This paper aims to provide a psychologically-informed philosophical account of the phenomenology of episodic remembering. The literature on epistemic or metacognitive feelings has grown considerably in recent years, and there are persuasive reasons, both conceptual and empirical, in favour of the view that the phenomenology of remembering—autonoetic consciousness, as Tulving influentially referred to it, or the feeling of pastness, as we will refer to it here—is an epistemic feeling, but few philosophical treatments of this phenomenology as an epistemic (...)feeling have so far been proposed. Building on insights from the psychological literature, we argue that a form of feeling-based metacognition is involved in episodic remembering and develop an integrated metacognitive feeling-based view that addresses several key aspects of the feeling of pastness, namely, its status as a feeling, its content, and its relationship to the first-order memories the phenomenology of which it provides. (shrink)
In this article, I attempt to resuscitate the perennially unfashionable distinctive feeling theory of pleasure (and pain), according to which for an experience to be pleasant (or unpleasant) is just for it to involve or contain a distinctive kind of feeling. I do this in two ways. First, by offering powerful new arguments against its two chief rivals: attitude theories, on the one hand, and the phenomenological theories of Roger Crisp, Shelly Kagan, and Aaron Smuts, on the other. (...) Second, by showing how it can answer two important objections that have been made to it. First, the famous worry that there is no felt similarity to all pleasant (or unpleasant) experiences (sometimes called ‘the heterogeneity objection’). Second, what I call ‘Findlay’s objection’, the claim that it cannot explain the nature of our attraction to pleasure and aversion to pain. (shrink)
This text addresses a problem that is not sufficiently dealt with in most of the recent literature on emotion and feeling. The problem is a general underestimation of the extent to which affective intentionality is essentially bodily. Affective intentionality is the sui generis type of world-directedness that most affective states – most clearly the emotions – display. Many theorists of emotion overlook the extent to which intentional feelings are essentially bodily feelings. The important but quite often overlooked fact is (...) that the bodily feelings in question are not the regularly treated, non-intentional bodily sensations (known from Jamesian accounts of emotion), but rather crucial carriers of world-directed intentionality. Consequently, most theories of human emotions and feelings recently advocated are deficient in terms of phenomenological adequacy. This text tries to make up for this deficit and develops a catalogue of five central features of intentional bodily feelings. In addition, Jesse Prinz’s embodied appraisal theory is criticized as an exemplary case of the misconstrual of the bodily nature of affective experience in naturalistic philosophy of mind. (shrink)
According to the old feeling theory of emotion, an emotion is just a feeling: a conscious experience with a characteristic phenomenal character. This theory is widely dismissed in contemporary discussions of emotion as hopelessly naïve. In particular, it is thought to suffer from two fatal drawbacks: its inability to account for the cognitive dimension of emotion (which is thought to go beyond the phenomenal dimension), and its inability to accommodate unconscious emotions (which, of course, lack any phenomenal character). (...) In this paper, I argue that the old feeling theory is in reality only a pair of modifications removed from a highly plausible account of the nature of emotion that retains the essential connection between emotion and feeling. These modifications are, moreover, motivated by recent developments in work on phenomenal consciousness. The first development is the rising recognition of a phenomenal character proper to cognition—so-called cognitive phenomenology. The second is the gathering momentum behind various ‘connection principles’ that specify some connection that a given state must bear to phenomenally conscious states in order to qualify as mental. These developments make it possible to formulate a new feeling theory of emotion, which would overcome the two fatal drawbacks of the old feeling theory. According to the new feeling theory, an emotion is a mental state that bears the right connection to conscious experiences with the right phenomenal character (involving, among other elements, a cognitive phenomenology). (shrink)
There has been much recent philosophical discussion concerning the relationship between emotion and feeling. However, everyday talk of 'feeling' is not restricted to emotional feeling and the current emphasis on emotions has led to a neglect of other kinds of feeling. These include feelings of homeliness, belonging, separation, unfamiliarity, power, control, being part of something, being at one with nature and 'being there'. Such feelings are perhaps not 'emotional'. However, I suggest here that they do form (...) a distinctive group; all of them are ways of 'finding ourselves in the world'. Indeed, our sense that there is a world and that we are 'in it' is, I suggest, constituted by feeling. I offer an analysis of what such 'existential feelings' consist of, showing how they can be both 'bodily feelings' and, at the same time, part of the structure of intentionality. (shrink)
