This paper outlines what we call a network model of collective emotions. Drawing upon this model, we explore the significance of collective emotions in the Palestine-Israel conflict. We highlight some of the ways in which collective shame, in particular, has contributed to the evolution of this conflict. And we consider some of the obstacles that shame and the pride-restoring narratives to which it gave birth pose to the conflict’s resolution.
Though scholars have long acknowledged the vital role of affect in politics, recent research has sought to more thoroughly integrate emotions into models of political behavior. Emotions may prove to be the missing piece in a variety of puzzles with which political scientists have struggled for decades. At its core, democracy poses a collective action problem. For each individual citizen, the cost of productive political engagement often outweighs the additional policy benefits to be gained from such behavior. However, for (...) a variety of reasons, emotions appear to motivate citizens to at times break out of “cold” individual utility calculation and engage in politics. Still, emotions may also bias information processing, so scholars should keep this in mind as we continue to build on our understanding of emotion’s role in politics. (shrink)
The paper explores the possibility of collectives forgiving and being forgiven. The first half of the paper articulates and amends Hannah Arendt’s account of forgiveness of and by individuals. The second half raises several objections to the possibility of extending this account to forgiveness of and by collectives. In reply, I argue that collectives can have emotions, be guilty, and meet other necessary conditions for forgiving or being forgiven. However, I explain why, even though collective forgiveness is possible, it (...) may, nonetheless, prove dissatisfying. (shrink)
It is received wisdom in philosophy and the cognitive sciences that individuals can be in emotional states but groups cannot. But why should we accept this view? In this paper, I argue that there is substantial philosophical and empirical support for the existence of collective emotions. Thus, while there is good reason to be skeptical about many ascriptions of collectiveemotion, I argue that some groups exhibit the computational complexity and informational integration required for being in genuinely (...) emotional states. (shrink)
Collective emotions are at the heart of any society and become evident in gatherings, crowds, or responses to widely salient events. However, they remain poorly understood and conceptualized in scientific terms. Here, we provide first steps towards a theory of collective emotions. We first review accounts of the social and cultural embeddedness of emotion that contribute to understanding collective emotions from three broad perspectives: face-to-face encounters, culture and shared knowledge, and identification with a social collective. (...) In discussing their strengths and shortcomings and highlighting areas of conceptual overlap, we translate these views into a number of bottom–up mechanisms that explain collectiveemotion elicitation on the levels of social cognition, expressive behavior, and social practices. (shrink)
Among other things, this paper considers what so-called collective guilt feelings amount to. If collective guilt feelings are sometimes appropriate, it must be the case that collectives can indeed be guilty. The paper begins with an account of what it is for a collective to intend to do something and to act in light of that intention. An account of collective guilt in terms of membership guilt feelings is found wanting. Finally, a "plural subject" account of (...)collective guilt feelings is articulated, such that they involve a joint commitment to feel guilt as a body. (shrink)
This essay explores the nature of an important collectiveemotion, namely, collective remorse. Three accounts of collective remorse are presented and evaluated. The first involves an aggregate of group members remorseful over acts of their own associated with their group's act; the second an aggregate of persons remorseful over their group's act. The third account posits, in terms that are explained, a joint commitment of a group's members to constitute as far as is possible a single (...) remorseful body. Construed according to this account the remorse of a nation that has wronged another nation is liable to make a particularly important contribution to international peace. (shrink)
A key argument of Dixon et al. in the target article is that prejudice reduction through intergroup contact and collective action work in opposite ways. We argue for a complementary approach focusing on extreme emotions to understand why people turn to non-normative collective action and to understand when and under what conditions extreme emotions may influence positive effects of contact on reconciliation.
