Situating Emotions: From Embodied Cognition to Mindreading

Topoi 33 (1):173-184 (2014)
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In this article we analyze the strengths and weaknesses of mindreading versus embodied cognition approaches to emotion understanding. In the first part of the article we argue that mindreading explanations of how we understand the emotions of others (TT, ST or hybrid) face a version of the frame problem, i.e. the problem of how to limit the scope of the information that is relevant to mindreading. Also, we show that embodied cognition explanations are able to by-pass this problem because they provide a characterization of social understanding as being essentially situated. However, embodied cognition explanations seem to be limited in scope insofar as they do not target the more sophisticated forms of emotion understanding that have traditionally been the main focus of mindreading explanations. In the second part of the article we discuss Goldie’s account of emotion understanding as a possible way to complement embodied cognition approaches without re-introducing the frame problem. We offer two suggestions that might further the integration of Goldie’s account of emotion understanding within the framework of embodied cognition



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Author Profiles

Marc Slors
Radboud University Nijmegen
Leon De Bruin
VU University Amsterdam

References found in this work

How the Body Shapes the Mind.Shaun Gallagher - 2005 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK.
The expression of the emotions in man and animal.Charles Darwin - 1898 - Mineola, New York: Dover Publications.
The Emotions: A Philosophical Exploration.Peter Goldie - 2000 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.

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