Albert Camus is most famous for his engagement with the absurd. Both in his philosophical and literary works his main focus was on the nature and normative consequences of this idea. However, Camus was also concerned with what he referred to as the “feeling of the absurd”. Philosophers have so far paid little attention to Camus’ thoughts about the feeling of the absurd. In this paper I provide a detailed analysis of this feeling. It turns out that (...) the feeling of the absurd is not, strictly speaking, a feeling. It is rather a conjunction of a mood (feeling of the absurd in the narrow sense) and of emotions that this mood tends to give rise to (appearances of the feeling of the absurd). Moreover, both moods and emotions qualify as absurd in virtue of their promoting the discovery of the absurd; that is, the discovery that humans search for meaning, but the world does not answer this search. (shrink)
A dominant view in contemporary cognitive neuroscience is that low-level, comparator-based mechanisms of motor control produce a distinctive experience often called the feeling of agency . An opposing view is that comparator-based motor control is largely non-conscious and not associated with any particular type of distinctive phenomenology . In this paper, I critically evaluate the nature of the empirical evidence researchers commonly take to support FoA-hypothesis. The aim of this paper is not only to scrutinize the FoA-hypothesis and data (...) supposed to support it; it is equally to argue that experimentalists supporting the FoA-hypothesis fail to establish that the experimental outcomes are more probable given the FoA-hypothesis than given the simpler hypothesis. (shrink)
Despite the widespread use of the notion of moral intuition, its psychological features remain a matter of debate and it is unclear why the capacity to experience moral intuitions evolved in humans. We first survey standard accounts of moral intuition, pointing out their interesting and problematic aspects. Drawing lessons from this analysis, we propose a novel account of moral intuitions which captures their phenomenological, mechanistic, and evolutionary features. Moral intuitions are composed of two elements: an evaluative mental state and a (...)feeling of rightness (FOR). We illustrate the phenomenology of the FOR with examples of non-moral and moral cases, and provide a biological and mechanistic account: the emergence of human reasoning capacities created a need for the co-evolution of a psychological system producing the feeling of rightness (the FORs). This system is triggered when we experience conflicting evaluations. The FORs renders evaluations resulting from rational deliberation less compelling than the evaluations produced by simple evolved systems. It thus facilitates optimal decision-making, preventing excessive interference by rational deliberation. Our account sheds light on why moral intuitions are so frequently experienced and why they are so compelling and resistant to argument. In addition, the account fuels interesting speculations about common metaethical intuitions. (shrink)
In my paper, I shall take seriously Kant’s puzzling statements about the moral feeling of respect, which is, according to him, “a feeling self-wrought by means of a rational concept and therefore specifically different” from all common feelings. I will focus on the systematic position of the moral feeling of respect within the framework of Kant’s transcendental idealism. By considering its volitional structure, I argue for a compatibilist account of the moral feeling of respect, according to (...) which both intellectualist and affectivist interpretations are true. As such, respect can be understood in terms of a process of moral self-consciousness and self-formation, which means that the will must be freed from initial empirical motives, and finally be determined only by rational principles. (shrink)
While epiphenomenalism—i.e., the claim that the mental is a causally otiose byproduct of physical processes that does not itself cause anything—is hardly ever mentioned in philosophical discussions of free will, it has recently come to play a crucial role in the scientific attack on free will led by neuroscientists and psychologists. This paper is concerned with the connection between epiphenomenalism and the claim that free will is an illusion, in particular with the connection between epiphenomenalism and willusionism, i.e., with the (...) thesis that there is empirical evidence for a thoroughgoing skepticism with regard to free will that is based on the claim that mental states are epiphenomena. The paper discusses four arguments for willusionism that in some form or other appeal to epiphenomenalism and argues that three of them can be discarded relatively easily. The fourth one, based on Daniel Wegner’s theory of apparent mental causation and his claim that free will is an illusion because the feeling of conscious will is epiphenomenal with regard to the corresponding voluntary actions, is dealt with in more detail. The overall verdict is negative: there is no empirical evidence for any kind of epiphenomenalism that would warrant the claim that free will is an illusion. Whatever it is that makes free will the object of contention between neuroscience and philosophy, epiphenomenalism provides no reason to think that free will is an illusion. (shrink)