This review demonstrates that an individualist view of emotion and regulation is untenable. First, I question the plausibility of a developmental shift away from social interdependency in emotion regulation. Second, I show that there are multiple reasons for emotional experiences in adults to elicit a process of social sharing of emotion, and I review the supporting evidence. Third, I look at effects that emotion sharing entails at the interpersonal and at the collective levels. Fourth, I (...) examine the contribution of emotional sharing to emotion regulation together with the relevant empirical evidence. Finally, the various functions that the social sharing of emotion fulfills are reviewed and the relevance of the social sharing of emotion for emotion scientists is discussed. (shrink)
Consider a typical fear episode. You are strolling down a lonely mountain lane when suddenly a huge wolf leaps towards you. A number of different interconnected elements are involved in the fear you experience. First, there is the visual and auditory perception of the wild animal and its movements. In addition, it is likely that given what you see, you may implicitly and inarticulately appraise the situation as acutely threatening. Then, there are a number of physiological changes, involving a variety (...) of systems controlled by the autonomic nervous system. Your heart races, your breathing becomes strained and your start trembling. These changes are accompanied by an expression of fear on your face: your mouth opens and your eyes widen while you stare at the wolf. There is also a kind of experience that you undergo. You are likely to feel a sort of pang, something that might consist in the perception of the physiological changes you are going through. Moreover, a number of thoughts are likely to cross your mind. You might think that the wild beast is about to tear you into pieces and that you’ll never escape from this. In addition to this, your attention focuses on the wolf and its movement, as well as, possibly, ways of escaping or defending yourself. Last, but not least, your fear is likely to come with a motivation, such as an urge to run away or to strike back. Whatever the details of the story, it is clear that a typical emotion episode involves a number of different components. Roughly, these components are a) a sensory perception or more generally an informational component, b) a kind of appraisal, d) physiological changes, c) conscious feelings, d) cognitive and attentional processes, and e) an actiontendency or more generally a motivational component. One central question in the theory of emotion is which, if any, of these components, constitute the emotion.. (shrink)
Scholars take note: the philosophy of emotion is staking its claim. Peter Goldie's new Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Emotion (OHPE) is undoubtedly the most significant collection of original philosophical essays on emotion to date. It spans a broad range of topics from the nature of mind and reason to personal identity and beauty. It also boasts an incredible set of prestigious authors. But more than that - it bears testimony to its own legitimacy.
The present essay is a compact form of the results obtained during many decades of research into the primeval foundations of the collective fields of force, both social and of consciousness. Since everything is determined by their origins, and the collective forces arise from the mind, we had to explore the ultimate origins of mind. We have come to recognize the law of interactions as the law and necessity which determine the primeval origins of mind. It also determines (...) the substance and essence of the Universe and the modes of its existence and functioning. The present essay is a concise form of results obtained during many decades of research in the primeval foundations of collective, both social and consciousness fields. I point out that a yet unknown type of forces existed in the Golden Age, which I termed as collective force. In the Golden Age mankind lived in communities which had a full unity. The communal life developed its collective forms, of which the most significant are the development of human speech, of language, share of work and the development of the communal fests. The law determining the primeval origins of mind is the cosmic law of interactions. It defines the substance of the Universe and the ways of its existence and activity. A detailed analysis is presented on the nature of the lay of interaction here. One consequence of this fundamental principle is the general prevalence of the principle of mutuality, which plays a basic role in the understanding of the unfolding and degeneration of consciousness. The principle of mutuality determines the changes of every levels of life. The laws of the generation of consciousness in the ages of evolution toward Homo and the Golden Age are analysed. I presented some evidences indicating the factual existence of the Golden Age, as well as its destruction, which was necessarily accompanied by the overthrow of the consciousness of the Golden Age, its repression and replacement by the newly developed rational, upper or superficial mind. Starting from the consideration that our mind is a product of our history, the phenomenon of the 'double mind' is recognised, the largely antagonistic duality of human mind. It is succeeded to solve the riddle of the double mind and determining its substance. Our double mind, consisting of the ‘upper’ or rational mind and the ‘deep-mind’, is a creature of the two fundamental ages of mankind, that of the age of power domination and the Golden Age. Therefore it expresses the duality of our history. We attempted to explore the heritage of the Golden Age embedded into our world of instincts, sexuality, emotional and sensual world, and the expressions of this heritage according to the different periods of our lives. If we will succeed in enlightening the deep-mind it may make it possible to give back the long-forgotten collective fields of forces to mankind, unavailable to the surface mind at present, and would expand the all-pervasive power of the conscious mind significantly. Hopefully, our results open up new vistas for the research of the collective fields and the double nature of the human mind, and may enable us to know and complete ourselves more deeply and thoroughly. (shrink)
