Self-illness ambiguity, affectivity, and affordances

Philosophical Explorations 25 (3):363-366 (2022)
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Self-illness ambiguity involves difficulty distinguishing between patterns of thought, feeling, and action that are the ‘products’ of one's illness and those that are genuinely one's own. Bortolan maintains that the values, cares, and preferences that define someone’s personal identity are rooted in intentional emotions and non-intentional affects (i.e., existential feelings and moods). The uncertainty that comprises self-illness ambiguity results from the experience of moods or existential feelings that are in tension with ones that the patient experienced prior to the onset of illness. Building on these ideas, I examine how the notion of ‘affordance’ can shed further light on the dynamics and phenomenology of self-illness ambiguity. In my view, such ambiguity results from a lack of diachronic continuity and stability in a subject’s field of affordances.



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Michelle Maiese
Emmanuel College

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