In this article I offer a critical commentary on Jeanine Grenberg’s claim that, by the time of the second Critique, Kant was committed to the view that we only access the moral law’s validity through the feeling of respect. The issue turns on how we understand Kant’s assertion that our consciousness of the moral law is a ‘fact of reason’. Grenberg argues that all facts must be forced, and anything forced must be felt. I defend an alternative interpretation, according (...) to which the fact of reason refers to the actuality of our moral consciousness. (shrink)
In Vom Selbstgefühl (1910) (identical to Über die Typen des Selbstgefühls), Else Voigtländer undertakes an accurate analysis of a category of feelings named “feeling of self-worth” and its types. This entry presents Voigtländer's definition, characterization and taxonomy of the feeling of self-worth.
According to rationalist conceptions of moral agency, the constitutive capacities of moral agency are rational capacities. So understood, rationalists are often thought to have a problem with feeling. For example, many believe that rationalists must reject the attractive Aristotelian thought that moral activity is by nature pleasant. I disagree. It is easy to go wrong here because it is easy to assume that pleasure is empirical rather than rational and so extrinsic rather than intrinsic to moral agency, rationalistically conceived. (...) Drawing on underappreciated elements of Kant’s moral psychology, I sketch an alternative form of rationalism, according to which moral activity is by nature pleasant because at least some pleasures are by nature rational. (shrink)
Many so-called “cognitivist” theories of the emotions account for the meaningfulness of emotions in terms of beliefs or judgments that are associated or identified with these emotions. In recent years, a number of analytic philosophers have argued against these theories by pointing out that the objects of emotions are sometimes meaningfully experienced before one can take a reflective stance toward them. Peter Goldie defends this point of view in his book The Emotions: A Philosophical Exploration. Goldie argues that emotions are (...) meaningful in a way that is different from the meaningfulness of beliefs. He describes this meaningfulness in terms of “feeling towards,” which he identifies as a unique type of intentionality characteristic of emotions. The independence of feeling-towards from acts like believing is most clearly brought out by cases in which there is not enough time to form a belief but in which a person experiencing feelings towards an object responds emotionally in a way that is meaningful to them. Employing a similar type of argument, the phenomenologist Max Scheler argues that certain types of acts of feeling are phenomenologically prior to presentative acts of perception, representation, or imagination. Scheler supports his claim about the phenomenological priority of such acts of feeling by referring to cases in which the presented contents of an object are hidden or obscured but where the object of feeling, value, remains adequately given. I endeavor to show how Scheler draws support for his position from these cases and the great significance of his interpretation of these cases for his philosophical outlook as a whole. I close by considering some questions about his interpretation and use of these cases. (shrink)
Psychotic and prodromal states are characterized by distortions of intersubjectivity, and a number of psychopathologists see in the concrete I-You frame of the clinical encounter the manifestation of such impairment. Rümke has coined the term of ‘praecox-feeling’, designated to describe a feeling of unease emanating in the interviewer that reflects the detachment of the patient and the failure of an ‘affective exchange.’ While the reliability of the praecox-feeling as a diagnostic tool has since been established, the explanation (...) and theoretical framing of the phenomena is still lacking. By drawing on enactivist approaches to social cognition, the paper will attempt to provide such an explanation. This is relevant, since such an explanation could contribute to a more precise understanding of the phenomena in question and possibly add to our knowledge regarding the link between experiential vulnerability to psychosis and disturbed I-Thou intersubjectivity. (shrink)
Argues for a category of “cognitive feelings”, which are representationally significant, but are not part of the content of the states they accompany. The feeling of pastness in episodic memory, of familiarity (missing in Capgras syndrome), and of motivation (that accompanies desire) are examples. The feeling of presence that accompanies normal visual states is due to such a cognitive feeling; the “two visual systems” are partially responsible for this feeling.