Resentment, as it is currently understood in the philosophical literature, is individual. That is, it is anger about a moral injury done to oneself. But in some cases, resentment responds to systemic harms and injustices rather than direct moral injuries. The purpose of this paper is to move beyond individualistic conceptions of resentment to develop an account of collective resentment that better captures the character and effects of the emotion in these cases. I use the example of indigenous (...) and settler Canadians’ reciprocal resentments in response to the Indian Residential Schools and continuing political disagreements as an example of a context in which understanding collective resentment is important. (shrink)
In his seminal paper, Gabrielsson (2002) distinguishes between emotion felt by the listener, here: ‘internal locus of emotion’ (IL), and the emotion the music is expressing, here: 'external locus emotion' (EL). This paper tabulates 16 such publications published in the decade 2003-2012 consisting of 19 studies/experiments and provides some theoretical perspectives. The key findings were that (1) IL ratings was frequently rated statistically the same or lower than the corresponding EL rating (e.g. lower felt happiness rating (...) compared to the apparent happiness of the music), and that (2) self-select and preferred music had a smaller gap across the emotion loci than experimenter selected and disliked music. These key findings were explained by an ‘inhibited’ emotional contagion mechanism, where the otherwise matching felt emotion may have been attenuated by some other factor such as social context. Matching between EL and IL for loved and self-selected pieces was explained by the activation of ‘contagion’ circuits. Physiological arousal, personality and age, as well as musical features (tempo, mode, putative emotions) were observed to influence perceived and felt emotion distinctions. A variety of data collection formats were identified, but mostly using continuous rating scales. In conclusion, a more systematic use of terminology appears desirable with respect to theory-building. Whether two broad categories, namely matched and unmatched, are sufficient to capture the relationships between EL and IL, instead of four categories as suggested by Gabrielsson, is subject to future research. (shrink)
What is the ontology of collective action? I have in mind three connected questions. 1. Do the truth conditions of action sentences about groups require there to be group agents over and above individual agents? 2. Is there a difference, in this connection, between action sentences about informal groups that use plural noun phrases, such as ‘We pushed the car’ and ‘The women left the party early’, and action sentences about formal or institutional groups that use singular noun phrases, (...) such as ‘The United States declared war on Japan on December 8th, 1941’ and ‘The Supreme Court ruled that segregation is unconstitutional in 1954 in Brown vs. Board of Education’? 3. Under what conditions does it make sense to speak of a group doing something together, and what, if anything, is a collective action? In this paper, In the following, I argue that a) understanding action sentences about groups does not commit us to the existence of group agents per se, but only to the existence of individual agents; b) there is no difference in this regard between sentences which attribute actions to informal groups on the one hand and institutional groups on the other; c) collective action can be both intentional and unintentional; d) any random group of agents each of whom does something is also a group which does something together; e) while there is a sense in which groups per se perform no primitive collective actions, and therefore no actions at all, f) there is a sensible extension of talk of actions to groups, though it should be treated strictly speaking, like talk of group agents, as a façon de parler, for g) the only agents per se are individuals and the only actions are theirs. -/- . (shrink)
Two aspects about meaning and emotion are discussed in this paper. The first, which is the main focus of this paper, addresses the semantic shaping of emotions (semanticization). It will be shown how language acquisition leads to the semantic shaping of emotions. For this purpose I will first introduce the theory of language acquisition that has been developed mainly by Michael Tomasello and also by Donald Davidson. Then I will take basic emotions into account in order to show that (...) language plays a crucial role when it comes to the shaping of emotions and how we feel. The second aspect about meaning and emotion addresses the signification that an emotion might have for a person. One could also say that this aspect addresses the meaning an emotion has for a person. This issue will only play a minor part in my investigations. (shrink)
