre-reflective modes of bodily self-awareness that nevertheless differ in degree of self-presentation or self-intimation. Finally, I use the distinction (...)
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  8. Giovanna Colombetti (2009). From Affect Programs to Dynamical Discrete Emotions. Philosophical Psychology 22 (4):407-425.
    According to Discrete Emotion Theory, a number of emotions are distinguishable on the basis of neural, physiological, behavioral and expressive features. Critics of this view emphasize the variability and context-sensitivity of emotions. This paper discusses some of these criticisms, and argues that they do not undermine the claim that emotions are discrete. This paper also presents some works in dynamical affective science, and argues that to conceive of discrete emotions as self-organizing and softly assembled patterns of various processes accounts more (...)
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  9. Giovanna Colombetti (2009). Reply to Barrett, Gendron & Huang. Philosophical Psychology 22 (4):439 – 442.
  10. Giovanna Colombetti (2009). What Language Does to Feelings. Journal of Consciousness Studies 16 (9):4-26.
    This paper distinguishes various ways in which language can act on our affect or emotion experience. From the commonsensical consideration that sometimes we use language merely to report or describe our feelings, I move on to discuss how language can constitute, clarify, and enhance them, as well as induce novel and oft surprising experiences. I also consider the social impact of putting feelings into words, including the reciprocal influences between emotion experience and the public dissemination of emotion labels and descriptions, (...)
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  11. Giovanna Colombetti & Steve Torrance (2009). Emotion and Ethics: An Inter-(En)Active Approach. [REVIEW] Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 8 (4):505-526.
    In this paper, we start exploring the affective and ethical dimension of what De Jaegher and Di Paolo (Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 6:485–507, 2007 ) have called ‘participatory sense-making’. In the first part, we distinguish various ways in which we are, and feel, affectively inter-connected in interpersonal encounters. In the second part, we discuss the ethical character of this affective inter-connectedness, as well as the implications that taking an ‘inter-(en)active approach’ has for ethical theory itself.
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  12. Michel Bitbol, Carmelo Call, Massimiliano Cappuccio, Mauro Ceruti, Luisa Damiano, Giovanna Colombetti, Evan Thompson, Carlo Conni, Giuseppe Longo & Mauro Maldonato (2008). La neurofenomenologia esperienza, percezione, cognizione. Rivista di Estetica 48 (37):9-168.
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  13. Giovanna Colombetti (2008). The Somatic Marker Hypotheses, and What the Iowa Gambling Task Does and Does Not Show. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (1):51-71.
    Damasio's somatic marker hypothesis (SMH) is a prominent neuroscientific hypothesis about the mechanisms implementing decision-making. This paper argues that, since its inception, the SMH has not been clearly formulated. It is possible to identify at least two different hypotheses, which make different predictions: SMH-G, which claims that somatic states generally implement preferences and are needed to make a decision; and SMH-S, which specifically claims that somatic states assist decision-making by anticipating the long-term outcomes of available options. This paper also argues (...)
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  14. Giovanna Colombetti & Evan Thompson (2008). Il corpo E il vissuto affettivo: Verso un approccio «enattivo» allo studio delle emozioni. Rivista di Estetica 48 (37):77-96.
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  15. Giovanna Colombetti (2007). Enactive Appraisal. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 6 (4):527-546.
    Emotion theorists tend to separate “arousal” and other bodily events such as “actions” from the evaluative component of emotion known as “appraisal.” This separation, I argue, implies phenomenologically implausible accounts of emotion elicitation and personhood. As an alternative, I attempt a reconceptualization of the notion of appraisal within the so-called “enactive approach.” I argue that appraisal is constituted by arousal and action, and I show how this view relates to an embodied and affective notion of personhood.
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  16. Giovanna Colombetti (2005). Appraising Valence. Journal of Consciousness Studies 12 (8-10):8-10.
    ‘Valence’ is used in many different ways in emotion theory. It generally refers to the ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ character of an emotion, as well as to the ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ character of some aspect of emotion. After reviewing these different uses, I point to the conceptual problems that come with them. In particular, I dis- tinguish: problems that arise from conflating the valence of an emotion with the valence of its aspects, and problems that arise from the very idea that (...)
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  17. Giovanna Colombetti & Evan Thompson (2005). Enacting Emotional Interpretations with Feeling. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (2):200-201.
    This commentary makes three points: (1) There may be no clear-cut distinction between emotion and appraisal “constituents” at neural and psychological levels. (2) The microdevelopment of an emotional interpretation contains a complex microdevelopment of affect. (3) Neurophenomenology is a promising research program for testing Lewis's hypotheses about the neurodynamics of emotion-appraisal amalgams.
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  18. Evan Thompson & Giovanna Colombetti (2005). Enacting Emotional Interpretations with Feeling. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (2):200-201.
    One way to think about Lewis’s portrayal of appraisal-emotion interactions is by comparison with dynamic sensorimotor approaches to perception and action (Varela et al. 1991; O’Regan & Noë 2001; Hurley & Noë 2003). According to these approaches, perception is as much a motor process as a sensory one. At the neural level, there is “common coding” of sensory and motor processes (e.g., Prinz 1997; Rizzolatti et al. 1997). At the psychological level, action and perception are not simply instrumentally related, as (...)
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  19. Giovanna Colombetti (2003). Complexity as a New Framework for Emotion Theories. Logic and Philosophy of Science 1 (1).
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