In certain startling neurological and psychiatric conditions, what is ordinarily most intimate and familiar to us—our own body—can feel alien. For instance, in cases of somatoparaphrenia subjects misattribute their body parts to others, while in cases of depersonalization subjects feel estranged from their bodies. These ownership disorders thus appear to consist in a loss of any feeling of bodily ownership, the felt sense we have of our bodies as our own. Against this interpretation of ownership disorders, I defend Sufficiency, (...) the thesis that every experience of bodily awareness suffices for a feeling of bodily ownership. Since Sufficiency conflicts with a face‐value interpretation of these ownership disorders, the burden is on me to explain away the apparent tension. To do so, I identify and correct what I believe to be the fundamental mistake in the extant literature on the feeling of bodily ownership, namely the tendency to treat the notion of a feeling of bodily ownership as a single psychological construct. Instead, I distinguish the feeling of minimal ownership, the first‐personal character of bodily awareness, from the feeling of affective ownership, the distinctive type of felt concern we have for our bodies. I motivate this distinction by raising the disownership puzzle, the fact that subjects suffering from ownership disorders display an ambiguous set of symptoms, arguing the distinction I draw between minimal and affective ownership is just what is required to resolve the puzzle. (shrink)
I offer a new metacognitive account of the feeling of agency over bodily actions. On this model the feeling of agency is the metacognitive monitoring of two cues: i) smoothness of action: done via monitoring the output of the comparison between actual and predicted sensory consequences of action and ii) action outcome: done via monitoring the outcome of action and its success relative to a prior intention. Previous research has shown that the comparator model offers a powerful explanation (...) of the feeling of agency. However, within the literature there is a growing sense of unease with the model; a consensus seems to be building that the model is not up to the task of explaining all of the new discoveries made regarding the feeling of agency since its inception. Most problematically there are paradigms which deeply challenge the comparator model by suggesting that a weak feeling of agency can be elicited even when no motor prediction is formed. The new account offered here inherits the explanatory power of the comparator model whilst avoiding this problem. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with the issue of authenticity in Wittgenstein’s philosophy of psychology. In the manuscripts published as Letzte Schriften über die Philosophie der Psychologie – Das Innere und das Äußere, the German term Echtheit is mostly translated as ‘genuineness’. In these manuscripts, Wittgenstein frequently uses the term as referring to a feature of the expression of feeling and emotion: -/- […] I want to say that there is an original genuine expression of pain; that the expression of (...) pain therefore is not equally connected to the pain and to the pretence. (LW II, p. 55) -/- “This weeping gives the impression of being genuine” – so there is such a thing as genuine weeping. […]. (LW II, p. 87) -/- […] Genuineness and falseness are not the only essential characteristics of an expression of feeling. […]. (LW II, p. 90) -/- Wittgenstein contrasts the genuineness of the expressions with the possibility that the expressions are feigned. It seems to me that Wittgenstein is trying to discredit a specific version of the sceptical claim that we do not know other minds. I will refer to it as the sceptical innuendo. The sceptical innuendo says that every expression of feeling and emotion may be pretended. Wittgenstein’s approach to the issue reflects his later interest in the philosophy of psychology and, in particular, the problem of the ascription of psychological states (P-ascriptions) on the basis of someone else’s expression of feeling or emotion. Thus, the attempt to reject the sceptical innuendo is done mainly by means of conceptual and psychological arguments. Let’s look at this short dialogue between the sceptic and Wittgenstein. The former asks „How do you know that someone else is in a certain psychological state?