Keynote Abstracts

Dan Zahavi

Social Emotions


In my talk I will explore whether insights from the discussion of collective intentionality can qualify the extended mind thesis. I will discuss and criticize some recent analyses of shared emotions by Gilbert and Krueger and propose that shared emotions are prime examples of socially extended emotions.




Environmentally Scaffolded Affectivity
Achim Stephan, Osnabrück University, Germany


One need not dig far below the surface to be struck by the fact that the recent debate about ‘situated affectivity’ seems somewhat odd in that it either appears to reinvent the wheel or else indulge in metaphysical intricacies such as the coupling-constitution debate that will hardly resonate with those familiar with the topic, in particular from a more phenomenological point of view.


Putting these seemingly odd excesses into perspective is the goal of sections 1 and 2. In section 1, it is briefly shown why it seemed promising to carry over some of the key terms from debates in the philosophy of cognitive science to the affective domain. In section 2, we sketch the roots of these terms in their original context and argue that taking them either not seriously enough or too seriously blocks the view for what is really at issue. Leaving the coupling-constitution debate with its futile quarrels about whether affectivity is properly extended or merely embedded behind, and also taking it for granted that affectivity is embodied, we take a fresh look at human affectivity beyond brain and body. We will elaborate on two different, albeit interconnected, ways in which our affective life is essentially a matter of our (more or less intimate) coupling with our (natural, technological, and social) environment.


In the third section, we focus on couplings which originate with the individual and from there stretch out into the environment through a (mostly intentional) process of resource usage. In the fourth and final section, we then focus on couplings which originate with structures in the environment and from there reach inwards into the individual through a process of (intentional or unintentional) mind invasion.



Helena De Preester

Subjectivity is Real and the body is Subjective


In this talk, we put forward the idea that the body, in its original way of being given to us, belongs to the sphere of subjectivity. The body is situated at the heart of human reality, and this heart of human reality is subjectivity. The original body is, therefore, not an objective body, but a subjective body. The question we ask is if the study of interoception, in neuroscience and psychology, is able to take into account this original subjectivity of the body. The direction we follow is to start from the phenomenon (and the reality) of subjectivity in order to find out which body can be discovered in the ontological region of subjectivity.