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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: urn:nbn:de:gbv:700-2016122015229

Title: Situating the Intentionality of Emotions – Uniting Situated Cognitive Science with the Philosophy of Emotions
Author(s): Wilutzky, Wendy
Advisor: Prof. Dr. Achim Stephan
Referee: Prof. Dr. Sven Walter; Prof. Dr. Jan Slaby
Abstract: The dual nature of emotions as both bodily and cognitive phenomena has posed quite a conundrum for the cognitive sciences, as it does not square well with the long-held conviction that bodily phenomena are not cognitive and that cognitive phenomena do not take place in the body. This stark divide between the bodily and the cognitive has been called into question by so-called situated approaches to cognition that have taken over cognitive science in the last three decades. The framework of situated cognition claims to present a viable alternative to the classical cognitivist position in cognitive science, which regards cognitive processes as disembodied computations over symbolic representations. Instead, proponents of situated cognition aim at showing how cognitive processes crucially depend on an agent’s active engagements with the environment through her body, whereby bodily processes and interactions with the environment become parts of the cognitive process itself, thus lifting the barrier between body and cognition. This Ph.D.-Thesis explores how these recent developments in cognitive science may be applied to emotion theories, so that here too bodily and cognitive aspects of the phenomenon of emotion can be united. In this endeavor a particular focus will be laid on emotions’ intentionality, to explore how an embodied agent’s interactions with the environment impact how they are directed at the world and what emotions are about. After a cursory overview of the history of emotion theories and a brief introduction to situated cognition in section one, the articles in section two provide the necessary terminological and conceptual clarifications and render initial attempts to look into what it means for affective phenomena such as emotions to be situated. Section three draws the focus to the intentionality of emotions and demonstrates how a situated perspective provides a more adequate construal of emotions’ intentionality than the classical cognitivist conceptions. Finally, in section 4, the utility of situated affectivity is exemplified by showing how the embodiment and embeddedness of affective phenomena provides a deeper understanding of the structure of experiences in affective disorders such as depression.
Issue Date: 2016-12-20T13:18:29Z
Date of oral examination: 2015-12-16
Appears in Collections:FB08 - E-Dissertationen

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