“ Wittgenstein’s first reply is „I know that he is glad because I see him“. But the sceptic cannot be very happy with this reply. The sceptic’s next question is: „How do you know that he is really glad and he is not pretending?“ Wittgenstein’s response is not a direct refutation but is composed of a number of related reasons. These may be summed up in three arguments: -/- (i) A psychological argument from the very nature of the expressions. The expressions are meant to be natural symptoms of someone else’s psychological state (P-state). -/- (ii) A conceptual argument about the nature of pretence. It claims that pretence is a psychological property which is rightly ascribed when an observer has evidence for it. -/- (iii) A psychological argument from genuineness. It claims that we are committed to accept people’s expressions of feeling and emotion as genuine. (shrink)
Feelings not only have a place, they also have a time. Today, one can speak of a multifaceted renaissance of feelings. This concerns philosophy itself, particularly, ethics. Every law-based morality comes up against its limits when morals cease to be only a question of legitimation and begin to be a question of motivation, since motives get no foothold without the feeling of self and feeling of the alien. As it is treated by various social theories and psychoanalysis, the (...) self is not formed through the mere acquisition or change of roles, but rather through a process that is susceptible to crises, a process shaped by affective bonds and separations. Learning, which is the theme of pedagogy, loses its hold whenever it is confronted by disinterest and listlessness. In neurobiology, the increased significance of those zones of the brain that are connected with the realization of feelings makes the brain, accordingly, no mere apparatus that processes data, but a living organ that selects and “evaluates” what is “important.” Finally, cross-cultural comparison shows the extent to which the one-sided preference for understanding and willing, which is the mark of Western rationalism, arises from a typical, not to mention a highly masculine attitude toward the world and life, as many different studies on gender difference stress (In reference to this perspective, see Seethaler, Gefühle und Urteilskraft. Ein Plädoyer für die emotionale Vernunft, 1997). The following reflections provide a historical orientation directed toward a new determination of feelings. This new determination of feelings is phenomenological and takes the pathetic character of experience, nourished by the corporeality of experience as its point of departure. (shrink)
The article engages with two contemporary understandings of Schleiermacher's notion of feeling which are in important aspects in conflict: a social understanding (Kevin W. Hector and Christine Helmer) and an existential-mystical understanding (Thandeka). Using the phenomenological category of ‘existential feelings’ drawn from the work of Matthew Ratcliffe, I argue that they can be brought into a coherent overall account that recognizes different aspects of feeling in Schleiermacher's work. I also suggest that such an interpretation of Schleiermacher's concept of (...) religious feeling offers a different and better understanding of the role of feelings in religious experience and belief than the contemporary ‘perception-model’ of religious experience. (shrink)
https://www.academia.edu/32163851/Philosophical_study_of_the_FEELING_accompanying_male_ejaculation_E xperimental_Philosophy_Part_1_SURVEY_ ABSTRACT This is merely a short, preliminary study of the FEELING accompanying male ejaculation. -/- It consists of 10 questions and one unstructured expression and/or personal description by the respondent of the subjective experience of the ‘feeling’ undergone, experienced or ‘felt’ during or accompanying male orgasm and ejaculation..