An ongoing debate in the philosophy of emotion concerns the relationship between two prima facie aspects of emotional states. The first is affective: felt and/or motivational. The second, which I call object-identifying, represents whatever the emotion is about or directed towards. “Componentialists” – such as R. S. Lazarus, Jesse Prinz, and Antonio Damasio – assume that an emotion’s object-identifying aspect can have the same representational content as a non-emotional state’s, and that it is psychologically separable or dissociable (...) from the emotion’s affective aspect. Some further hold that emotions have no object-identifying aspects of their own, and can properly be said to be about things only in virtue of their associations with other mental states (such as beliefs or perceptions). By contrast, “blenderists” – such as Peter Goldie, York Gunther, and Matthew Ratcliffe – insist that the two aspects are indissociable, because the affective aspect “infuses” the object-identifying aspect, altering the subject’s concept or percept of the object. As a result, an emotion’s object-identifying aspect cannot possibly have the same representational content as any non-emotional state’s. I argue that the strongest blenderist arguments fail to rule out plausible componentialist alternatives, and that the blenderists’ broader motivations are orthogonal to structural issues. (shrink)
This article discusses the integrative function frequently assigned to festive events by scholars. This function can be summed up in a proposition: experiencing similar emotions during collective gatherings is a powerful element of socialization. The article rejects this oft-developed idea according to which popular fervor could be an efficient tool to measure civic engagement. It raises the following question: what makes enthusiasm “civic”, “patriotic”, “republican” or simply “political”? Based on a study of French presidential tours in France from 1888 (...) to 2007, this article casts a different light on the topic. The enthusiasm of the crowds interacting with the successive French presidents is not civic because an inquiry may find “patriotism” into participants’ minds. It can be called civic simply because the forms and meaning of the festive jubilation, which may be summarized into the formula: “if spectators applaud, it means they support,” necessarily preexist its multiple manifestations. (shrink)
Based on the belief that computational modeling (thinking in terms of representation and computations) can help to clarify controversial issues in emotion theory, this article examines emotional experience from the perspective of the Computational Belief–Desire Theory of Emotion (CBDTE), a computational explication of the belief–desire theory of emotion. It is argued that CBDTE provides plausible answers to central explanatory challenges posed by emotional experience, including: the phenomenal quality,intensity and object-directedness of emotional experience, the function of emotional experience (...) and its relation to cognition and motivation, and the relation between emotional experience and emotion. In addition, CBDTE avoids most objections that have been raised against cognitive theories of emotion. A remaining objection, that beliefs are not necessary for the emotions covered by CBDTE, is rejected as empirically unsupported. (shrink)
What is the relation between emotional experience and its behavioural expression? As very preliminary clarification, I mean by ‘emotional experience’ such things as the subjective feeling of being afraid of something, or of being angry at someone. On the side of behavioural expression, I focus on such things as cowering in fear, or shaking a fist or thumping the table in anger. Very crudely, this is behaviour intermediate between the bodily changes which just happen in emotional arousal, such as sweating (...) or the secretion of adrenalin, and reasoned actions done ‘out of an emotion’, such as breathing deeply to clam down, or writing a letter of complaint, for which a standard rationalizing explanation can be given.1 I pursue the relation between this experience and expression in a somewhat roundabout manner. First, I note an analogy between a problem of other minds, and Berkeley’s (1975) challenge to Locke’s (1975) realism. Second, I sketch what I regard as the correct strategy for meeting this challenge. Third, I develop and defend a parallel response to the problem of other minds, as this applies to certain basic directed emotions. This yields the following answer to my opening question. Reference to the appropriate expressive behaviour is essential to the identification of the way in which various emotional experiences present their worldly objects. (shrink)
Abstract: The perceptual model of emotions maintains that emotions involve, or are at least analogous to, perceptions of value. On this account, emotions purport to tell us about the evaluative realm, in much the same way that sensory perceptions inform us about the sensible world. An important development of this position, prominent in recent work by Peter Goldie amongst others, concerns the essential role that virtuous habits of attention play in enabling us to gain perceptual and evaluative knowledge. I think (...) that there are good reasons to be sceptical about this picture of virtue. In this essay I set out these reasons, and explain the consequences this scepticism has for our understanding of the relation between virtue, emotion, and attention. In particular, I argue that our primary capacity for recognizing value is in fact a non-emotional capacity. (shrink)
