Jan Slaby

Jan Slaby
Freie Universität Berlin | FUB · Institute of Philosophy

PhD

About

96
Publications
45,749
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1,675
Citations
Additional affiliations
October 2016 - present
Freie Universität Berlin
Position
  • Professor
October 2010 - September 2016
Freie Universität Berlin
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
October 2008 - September 2010
Philipps University of Marburg
Position
  • Research Assistant
Description
  • I worked and taught at the chair for theoretical philosophy (Prof. Christoph Demmerling)

Publications

Publications (96)
Article
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This text addresses a problem that is not sufficiently dealt with in most of the recent literature on emotion and feeling. The problem is a general underestimation of the extent to which affective intentionality is essentially bodily. Affective intentionality is the sui generis type of world-directedness that most affective states – most clearly th...
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We introduce the working concept of “affective arrangement.” This concept is the centerpiece of a perspective on situated affectivity that emphasizes relationality, dynamics, and performativity. Our proposal relates to work in cultural studies and continental philosophy in the Spinoza–Deleuze lineage, yet it is equally geared to the terms of recent...
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How does affect relate to time? This chapter offers a phenomenological perspective on the temporal character of affectivity. It argues that the past predominates, and that a concrete, ongoing history prevails within the embodied and embedded unfolding of affect. While affect happens in the present and instigates, pre-figures and transitions to the...
Book
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Affect and emotion have come to dominate discourse on social and political life in the mobile and networked societies of the early 21st century. This volume introduces a unique collection of essential concepts for theorizing and empirically investigating societies as Affective Societies. The concepts promote insights into the affective foundations...
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In view of the philosophical problems that vex the debate on situated affectivity, it can seem wise to focus on simple cases. Accordingly, theorists often single out scenarios in which an individual employs a device in order to enhance their emotional experience, or to achieve new kinds of experience altogether, such as playing an instrument, going...
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Although affect and emotion are often discussed in institutional and organizational research, they are rarely studied systematically and in accordance with their overall relevance. To investigate the decisive but subtle, sometimes barely noticeable or taken-for-granted power of institutions, we need to achieve a better understanding of the close in...
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This paper proposes an analysis of the discursive dynamics of high-impact concepts in the humanities. These are concepts whose formation and development has a lasting and wide-ranging effect on research and our understanding of discursive reality in general. The paper introduces the notion of a conceptual practice, which is based on a normative con...
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In this text we construe affect as a conservative force, as glue that holds social life in place. With this starting point, we direct our attention towards the unfolding of the ecological crises. Using the case of ‘automobile supremacy’, we discuss a paradigmatic affective formation that keeps Western societies deadlocked in a loop of business as u...
Preprint
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What I call the active mind approach revolves around the claim that what is “on” a person’s mind is in an important sense brought on and held on to through the agent’s self-conscious rational activity. In the first part, I state the gist of this perspective in a deliberately strong way in order to create a touchstone for critical discussion. In the...
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I develop a critical consideration directed at perceptual theories of emotion. My contention is that these approaches tend to miss a central aspect of emotional experience, namely the particular way that emotions disclose or render manifest the emoter’s self. Accordingly, I will show that emotions not only possess world-directed intentionality but...
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Friendly review of Michele Maiese/Robert Hanna (2019) The Mind-Body Politic (Palgrave MacMillan). I embrace the general perspective developed by Maiese and Hanna but push for a more self-critical decolonial stance towards the Enlightenment progressivism of the authors.
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Lexicon entry on Heidegger's concept of disposedness (Befindlichkeit) for the forthcoming Heidegger Lexicon (Cambridge UP), edited by Mark Wrathall. Disposedness is Heidegger's term for the dimension of affectivity in human existence. The text explains Heidegger's choice of the term 'Befindlichkeit', weighs different options of translating it into...
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We elaborate the conceptual preconditions that must be fulfilled such that the qualifier ‘political’ can be applied to emotions (sect. 1). We then sketch a multi-dimensional approach to political emotions and employ the concept of ‘collective affective intentionality’ as an explicative framework. We argue that political emotions in the robust sense...
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This short discussion piece engages with a phenomenological approach to atmospheres , focussing on the work of Hermann Schmitz. Against a background of agreement on the contours of an understanding of atmospheres and their relevance , the text will present a number of critical considerations, in part comparing and contrasting Schmitz's approach wit...