My aim in this paper is to discuss Kant’s engagement with what is arguably the core feature of Hutcheson’s moral sense theory, namely the idea that the moral sense is the foundation of moral judgement. In section one I give an account of Hutcheson’s conception of the moral sense. This sense is a perceptive faculty that explains our ability both to feel a particular kind of pleasure upon perceiving benevolence, and to appraise such benevolence as morally good on the basis (...) of this feeling. Section two summarizes Kant’s discussion of the moral sense during his pre-Critical period. Kant’s appraisal of the concept changes during this time and culminates in the 1769/70 rejection of the moral sense as the foundation of moral judgement. In section three I turn to the main reason why Kant rejects the moral sense as the foundation of moral judgement, namely because it is incapable of issuing sufficiently universal and necessary judgements of moral good and evil. I argue that underlying Kant’s rejection of the moral sense is the fact that he understands the faculty not as a “sense” proper, but as a “feeling” according to his technical understanding of these terms. In the fourth section I conclude by briefly evaluating what my analysis says about Kant’s engagement with Hutcheson. I suggest that while Kant never accepted the existence of a moral sense, Hutcheson’s position was a view with which Kant often contrasted his own, and as such it played an important role in the development and expression of Kant’s mature moral philosophy. (shrink)
There is a common view that as well as being conscious of the world in virtue of having thoughts about it, forming representations of its various states and processes, we are also conscious of it in virtue of feeling it. What I have in mind is not the fact that we have feelings about the world—indignation at this, pleasure at that—but that we sensorily feel its colours, sounds, textures and so on. And this feeling form of consciousness, it's (...) often thought, constitutes a peculiarly intimate and intense focus upon things. The feel of the first drops of rain on one's face and the sounds of the gull's cry will quickly be recognized for what they are; and the fact that events of this sort are occurring will thereafter hold one's attention just insofar as they are relevant to some current business. But what can also happen is that such experiences cut through any current concerns and cause a state in which, for a time, one does nothing except feel the soft coolness of the rain and the particular quality of the bird's cry. We can become absorbed, it seems, in the mere presence of these phenomena and this is an experience to which we attach great value. (shrink)
ABSTRACT Part I was merely a short, preliminary study of the FEELING accompanying male ejaculation. The conclusions, studies on orgasm and sexual techniques are here included in Part II Part I consists of 10 questions and one unstructured expression and/or personal description by the respondent of the subjective experience of the ‘feeling’ undergone, experienced or ‘felt’ during or accompanying male orgasm and ejaculation. Part II deals with the senses, sense organs or how they function as a framework to (...) the senses, emotions, feelings involved in ejaculation and orgasm. A philosophical framework, the survey results, interpretations and conclusions or rather ‘suggestions’ and insights are now included. (shrink)
In a masked priming experimental paradigm, we studied a possible subliminal perception effect on a semantic selection task. To gauge the degree to which subjects solved the SST consciously, they subsequently reported their level of confidence of having made a correct response. This was done on each trial, and the subjects used individually constructed category rating scales to do so, in order to achieve a more sensitive measurement of which trials were influenced by conscious processes. During the construction of these (...) individual rating scales, subjects verbally reported their experiences after each trial. The present study failed to find evidence of performance above chance level when subjects themselves reported to be at chance level. In fact, performance closely covaried with subjects' confidence ratings. About half of the subjects reported they would sometimes experience a 'feeling of knowing' the correct response to the SST, despite being unaware of the specific identity of the prime. From this, we observe the methodological point that in order to demonstrate subliminal perception in a masked priming paradigm with a semantic selection task it is not enough to demonstrate a lack of conscious visual perception of the prime, since a vague, yet conscious, FOK experience can be used by subjects to solve the task. (shrink)
Kant’s account of moral feeling is continually disputed in the secondary literature. My goal is to focus on the Religion and make sense of moral feeling as it appears in this context. I argue that we can best understand moral feeling if we note its place in Kant’s concerns about the possibility of moral conversion. As Kant notes, if the new, morally upright man is of a different character than the man he used to be, then it (...) remains unclear how the new man can properly bear the debts of his old self. To address this issue, we need the presupposition that a person is both continually conscious of her empirical, bodily identity and capable of experiencing a felt recognition of the moral law; without this presupposition, I argue that fair punishment and the just payment of evil debts is impossible. (shrink)