According to the old feeling theory of emotion, an emotion is just a feeling: a conscious experience with a characteristic phenomenal character. This theory is widely dismissed in contemporary discussions of emotion as hopelessly naïve. In particular, it is thought to suffer from two fatal drawbacks: its inability to account for the cognitive dimension of emotion (which is thought to go beyond the phenomenal dimension), and its inability to accommodate unconscious emotions (which, of course, lack any (...) phenomenal character). In this paper, I argue that the old feeling theory is in reality only a pair of modifications removed from a highly plausible account of the nature of emotion that retains the essential connection between emotion and feeling. These modifications are, moreover, motivated by recent developments in work on phenomenal consciousness. The first development is the rising recognition of a phenomenal character proper to cognition—so-called cognitive phenomenology. The second is the gathering momentum behind various ‘connection principles’ that specify some connection that a given state must bear to phenomenally conscious states in order to qualify as mental. These developments make it possible to formulate a new feeling theory of emotion, which would overcome the two fatal drawbacks of the old feeling theory. According to the new feeling theory, an emotion is a mental state that bears the right connection to conscious experiences with the right phenomenal character (involving, among other elements, a cognitive phenomenology). (shrink)
The distinction between cognitive and perceptual theories of emotion is entrenched in the literature on emotion and is openly used by individual emotion theorists when classifying their own theories and those of others. In this paper, I argue that the distinction between cognitive and perceptual theories of emotion is more pernicious than it is helpful, while at the same time insisting that there are nonetheless important perceptual and cognitive factors in emotion that need to be (...) distinguished. A general representational metatheoretical framework for reconciling cognitive and perceptual theories is proposed. This is the Representational Theory of Emotion (RTE). A detailed case study of Antonio Damasio's important new contribution to emotion theory is presented in defense of the RTE. The paper is intended for readers interested in the foundations of emotion theory and cognitive science. (shrink)
This paper constitutes a defence of an affective account of emotion. I begin by outlining the case for thinking that emotions are just feelings. I also suggest that emotional feelings are not reducible to other kinds of feelings, but rather form a distinct class of feeling state. I then consider a number of common objections that have been raised against affective accounts of emotion, including: (1) the objection that emotion cannot always consist only of feeling because some (...) emotions - for example, indignation and regret - necessarily have a cognitive component (say, the perception of a lost opportunity in the case of regret); (2) the objection that emotion cannot consist only of feeling because in order to explain how emotions have intentional objects we will have to recognise that emotion consists of cognition; and (3) the objection that emotion cannot consist only of feeling because emotion, but not feeling, can be variously assessed or evaluated. However, I demonstrate how an affective account of emotion might be successfully defended against all of the objections that are cited. (shrink)
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 between foreground and background bodily feelings to characterize the experience of being absorbed in an activity, as opposed to accounts that imply that absorption involves bodily inconspicuousness. (shrink)
Philosophers and economists write about collective action from distinct but related points of view. This paper aims to bridge these perspectives. Economists have been concerned with rationality in a strategic context. There, problems posed by “coordination games” seem to point to a form of rational action, “team thinking,” which is not individualistic. Philosophers’ analyses of collective intention, however, sometimes reduce collective action to a set of individually instrumental actions. They do not, therefore, capture the first person plural (...) perspective characteristic of team thinking. Other analyses, problematically, depict intentions ranging over others’ actions. I offer an analysis of collective intention which avoids these problems. A collective intention aims only at causing an individual action, but its propositional content stipulates its mirroring in other minds. (shrink)
The philosophy of emotion has long been divided over the cognitive nature of emotion. In this paper I argue that this debate suffers from deep confusion over the meaning of “cognition” itself. This confusion has in turn obscured critical substantive agreement between the debate’s principal opponents. Capturing this agreement and remedying this confusion requires re-conceptualizing “the cognitive” as it functions in first-order theories of emotion. Correspondingly, a sketch for a new account of cognitivity is offered. However, I (...) also argue that this new account, despite tacit acceptance by all major theories of emotion, in fact rules out some of the most fundamental and controversial claims of one side of the nature-of-emotion debate, emotional cognitivism. (shrink)
Abstract: By briefly sketching some important ancient accounts of the connections between psychology and moral education, I hope to illuminate the significance of the contemporary debate on the nature of emotion and to reveal its stakes. I begin the essay with a brief discussion of intellectualism in Socrates and the Stoics, and Plato's and Posidonius's respective attacks against it. Next, I examine the two current leading philosophical accounts of emotion: the cognitive theory and the noncognitive theory. I maintain (...) that the noncognitive theory better explains human behavior and experience and has more empirical support than the cognitive theory. In the third section of the essay I argue that recent empirical research on emotional contagion and mirroring processes provides important new evidence for the noncognitive theory. In the final section, I draw some preliminary conclusions about moral education and the acquisition of virtue. (shrink)
