What is an affective artifact? A further development in situated affectivity

Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 19 (3):549-567 (2020)
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In this paper I would like to propose the notion of “affective artifact”, building on an analogy with theories of cognitive artifacts and referring to the development of a situated affective science. Affective artifacts are tentatively defined as objects that have the capacity to alter the affective condition of an agent, and that in some cases play an important role in defining that agent’s self. The notion of affective artifacts will be presented by means of examples supported by empirical findings, by discussing a tentative definition and classification, and by considering several related but differing notions. Within the framework of situated affectivity, the notion of affective artifacts will represent a further step in the enterprise of understanding how the environment helps us scaffold our affective processes. I will conclude that affective artifacts play a key role in the philosophy of cognitive science, the philosophy of technology and in the debate about the self.



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