This paper begins by examining the natural function of the feeling of love of honor. Like all natural drives, it has been implanted by nature to secure the survival and progress of the human species. However, mechanically, through the interplay of social forces, it soon turns into a competitive drive for superiority, what Kant calls “love of honor in a bad sense” (V-MS/Vigil 27: 695). This drive, which also enables the progress of human civilization, brings with it all the (...) “vices of culture” (RGV 6: 27). However, from “mere semblance and glittering misery” (IaG 8: 26) can emerge “something quite serious” (Anth 7: 153), for even the worst forms of love of honor contain a nugget of virtue. A shift thereby transforms its natural function from an inclination to fake virtue to an inclination that aids it, thereby going from generating the appearance of worth to generating moral worthiness. The feeling of the love of honor thus has a dual nature, as a means to preserve the species and as an aid to morality. As I will show, these two functions converge in the role of culture, at once anchored in natural predispositions and oriented towards morality, at once an end of civilization and a means to moralization. In this sense, as part of human culture, the feeling love of honor can be seen as the locus of the convergence, if not the reconciliation, of the perspective of nature and that of morality. (shrink)
In this essay, I investigate one aspect of Kant’s larger theory of the transcendental self. In the Prolegomena, Kant says that the transcendental self can be represented as a feeling of existence. In contrast to the view that Kant errs in describing the transcendental self in this fashion, I show that there exists a strand in Kant’s philosophy that permits us to interpret the representation of the transcendental self as a feeling of existence—as the obscurely conscious and temporally (...) inaccessible modification of the state of the discursive subject, which is built into all the representations of such a subject. I also provide an account of how the transcendental self can be legitimately understood both as an epistemic condition for the possibility of experience as well as the representation of a non-naturalistic feeling of existence. (shrink)
Clarifies the central elements of the "stuckness" feeling in the traditional framework for free will and determinism in psychology, based on the inherent dependence on context and the assumed need of free will to be independent of context. These central elements are examined from the relatively overlooked perspective of time. A large part of the stuckness is revealed to stem from the linear assumption of time, rather than the linear nature of causality, as usually assumed. Suggestions are offered for (...) overcoming this overlooked perspective to overcome the stuckness. Alternative assumptions of time are shown to offer a fresh framework for resolving the free will/determinism problem. It is suggested that nonlinear approaches to time offer several advantages in the framing of the issues, including the integration of possibility and the past, without time and causality being sacrificed in the process. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
This paper focuses on responding to Jeanine Grenberg’s claim that my discussion of Kant’s feeling of respect leaves no meaningful room for investigating feeling first-personally. I first make clear that I do think that feelings can be investigated first-personally, both in that they can be prospective reasons for action and in that – at least in Kant’s Critique of the Power of Judgment – there are feelings that we should have. I then show that at the time of (...) writing the “Incentives” chapter of the second Critique, Kant had not yet determined an a priori basis for aesthetic normativity. On this basis, I argue that the “Incentives” chapter provides a sort of consolation prize for not having an transcendental account of feeling. In that sense, it’s a properly transcendental analysis of feeling in which Kant examines feeling from within and a priori to show that there are good reasons to have certain feelings. I end by acknowledging the extent to which, on this reading, I agree with Grenberg that Kant is doing a transcendentally significant form of phenomenology here, while I also highlight some remaining areas of disagreement. (shrink)
While standard definitions of envy tend to focus on the coveted good or the envied rival, this paper describes envy by reflecting on the envious self and its feelings. The paper begins by describing envy and establishing its key features and objects. It presents envy as an emotion of self-assessment which necessarily involves a sense of powerlessness and a feeling of one’s own diminishing value as a person. The second section illustrates the link between envy and the feeling (...) of self-worth by exploring one of its most radical manifestations: the phenomenon of existential envy. (shrink)