William James's theory of emotion is often criticized for placing too much emphasis on bodily feelings and neglecting the cognitive aspects of emotion. This paper suggests that such criticisms are misplaced. Interpreting James's account of emotion in the light of his later philosophical writings, I argue that James does not emphasize bodily feelings at the expense of cognition. Rather, his view is that bodily feelings are part of the structure of intentionality. In reconceptualizing the relationship between cognition (...) and affect, James rejects a number of commonplace assumptions concerning the nature of our cognitive relationship with the world, assumptions that many of his critics take for granted. (shrink)
The question is how to explain expressions of emotion. It is argued that not all expressions of emotion are open to the same sort of explanation. Those expressions which are actions can be explained, like other sorts of action, by reference to a belief and a desire; however, no genuine expression of emotion is done as a means to some further end. Certain expressions of emotion which are actions can also be given a deeper explanation as (...) being expressive of a wish. Expressions of emotion which are not actions cannot be given a belief-desire explanation: no belief is involved, and a desire is involved only in an honorific sense of 'desire'. The distinction amongst expressions of emotion between those which are actions and those which are not is not a precise one, and the paper concludes with some speculative remarks about borderline cases such as jumping for joy. (shrink)
This essay argues that while the notion of collective responsibiility is incoherent if it is taken to be an application of the Kantian model of moral responsibility to groups, it is coherent -- and important -- if formulated in terms of the moral reactions that we can have to groups that cause harm in the world. I formulate collective responsibility as such and in doing so refocus attention from intentionality to the production of harm.
Margaret Gilbert explores the phenomenon referred to in everyday ascriptions of beliefs to groups. She refers to this type of phenomenon as "collective belief" and calls the types of groups that are the bearers of such beliefs "plural subjects". I argue that the attitudes that groups adopt that Gilbert refers to as "collective beliefs" are not a species of belief in an important and central sense, but rather a species of acceptance. Unlike proper beliefs, a collective belief (...) is adopted by a group as a means to realizing the group's goals. Unless we recognize that this phenomenon is a species of acceptance, plural subjects will seem prone to change their "beliefs" for irrelevant reasons, and thus frequently appear to act in an irrational manner. (shrink)
I discuss two ways in which emotions explain actions: in the first, the explanation is expressive; in the second, the action is not only explained but also rationalized by the emotion's intentional content. The belief-desire model cannot satisfactorily account for either of these cases. My main purpose is to show that the emotions constitute an irreducible category in the explanation of action, to be understood by analogy with perception. Emotions are affective perceptions. Their affect gives them motivational force, and (...) they can rationalize actions because, like perception, they have a representational intentional content. Because of this, an emotion can non-inferentially justify a belief which in its turn justifies or rationalizes an action; so emotions may constitute a source of moral knowledge. (shrink)
Two lines of investigation into the nature of mental content have proceeded in parallel until now. The first looks at thoughts that are attributable to collectives, such as bands' beliefs and teams' desires. So far, philosophers who have written on collective belief, collective intentionality, etc. have primarily focused on third-personal attributions of thoughts to collectives. The second looks at de se, or self-locating, thoughts, such as beliefs and desires that are essentially about oneself. So far, philosophers who have (...) written on the de se have primarily focused on de se thoughts of individuals. This paper looks at where these two lines of investigations intersect: collective de se thoughts, such as bands' and teams' beliefs and desires that are essentially about themselves. There is a surprising problem at this intersection: the most prominent framework for modeling de se thoughts, the framework of centered worlds, cannot model a special class of collective de se thoughts. A brief survey of this problem's solution space shows that collective de se thoughts pose a new challenge for modeling mental content. (shrink)
