“Affectivity and the scaffolded mind” by Giovanna Colombetti (Feb 12)

In this talk I present some work in progress on the notion of “affective scaffolding”. I first introduce Kim Sterelny’s (2010) concept of “scaffolded mind” and present it as a more productive framework than the more famous “extended-mind thesis” for analysing the relationship between mind and world. Then I apply the notion of the scaffolded mind to affective phenomena, with particular attention to the way in which material items scaffold our affective states. I distinguish various senses in which material scaffolds can be incorporated into our affective lives. We can talk, for example, of “physiological incorporation”, but also of “incorporation into the body image” and perhaps of other forms of affective incorporation as well. A further related issue I address concerns the extent to which incorporation requires the transparency of incorporated objects – namely, whether objects that are (affectively) incorporated are necessarily always absent or un-noted in experience.

Philosophy Seminar Series
Date: Thursday, 12 Feb 2015
Time: 2pm – 4pm
Venue: AS3 #05-23
Speaker: Giovanna Colombetti, University of Exeter
Moderator: Dr. Qu Hsueh Ming

About the Speaker:

Picture1Giovanna Colombetti is Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology of the University of Exeter (UK). She studied philosophy and cognitive science in Florence, Birmingham, and Sussex, and held research positions in Toronto, Trento, and Boston. She also held various visiting fellowships across Europe, and in Sydney. Her primary research area is the so-called “embodied” approach developed in the philosophy of cognitive science (including related views according to which cognition is “embedded”, “enactive”, and “extended”), and philosophical and scientific approaches to emotion and affect. From 2010 to 2014 she was Principal Investigator of a project funded by the European Research Council, titled “Emoting the Embodied Mind”. While on this project she worked to show the implications of taking an embodied-mind approach for the conceptualisation of a variety of affective phenomena. She has published articles in British Journal of Philosophy of Science, Inquiry, Journal of Consciousness Studies, Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, Philosophical Psychology, Philosophical Studies, and chapters in books edited by MIT Press and Oxford University Press. She co-edited, with Evan Thompson, a special issue of the Journal of Consciousness Studies on “Emotion Experience”, and is the author of The Feeling Body: Affective Science Meets the Enactive Miind, published in 2014 by MIT Press.

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