This book engages with what are widely recognized as the two core dimensions of emotion. When we are afraid, glad or disappointed, we feel a certain way; moreover, our emotion is intentional or directed at something: we are afraid of something, glad or disappointed about something. Connecting with a vital strand of recent philosophical thinking, I conceive of these two aspects of emotion as unified. Examining different possible ways of developing the view that the feeling dimension of emotion is (...) itself intentional, I argue against the currently popular view that it is a form of perception-like receptivity to value. I instead propose that emotional feeling is a specific type of response to value, an affective ‘position-taking’. This alternative conceives of emotional feeling as intimately related to our cares and concerns. While situating itself within the analytic-philosophical debate on emotion, the discussion crucially draws on ideas from the early phenomenological tradition in an attempt to think past the theoretical strictures of many contemporary approaches to this subject. The result is a new view of emotional feeling as a thoroughly personal form of engagement with value. (shrink)
This paper offers a Nietzschean theory of emotion as expressed by following thesis: paradigmatic emotional experiences exhibit a distinctive kind of affective intentionality, specified in terms of felt valenced attitudes towards the (apparent) evaluative properties of their objects. Emotional experiences, on this Nietzschean view, are therefore fundamentally feelings towards value. This interpretation explains how Nietzschean affects can have evaluative intentional content without being constituted by cognitive states, as these feelings towards value are neither reducible to, nor to be thought along (...) the lines of, judgements, perceptions, or other mental states. (shrink)
In this paper I review some leading developments in the empirical theory of affect. I argue that (1) affect is a distinct perceptual representation governed system, and (2) that there are significant modular factors in affect. The paper concludes with the observation thatfeeler (affective perceptual system) may be a natural kind within cognitive science. The main purpose of the paper is to explore some hitherto unappreciated connections between the theory of affect and the computational theory of mind.
Miguel de Unamuno’s theory of tragic sentiment is central to understanding his unique contributions to religious existential thought, which centers on the production of perhaps the most unavoidable and distinctive kind of human feeling. His theory is rightly attributed with being influenced by the gestational thought of, inter alios, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche, but within these pages I should like to suggest a peculiar kinship between seemingly strange bedfellows, namely, between Unamuno and Immanuel Kant. Although the relationship between Unamuno (...) and Kant is conflicted, ranging from clear indications of influence to expressions of antipathy, there has been relatively little comparative research done on these two thinkers. Moreover, this scant literature has mainly explored connections between Unamuno’s existential thought and Kant’s first two Critiques. In these works, however, feelings are regarded as inclinations and thus receive no serious consideration. In what follows, I therefore juxtapose Unamuno’s analysis of tragic feeling in The Tragic Sense of Life with Kant’s discussion of the feelings of beauty and the sublime in the Critique of Judgment. (shrink)
The article presents a critique of John Searle's attack on computationalist theories of mind in his recent book, The Rediscovery of the Mind. Searle is guilty of caricaturing his opponents, and of ignoring their arguments. Moreover, his own positive theory of mind, which he claims "takes account of" subjectivity, turns out to offer no discernible advantages over the views he rejects.
A common assumption among Kantians is that the feelings/inclinations constituting non-moral motivation are little different from the brute sensations and blind instinctual urges found in animals. And since this “inner animal” lacks reason, it cannot control itself. So our rational nature must step in to govern. The problem, however, is that it must do so as a nature standing above the animal as an independent ruler. I reject this understanding of our lower nature, arguing instead that reason governs from within (...) our lower nature, by giving it shape and structure. I show that this is possible because Kant actually held a cognitive theory of emotion, one in which feeling takes the form of judgments of fit between an object and the sensible needs of the subject, by which the life or well-being of the subject is promoted. Through these judgments of feeling, reason generates a complex evaluative framework that structures our practical point of view. (shrink)
In this article the author is concerned with the justification of the knowledge of other minds by virtue of statements of other people's feelings based upon inductive arguments of any ordinary pattern as being inferences from the observed to the unobserved of a familiar and accepted form. The author argues that they are not logically peculiar or invalid, When considered as inductive arguments. The author also proposes that solipsism is a linguistically absurd thesis, While at the same time stopping to (...) explain why it is a thesis which tempts those who confuse epistemological distinctions with logical distinctions. (staff). (shrink)