Preprint
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Les émotions et les affects en sont venus à dominer le discours sur la vie sociale et politique au sein de nos sociétés, mobiles et en réseaux, en ce début de 21 ème siècle. Ce volume présente une collection unique de concepts essentiels à la théorisation et à l'exploration empirique de la société en tant que société affective. Les concepts promeuv...
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Shitstorms, Hate Speech oder virale Videos, die zum Klicken, Liken, Teilen bewegen: Die vernetzte Gesellschaft ist von Affekten getrieben und bringt selbst ganz neue Affekte hervor. Die Beiträge des Bandes nehmen die medientechnologischen Entwicklungen unserer Zeit in den Blick und untersuchen sie aus der Perspektive einer kritischen Affekt- und So...
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“Ontology” – and its various cognates – carve out a central conceptual field in Heidegger’s philosophy, although, taken strictly, that is true only for one circumscribed period of his work. Since this particular phase is commonly considered to be the most relevant, it will be foregrounded in the present entry. Only in closing, this entry will also...
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This short entry explains what Heidegger means by 'ontic' - as opposed to 'ontological' - in the phase leading up to and shortly after the publication of Being and Time. The entry discusses the ontological difference, the exceptional character of dasein as a being that is itself ontological, characteristic sources of philosophical error related to...
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Im vorliegenden Beitrag wird die Kategorie der existenziellen Gefühle erläutert, theoretisch fundiert und hinsichtlich ihrer wichtigsten Anwendungsfelder beleuchtet. Im Zentrum steht dabei der Ansatz des Philosophen Matthew Ratcliffe, der diesen Begriff eingeführt und im Bereich einer phänomenologischen Philosophie der Psychiatrie fruchtbar gemacht...
Book
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Shitstorms, Hate Speech oder virale Videos, die zum Klicken, Liken, Teilen bewegen: Die vernetzte Gesellschaft ist von Affekten getrieben und bringt selbst ganz neue Affekte hervor. Die Beiträge des Bandes nehmen die medientechnologischen Entwicklungen unserer Zeit in den Blick und untersuchen sie aus der Perspektive einer kritischen Affekt- und So...
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Philosophers of emotion tend to understand affective phenomena as individual mental states with intentional content. In this contribution, I will contrast this with materials for an account of affectivity that construes affect as relational dynamics between individuals within social domains. ‘Relational affect’ does not refer to individual feeling...
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Heidegger’s views on affectivity can figure as a starting point for an ontological perspective on the political. An account of Befindlichkeit can prepare such a reading, while especially his views on the ontological character of anxiety and boredom lead into what arguably is a founding dimension of the political as such. This is because these affec...
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Sammendrag Hvordan forholder affekter seg til temporalitet? I denne artikkelen skal jeg utforske et fenomenologisk perspektiv på affektivitetens temporale karakter, og argumentere for en fortidens forrang – og dermed også for en konkret, pågående historie – innenfor affektenes kroppsliggjorte og situerte utfoldelse. Selv om affekter «skjer» i nåtid...
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By way of an exemplary elucidation, we sketch a proposal on how the development and refinement of concepts can serve as a cross-disciplinary methodology in the study of affect and emotion. We focus on the working concept of an affective arrangement, which we characterize both historically and systematically and also with help of examples from recen...
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By way of an exemplary elucidation, we sketch a proposal on how the development and refinement of concepts can serve as a cross-disciplinary methodology in the study of affect and emotion. We focus on the working concept of an affective arrangement, which we characterize both historically and systematically and also with help of examples from recen...
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The term emotion, stemming from the Latin emovere (to move out or agitate), broadly refers to those affective upheavals in experience that are directed at events or objects in the world and that often prompt us to act in specific ways vis-à-vis these events or objects. Since antiquity, these episodes have been branded by labels like shame, anger, f...
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In this paper, I explore links between the phenomenology-inspired philosophy of emotion, especially discussions of affective intentionality and situated affectivity, and those strands of work in the field of cultural affect studies that take their inspiration from Spinoza and Deleuze. As bridges between these fields, I propose the concepts 'disclos...
