Prof. Prinz (with Arnaud)
This seminar investigates the nature and the roles of emotions from an interdisciplinary perspective.
The first unit surveys competing theories of emotion, including biologically-based theories, embodied theories, cognitive theories and constructionism. Through this unit, we will also consider the question of the status of emotions as natural kinds.
The second investigates work on specific emotions. We will consider emotions that are thought to play roles in evaluative contexts, including morality and art, emotions alleged to be culturally specific, and some neglected emotions, ones that play epistemic roles such as doubt, interest, boredom, confidence, and wonder.
The third unit examines ways in which emotions can be assessed: Are emotions ir/rational? Are they appropriate or not? And according to what criteria? Should some emotions be abandoned (such as shame and anger), regulated, and how? How long should they last?
The fourth unit questions the relationships of emotions with other cognitive states. Are emotions some types of perception? What is the intentionality of emotions? Are they always directed at objects? Of what kind? Are they always conscious? What would be an unconscious emotion?
The final unit examines emotional deviance and psychopathology. We will consider several possible ways in which some emotional processes can qualify as pathological, including emotional disorders, such as phobias, post-traumatic stress, depression, and social anxiety. as well as conditions that have been characterized as involving emotional deficits such as psychopathy and autism. Though this lens, we will explore processes of emotion recognition, emotional understanding, emotion regulation, and emotional consciousness.
Though philosophical readings will outnumber the rest, we will also read perspectives from several other fields including, psychology, neuroscience, and sociology.
This seminar will be conducted together with Sarah Arnaud, an emotion researcher and postdoc in the Philosophy Program.
[Counts towards course satisfaction of Group B]