: This paper aims to situate the roles of attention and habit in contemporary approaches to embodied cognition with particular regard to the conceptualisation of affordances. While Chemero has argued that affordances have a relational character that rules out dispositions, Rietveld and Kiverstein have suggested that engaging with affordances amounts to exercising skills. By critically reconsidering the distinction between dispositions and abilities proposed by Chemero, as well as the standard theory of habit that underpins accounts of skilful coping, I propose (...) to disambiguate habit from skill and to reassess the phenomenology of dispositions. Dispositions are motivational factors that depend on two elements: sensitivity to context clues, which is regulated by habit and attention, and the positionality of the subject, which is inseparable from context-awareness. Drawing on Husserl’s and Merleau-Ponty’s insights, I argue that both and can accommodate a dispositional view of affordances. Keywords: Habit; Attention; Affordances; Dispositions; Phenomenology; Embodied Cognition Situare attenzione e abitudine nel panorama delle affordance Riassunto: L’articolo mira a situare i ruoli svolti dall’attenzione e dall’abitudine negli approcci contemporanei all’ embodied cognition, con particolare attenzione alla concettualizzazione delle affordance. Se, un da un lato, Chemero ha sostenuto che l’ affordance ha un carattere relazionale, che esclude le disposizioni, Rietveld e Kiverstein, dall’altro lato, mantengono che il coinvolgimento nell’ affordance corrisponde all’esercizio di abilità pratiche. Nel riconsiderare criticamente la distinzione fra disposizioni e abilità avanzata da Chemero, così come la concezione standard dell’abitudine che è alla base delle teorie di skilful coping, propongo di disambiguare l’abitudine dalle abilità e di rivalutare la fenomenologia delle disposizioni. Queste ultime sono elementi motivazionali che dipendono da due fattori: sensibilità verso il contesto, che è governata dall’abitudine e dall’attenzione, e la posizionalità del soggetto, la quale è inseparabile dalla consapevolezza del contesto. Basandosi su Husserl e Merleau-Ponty, l’articolo difende l’ipotesi che sia che possono soddisfare una concezione disposizionale dell’ affordance. Parole chiave: Abitudine; Attenzione; Disposizioni; Fenomenologia; Cognizione incarnata. (shrink)
In this paper, I wish to explore whether and how emotions build on a state of being motivated that is linked to character and requires the positive contribution of habit. Drawing on phenomenological accounts of motivation, I argue that the relation between emotions and character depends on the institution of an emotional space, which is responsible for our sensitivity to the values of the felt situation and yet it is open to changes and revisions.
In this paper, I wish to explore the contribution of the phenomenological reduction to a distinct form of empathy, which has been identified and called by Ratcliffe :473–495, 2012) radical empathy. This form of empathy brings to light the sense of reality experienced by the subject rather than a mere mental state. However, I shall consider whether and how the phenomenological reduction allows different interpretations of the same experience, thereby impacting on our understanding of another’s sense of reality. Far from (...) dismissing the role of the reduction, I propose a reconsideration of its relevance for radical empathy. In order to spell out my argument, I propose a case ex negativo that looks at Sartre’s and Merleau-Ponty’s different analyses of the sense of reality experienced by obsessive patients. I argue that this interpretative difference ultimately depends on two opposite uses of the reduction itself, and that Merleau-Ponty’s account offers a promising perspective to reintegrate and contextualize the phenomenological reduction into radical empathy. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThis paper reconsiders Heather Battaly’s argument that empathy is not a virtue. Like Battaly, I argue that empathy is a disposition that includes elements of virtue acquisition, but is not in itself a virtue in the Aristotelian sense. Unlike Battaly, however, I propose a distinction between care and respect. Drawing on Darwall’s view of recognition respect as well as on phenomenologically inspired views of empathy, I argue that respect can be regarded as the moral feeling that is distinctive of empathy. (...) In my view, the feeling of respect towards another’s situated experience grants epistemic dignity, which is the recognition of the intrinsic significance of subjective experience. By way of conclusion, I suggest that the relation between empathy and respect can be relevant for an account of vulnerability that is not opposed to autonomy. (shrink)
According to Habermas, Hegel’s early reflections in Jena on labour and language do not bear upon logical categories. In Habermas’s view, the formative model that Hegel proposes in his early texts on labour and language is lost in his mature philosophy. In this paper, I shall propose an intra-systematic reading of Hegel’s philosophy that challenges Habermas’s dualistic reading. I shall point out the dialectical relation between labour, memory, and the logical concept. In doing so, I will emphasize the fact that (...) memory and labour are based on the refutation of the use of mechanical causality in the genesis of the subject, the argument for which is illustrated in the Science of Logic. Finally, I will argue that the genesis of the logical concept coincides with a formative process that is grounded in the Science of Logic and yet underlies the genesis of subjectivity as spontaneous capacity of self-determination. (shrink)
For Hegel and Merleau-Ponty, the concept of expression is crucial to understand meaning and signification in a variety of contexts, including the aesthetic, anthropological, and psychological domain. However, they also point out the paradoxical nature of the notion of expression, in that it presupposes what it is supposed to explain, namely its principle of determination. In my reading, both Hegel and Merleau-Ponty endorse a common strategy to avoid the paradox, and their approach is rooted in the use of genetic descriptions. (...) In this way, they bring to light the active side of receptivity without producing any hypostatization of a prior Logos. Before addressing their common strategy, I briefly present the earlier articulation of the problem of expression in Hegel’s Science of Logic. (shrink)
Readers of Hegel’s philosophy will welcome Nicholas Mowad’s interpretation of Hegel’s anthropology not just as a fundamental addition to Hegel scholarship, but also, and more fundamentally, as a necessary invitation to read Hegel in a new key. This entails paying attention to questions of embodiment, race, and gender that are intrinsic to Hegel’s philosophical anthropology. The book’s chief merit lies in the way Mowad convincingly shows that issues of race and gender cannot be avoided while reading Hegel, and that Hegel’s (...) approach to such themes is firmly rooted in the experience of nature as a locus of transformation and critical distance from entrenched racial and gender disparities.Mowad concentrates on the... (shrink)
In this paper, I shall investigate Edith Stein’s account of empathic subjectivity in light of the “affective turn” that characterises the current literature on Stein’s phenomenology. I shall argue that Stein develops an original approach to empathy that is not restricted to the model of “direct access” to others. I shall claim that, for Stein, empathy is an attitude that shares significant similarities with retention and imagining-how. More precisely, I shall show that the significance of empathy lies in striving to (...) respond appropriately to the other through the constitution of types or examples that involve features inherent in personality and values. (shrink)
My discussion of Self and Other takes issue with two distinct theses defended by Zahavi. The first concerns Zahavi's argument for the first-personal character of experience and its related thought experiment. My second remark is about Zahavi’s restriction of empathy to direct perception.
With the exception of James Ostrow’s 1990 study, social sensitivity has received scarce attention in philosophy, whilst it has become an important area of research in social and clinical psychology, where it is commonly known as interpersonal sensitivity. The latter is usually understood as a form of social skill to appropriately recognise and decode the appearance and behaviour of others. However, this view suffers from conceptual limitations in that it tends to reduce social sensitivity to standardised skilful behaviour. Drawing on (...) Husserl’s phenomenology of perception, I disambiguate social sensitivity from social skills, arguing that the former builds on the receptivity of habit to beliefs and cognitive dissonance. In this revised sense, social sensitivity informs processes of attitude change that challenge ingrained dispositions and potentially defy social codes and expectations. (shrink)