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This entry carves out two central segments of the meaning of "political affect" without aspiring to an exhaustive analysis. In the first half of the text, we will explore the ontological proximity between "affect and the political" in a philosophical key, drawing on Spinoza's considerations on the affect-politics nexus. Spinoza sketches a vision of...
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We outline the Affective Societies research perspective and explain the rationale of the volume. In particular, we expound upon Affective Societies as both a theoretical designator capable of orienting productive work in social and cultural theory and a diagnostic-analytical lens for coming to terms with a salient range of recent societal developme...
Preprint
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In this initial entry of the Affective Societies: Key Concepts volume (Routledge 2019) we outline a basic understanding of affect circumscribing a general tendency that we deem fruitful as an analytical perspective. It builds on a notion of affect as relational dynamics between evolving bodies in a setting, contrasting with approaches to affect as...
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Affective arrangement" is a philosophical concept that describes the in each case unique constellation of a particular affect-intensive site of social life. An affective arrangement comprises an array of persons, things, artifacts, spaces, discourses, behaviors, expressions or other materials that coalesce into a coordinated formation of mutual aff...
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The aim of this introduction is to motivate and explicate the overall orientation on affect as transpersonal relational dynamics formative of and transformative for both individuals and collectives. The text will reinvigorate the particular ‘promise’ the study of affect holds in store, and will outline different theoretical and disciplinary perspec...
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Das Thema „Affekt“ hat sich in den letzten Jahren zu einem Konfliktfeld entwickelt, auf dem grundverschiedene intellektuelle Haltungen aufeinandertreffen. Dies gilt besonders für jene geistes-, kultur- und sozialwissenschaftlichen Stränge der Forschung, die sich unter dem Banner der Affect Studies versammeln (vgl. Gregg und Seigworth 2010). Zum Tei...
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I outline a Heidegger-inspired perspective on affectivity. It revolves around two claims. The first is that we should understand what Heidegger calls ‘Befindlichkeit’ (findingness) as radical situatedness. Affectivity is a matter of ‘finding oneself’ constellated – thrown – into the world in ways that necessarily outrun what an individual or collec...
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The term “connectome” is commonly taken to describe a complete map of neural connections in a nervous system of a given species. This chapter provides a critical perspective on the role of connectomes in neuroscientific practice and asks how the connectomic approach fits into a larger context in which network thinking permeates technology, infrastr...
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Sammelrezension der folgenden Bücher: BRIAN MASSUMI: Politics of Affect, Cambridge 2015. Polity Press. JUDITH MOHRMANN: Affekt und Revolution, Frankfurt/M. 2015. Campus. MARTHA NUSSBAUM: Politische Emotionen, Berlin 2014. Suhrkamp. JOHN PROTEVI: Political Affect, Minneapolis 2009. University of Minnesota Press.
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Im vorliegenden Beitrag stelle ich kritische Betrachtungen zur aktuellen Konjunktur des Begriffs Resilienz an. Resilienz spielt eine zentrale Rolle unter jenen Konzepten, die heute den Bedeutungsraum besetzen, der einst dem Begriff der Haltung bzw. der aristotelischen hexis und deren Derivaten vorbehalten war. Meine Resilienzkritik erfolgt daher in...
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It was not only in his infamous speeches as NSDAP-approved Führer-Rektor of Freiburg University that Heidegger advocated what can be seen as an 'activist' understanding of human existence. To exist, according to this approach, means to be called upon to take charge of one's life-actively, responsibly, authentically whether mandated by Volk and Führ...
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We outline the perspective of ‘critical neuroscience’: a stance of informed critique pertaining to neuroscientific methods, practices, concepts, discursive effects, formative backstories, and societal impacts. Critical neuroscience brings together work from various vantage points with the aim to engage neuroscience practitioners as well as decision...
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Welche Bedeutung haben körperlich-leibliche Interaktion und Kommunikation für soziales Verstehen und Intersubjektivität? Mittels empirischer Forschungen sowie leibphänomenologischer und affizierungstheoretischer Ansätze erschließen die Beiträge dieses Bandes eine Grundschicht unseres Fremd- und Selbstverstehens - und damit von Sozialität - neu. Aus...