Abstract The content of an emotion, unlike the content of a perception, is directly dependent on the motivational set of the subject experiencing the emotion. Given the instability of this motivational set, it might be thought that there is no sense in which emotions can be said to pick up information about the environment in the same way that perception does. Whereas it is admitted that perception tracks for us what is the case in the environment, no such (...) tracking relation, it is argued, holds between one's emotions and what they are about. It is to this worry – that the construal of the emotions as perceptions inevitably raises – that this paper tries to respond. In this paper, I suggest that when it is realized that one dimension of perception itself is directly dependent on the perceiver's perspective on her environment, then emotion, which is also essentially perspectival in this sense, bears the comparison with perception very well. After having clarified the nature and the role that perspective plays in perception, I argue that, in the case of emotions, the same perspectival role can be played by agents’ long-standing evaluative tendencies and character traits. The resulting conception of emotion as perception is then tested against possible objections. (shrink)
Empirical assessments of Cognitive Behavioral Theory and theoretical considerations raise questions about the fundamental theoretical tenet that psychological disturbances are mediated by consciously accessible cognitive structures. This paper considers this situation in light of emotion theory in philosophy. We argue that the “perceptual theory” of emotions, which underlines the parallels between emotions and sensory perceptions, suggests a conception of cognitive mediation that can accommodate the observed empirical anomalies and one that is consistent with the dual-processing models dominant in cognitive (...) psychology. (shrink)
-/- In this paper I discuss a number of different relationships between two kinds of (moral) obligation: those which have individuals as their subject, and those which have groups of individuals as their subject. I use the name collective obligations to refer to obligations of the second sort. I argue that there are collective obligations, in this sense; that such obligations can give rise to and explain obligations which fall on individuals; that because of these facts collective (...) obligations are not simply reducible to individual obligations; and that collective obligations supervene on individual obligations, without being reducible to them. The sort of supervenience I have in mind here is what is sometimes called ‘global supervenience’. In other words, there cannot be two worlds which differ in respect of the collective obligations which exist in them without also differing in respect of the individual obligations which exist in them. (shrink)
_In real life, emotions can distort practical reasoning, typically in ways that it is_ _difficult to realise at the time, or to envisage and plan for in advance. This fea-_ _ture of real life emotional experience raises difficulties for imagining such expe-_ _riences through centrally imagining, or imagining ‘from the inside’. I argue_ _instead for the important psychological role played by another kind of imagin-_ _ing: imagining from an external perspective. This external perspective can draw_ _on the dramatic irony involved (...) in imagining these typical cases, where one_ _knows outside the scope of the imagining what one does not know as part of the_ _content of what one imagines: namely, that the imagined emotion is distorting_ _one’s reasoning. Moreover, imagining from an external perspective allows one_ _to evaluate the imagined events in a way that imagining from the inside does not._. (shrink)
This is a review essay of Christopher Kutz's Complicity: Ethics and Law for a Collective Age, and Jonathan Bass's Stay The Hand of Vengeance: The Politics of War Crimes Tribunals. Topics addressed include the nature of collective intentions and actions, the possibility of collective guilt, the moral responsibility of individuals in the context of collective actions.
Efforts to bridge emotion theory with neurobiology can be facilitated by dynamic systems (DS) modeling. DS principles stipulate higher-order wholes emerging from lower-order constituents through bidirectional causal processes cognition relations. I then present a psychological model based on this reconceptualization, identifying trigger, self-amplification, and self-stabilization phases of emotion-appraisal states, leading to consolidating traits. The article goes on to describe neural structures and functions involved in appraisal and emotion, as well as DS mechanisms of integration by which they (...) interact. These mechanisms include nested feedback interactions, global effects of neuromodulation, vertical integration, action-monitoring, and synaptic plasticity, and they are modeled in terms of both functional integration and temporal synchronization. I end by elaborating the psychological model of emotion–appraisal states with reference to neural processes. (shrink)
The paper aims to clarify and scrutinize Searle"s somewhat puzzling statement that collective intentionality is a biologically primitive phenomenon. It is argued that the statement is not only meant to bring out that "collective intentionality" is not further analyzable in terms of individual intentionality. It also is meant to convey that we have a biologically evolved innate capacity for collective intentionality.The paper points out that Searle"s dedication to a strong notion of collective intentionality considerably delimits the (...) scope of his endeavor. Furthermore, evolutionary theory does not vindicate that an innate capacity for collective intentionality is a necessary precondition for cooperative behavior. 1. (shrink)
In this paper, my aim is to bring together contemporary psychological literature on emotion regulation and the classical sentimentalism of David Hume and Adam Smith to arrive at a plausible account of empathy's role in explaining patterns of moral judgment. Along the way, I criticize related arguments by Michael Slote, Jesse Prinz, and others.
