Affordances and Motivation

The study of emotions, the so-called affective turn, allows us to rethink crucial elements in psychology and philosophy of mind. There has been a concurrent surge in creative research and theory in the field of ecological psychology.[1] In our book, we seek to clarify the function of affective sentience in …

Symposium on Letheby and Gerrans, “Self unbound: ego dissolution in psychedelic experience”

I am delighted to announce the next symposium in our series on articles from Neuroscience of Consciousness.  Neuroscience of Consciousness is an interdisciplinary journal focused on the philosophy and science of consciousness, and gladly accepts submissions from both philosophers and scientists working in this fascinating field. We have two types …

Mind the body (5) A taxonomy of theories of ownership

In my previous posts, I described my view and replied to some objections one could make against it. Hopefully, readers will by now have a clearer idea of what conception of ownership I defend. Is it inflationary or deflationary? I am actually not sure since like many I have never …

Mind the body (4) What kind of first-personal content?

In the previous post, I argued that the feeling of ownership must be conceived of as an affective feeling. But one may wonder whether this affective feeling is not just a side-effect of the feeling of ownership, and not the feeling itself. Evolutionary significance indeed is only a consequence of ownership …

Mind the body (3) What is the experience of bodily ownership?

The claim so far is that it feels different when one is aware that a hand is one’s own and when one is not. Now one needs to explore this phenomenological difference and determine its nature. There are three ways to go from here: Bodily experiences represent only low-level sensory …

Mind the body (2) A phenomenal contrast for bodily ownership

Ten years ago, Susanna Siegel proposed the method of phenomenal contrast in order to determine the type of properties that are represented in perceptual experiences. In brief, do we see only lines and colors or do we also see pine trees? Her method proceeds in two steps. First, one describes a …

Mind the body (1) A most intimate and obscure relation with one’s body

Although introspectively familiar, it is hard to exactly pinpoint the nature of the specific relationship that we have uniquely with our own body. We are aware of our bodily posture, of its temperature, of its physiological balance, of the pressure exerted on it, and so forth. Insofar as these properties are …

5. A control theory of the mind

For the last day of blogging my book The Emotional Mind, I’m going to skip straight to the last chapter on mental architecture. This is where propose a control theory of the mind as a whole. It is perhaps the most ambitious and speculative chapter of a book that is …

4. What makes a social emotion?

An important aspect of emotions that is relatively neglected in both the philosophical and psychological literature is their social manifestation. There is plenty of work on empathy, the role of emotions in morality, and even a growing interest in emotional expression, but all this should be tied together with a …

1. A new account of the emotions

Thanks to John and the team for letting me take over the Brains Blog for the week. Over the next five days I’m going to summarise some of the key ideas in my new book The Emotional Mind: A control theory of affective states (Cambridge University Press). The book grew …

Embodied Action-Oriented Emotions

In this post I will try to lay out my own account of what emotions are in a nutshell. The claim that emotions are embodied, roughly speaking, is that emotions involve bodily reactions and that these bodily reactions realize, or constitute, a kind of intelligent behavior, or interaction, with the …

Nonconceptual Self-Consciousness?

Recently, there have been several attempts to provide an account of our ability for self-conscious thought in terms of nonconceptual forms of (self-)representation (most prominent among these is perhaps the account offered by Bermúdez (1998)). Proponents of nonconceptual content assume that there are ways of representing the world that are …

Back to Top