How can you be surprised? The case for volatile expectations

Surprise has been characterized has an emotional reaction to an upset belief having a heuristic role and playing a criterial role for belief ascription. The discussion of cases of diachronic and synchronic violations of coherence suggests that surprise plays an epistemic role and provides subjects with some sort of phenomenological access to their subpersonal doxastic states. Lack of surprise seems not to have the same epistemic power. A distinction between belief and expectation is introduced in order to account for some aspects of surprise: expectations are construed as volatile representations that tie belief to action. In the cases in which action is not involved, general, “ideological,” expectations are generate in strict connection with the context and with the possibilities of action.
Keywords surprise  belief  expectation  coherence  action  volatile representation
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DOI 10.1007/s11097-006-9028-9
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Problems of Rationality.Donald Davidson - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
Principles of Object Perception.Elizabeth S. Spelke - 1990 - Cognitive Science 14 (1):29--56.
Rational Animals.Donald Davidson - 1982 - Dialectica 36 (4):317-28.
Surprise, Surprise.Daniel C. Dennett - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (5):982-982.

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Emotion, the Bodily, and the Cognitive.Rick Anthony Furtak - 2010 - Philosophical Explorations 13 (1):51 – 64.

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