Empirical evidence shows that non-conscious appraisal processes generate bodily responses to the environment. This finding is consistent with William James’s account of emotion, and it suggests that a general theory of emotion should follow James: a general theory should begin with the observation that physiological and behavioral responses precede our emotional experience. But I advance three arguments (empirical and conceptual arguments) showing that James’s further account of emotion as the experience of bodily responses is inadequate. I offer (...) an alternative model, according to which responses (physical states) are perceived and interpreted by a separate cognitive process, one that assigns meaning to those responses. The non-conscious appraisal process and the interpretive process are distinct, hence a two-stage model of emotion. This model is related to Schachter and Singer’s two-factor theory. Their often-discussed experiment showed that interpretation can play a role in producing emotions. But they do not show that interpretation is necessary for producing emotions in general, outside of the experimental conditions that generated unexplained arousal in subjects. My two-stage model supports this stronger claim by situating the interpretive process in a comprehensive model of emotion. (shrink)
Some instances of right and wrongdoing appear to be of a distinctly collective kind. When, for example, one group commits genocide against another, the genocide is collective in the sense that the wrongness of genocide seems morally distinct from the aggregation of individual murders that make up the genocide. The problem, which I refer to as the problem of collective wrongs, is that it is unclear how to assign blame for distinctly collective wrongdoing to individual contributors (...) when none of those individual contributors is guilty of the wrongdoing in question. I offer Christopher Kutz’s Complicity Principle as an attractive starting point for solving the problem, and then argue that the principle ought to be expanded to include a broader and more appropriate range of cases. The view I ultimately defend is that individuals are blameworthy for collective harms insofar as they knowingly participate in those harms, and that said individuals remain blameworthy regardless of whether they succeed in making a causal contribution to those harms. (shrink)
It has been argued recently that some basic emotions should be considered natural kinds. This is different from the question whether as a class emotions form a natural kind; that is, whether emotion is a natural kind. The consensus on that issue appears to be negative. I argue that this pessimism is unwarranted and that there are in fact good reasons for entertaining the hypothesis that emotion is a natural kind. I interpret this to mean that there exists (...) a distinct natural class of organisms whose behavior and development are governed by emotion. These are emoters. Two arguments for the natural kind status of emotion are considered. Both converge on the existence of emotion as a distinct natural domain governed by its own laws and regularities. There are then some reasons for being optimistic about the prospects for consilience in emotion theory. 1 The mantra 2 Griffiths on emotions as natural kinds 3 Panksepp on emotions as natural kinds 4 Emotion as a neurobiological kind 5 Emotion as a psychological kind 6 Response to the mantra 7 Unification or fragmentation? 8 Concluding remarks. (shrink)
Stephen May (2011) holds that language rights have been insufficiently recognized, or just rejected as problematic, in human rights theory and practice. Defending the “human rights approach to language rights”, he claims that language rights should be accorded the status of fundamental human rights, recognized as such by states and international organizations. This article argues that the notion of language rights is far from clear. According to May, one key reason for rejecting the claim that language rights should be considered (...) as human rights is the widespread belief that language rights are collective rights. In order to address this kind of objection, the collective character attributed to language rights must be carefully assessed, distinguishing two different views of what a collective right is. (shrink)
This is an excerpt from a report that highlights and explores five questions which arose from the workshop on perceptual learning and perceptual recognition at the University of Toronto, Mississauga on May 10th and 11th, 2012. This excerpt explores the question: How do we recognize distinct types of emotion in music?