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Lässt sich ein nicht-destruktiver Zorn als engagierte intellektuelle Haltung kultivieren? Unter welchen Umständen kann Zorn zum Erkenntnismittel und zur Vollzugsform eines „theoretischen Aktivismus“ werden? Mit dem Ziel, positive Antworten auf diese Fragen zu skizzieren, werden Arbeiten der feministischen Theoretikerin Sara Ahmeds untersucht. Ahmed...
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I argue against the feasibility of certain employments of introspection as a method in psychological experience research. The central mistake that dooms these attempts is a deep-seated misconstrual of human experience: the omission or under-appreciation of the role of agency in experience. Adopting a line of thought that is prominent in Wittgenstei...
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Philosophers of emotion tend to construe affective phenomena as individual mental states with intentional content. Against this broad consensus, I propose an account of affectivity as relational dynamics between individuals within social domains. ‘Relational affects’ are not individual feeling states but affective interactions in relational scenes,...
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In den letzten Jahrzehnten hat es ein verstärktes Bemühen darum gegeben, Emotionen als zentrale Dimension der menschlichen Existenz philosophisch zu verstehen, ihre Vollzugsformen zu beschreiben und sie zu zentralen Fragen der Philosophie in Beziehung zu setzen – etwa zu Themen der Ethik (moralische Motivation und Realität von Werten), der Epistemo...
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Heidegger’s conception of affectivity, as developed for the most part in Being and Time, is reconstructed here with an emphasis on the temporal character of affectivity. While a good number of philosophers of emotion have borrowed from Heidegger’s approach, few have so far taken the temporal character of findingness (Befindlichkeit) into account. T...
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This programmatic theory paper sketches a conceptual framework that might inspire work in critical Medical Humanities. For this purpose, Kaushik Sunder Rajan's account of biocapital is revisited and discussed in relation to the perspective of a critical neuroscience. Critical neuroscience is an encompassing positioning towards the recent public pro...
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The concept of a socially extended mind suggests that our cognitive processes are extended not simply by the various tools and technologies we use, but by other minds in our intersubjective interactions and, more systematically, by institutions that, like tools and technologies, enable and sometimes constitute our cognitive processes. In this artic...
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In recent years, the theme of neuroenhancement has led to many heated discussions and to a surprising range of academic endeavours dealing with the topic. Most notably, the emerging field of neuroethics has become a prominent, almost monopolistic arena for this debate. In our paper, we provide an overview of issues relevant to the theme of enhancem...
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The aim of this paper is to mount a philosophical challenge to the currently highly visible research and discourse on empathy. The notion of empathetic perspective-shifting—a conceptually demanding, high-level construal of empathy in humans that arguably captures the core meaning of the term—is criticized from the standpoint of a philosophy of norm...
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The notion of an enactive system requires thinking about the brain in a way that is different from the standard computational-representational models. In evolutionary terms, the brain does what it does and is the way that it is, across some scale of variations, because it is part of a living body with hands that can reach and grasp in certain limit...
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We propose an action-oriented understanding of emotion. Emotions are modifications of a basic form of goal-oriented striving characteristic of human life. They are appetitive orientations: pursuits of the good, avoidances of the bad. Thus, emotions are not truly distinct from, let alone opposed to, actions — as erroneously suggested by the classica...
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We develop a philosophical interpretation of altered experience in conditions of severe unipolar depression. Drawing on phenomenological analysis, on published depression memoires and on a recent questionnaire study with patients in Britain, we hold that depression is a profound impairment of agency. Its experiential core consists in a paralyzing l...
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Zusammenfassung Matthias L. Schroeter: Die Industrialisierung des Gehirns. Eine Fundamentalkritik der kognitiven Neurowissenschaften. Verlag Königshausen und Neumann, Würzburg 2011, 227 S.
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How should we construe the unity, in affective experience, of felt bodily changes on the one hand and intentionality on the other, without forcing affective phenomena into a one-sided theoretical framework such as cognitivism? To answer this question, I will consider the specific kind of self-awareness implicit in affectivity. In particular, I will...
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Der britische Philosoph Matthew Ratcliffe skizziert in seinem Buch Feelings of Being (Ratcliffe 2008) eine phänomenologische Theorie einer bisher wenig beachteten Kategorie von Gefühlen, den sogenannten existenziellen Gefühlen oder feelings of being. Dabei handelt es sich um umfassende Hintergrundgefühle, die so grundlegend für den menschlichen Wel...
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We apply the perspective of "critical neuroscience" to the field of political theory, inquiring into the prospects and pitfalls of letting political theory take "the neuro turn", and analyzing what this might mean concretely in the first place. We will assess some of the most challenging work in the field of “neuropolitics” – such as William E. Con...
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Assemblage: The Thickening of Brain-Based PhenomenaHow Does the Social Get Under the Skin?Re-invoking the Social in Studies of NeuroscienceStructural Pathologies in Science and SocietyWhose Norms? Expertise, Participation, and ContestationWhat Difference Can Critique Make to Neuroscience?Conclusion AcknowledgementsReferences
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Critical Neuroscience brings together multi-disciplinary scholars from around the world to explore key social, historical and philosophical studies of neuroscience, and to analyze the socio-cultural implications of recent advances in the field. Original, interdisciplinary approach explores the creative potential for engaging experimental neuroscien...
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About the editors. About the contributors. Preface. Introduction: Critical Neuroscience: Between Lifeworld and Laboratory (Suparna Choudhury and Jan Slaby). Part I Motivations and Foundations. Chapter 1: Proposal for a Critical Neuroscience(Jan Slaby and Suparna Choudhury). Chapter 2: The Need for a Critical Neuroscience. From Neuroideology to Neur...
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The following text is the first ever translation into English of a writing by German phenomenologist Hermann Schmitz (*1928). In it, Schmitz outlines and defends a non-mentalistic view of emotions as phenomena in interpersonal space in conjunction with a theory of the felt body’s constitutive involvement in human experience. In the first part of th...
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This text presents a survey of problem areas surrounding recent developments in the cognitive, social and affective neurosciences and analyzes them from a critical philosophical perspective. Issues discussed include the public circulation of brain images, the stabilizing of types of persons on the grounds of alleged “brain types”, the re-formatting...
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Questo studio introduce le motivazioni e l'idea sottese al varo recente di un'iniziativa interdisciplinare dal titolo Neuroscienza Critica. (www.criticalneuroscience. org). Si tratta di un approccio che si sforza di capire, spiegare, contestualizzare e - qualora chiamata farlo - criticare, gli sviluppi attuali nel campo nelle neuroscienze e in quei...
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This paper introduces the motivation and idea behind the recently founded interdisciplinary initiative Critical Neuroscience (http://www.critical-neuroscience.org). Critical Neuroscience is an approach that strives to understand, explain, contextualize, and, where called for, critique developments in and around the social, affective, and cognitive...
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We outline the framework of the new project of Critical Neuroscience: a reflexive scientific practice that responds to the social, cultural and political challenges posed by the advances in the behavioural and brain sciences. Indeed, the new advances in neuroscience have given rise to growing projects of the sociology of neuroscience as well as neu...
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We elaborate and defend the claim that human affective states ("feelings") are, among other things, self-disclosing. We will show why affective intentionality has to be considered in order to understand human self-consciousness. One specific class of affective states, so-called existential feelings, although often neglected in philosophical treatme...
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It is shown that hedonic bodily sensations are intentional states and moreover that they are constitutively embedded within the system of conceptual contents which is a person's self-understanding. This is illustrated by focusing on the exemplary case of bodily pain. Pains are not simply qualia, but rather complex evaluations of bodily processes. W...
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In Abhandlungen über Emotionen aus dem Bereich der analytischen Philosophie werden seit den 60er Jahren des 20. Jahrhunderts einige Vorschläge diskutiert, wie sich die unterschiedlichen Typen von Emotionen formal charakterisieren und dadurch präzise individuieren lassen. Das zentrale Argument der Vertreter kognitivistischer Theorien gegen die in de...

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Projects (4)
Archived project
The interdisciplinary project "animal emotionale" investigated the role of emotions as the missing link between cognition and action from the joint perspective of philosophy and neuroscience. The project was funded by the Volkswagen Foundation within the initiative "key issues in the humanities". Principal Investigators were Prof. Dr. Achim Stephan (University of Osnabrueck) and Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter (University of Bonn). See http://www.animal-emotionale.de/animalemotionale
Archived project
The aim of this project was to provide a detailed, systematic philosophical study of the nature and role of altered mood, emotion and feeling in depression.