Reasons and Theories of Sensory Affect

In David Bain, Michael Brady & Jennifer Corns (eds.), The Philosophy of Pain: Unpleasantness, Emotion, and Deviance. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 27-59 (2019)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Some sensory experiences are pleasant, some unpleasant. This is a truism. But understanding what makes these experiences pleasant and unpleasant is not an easy job. Various difficulties and puzzles arise as soon as we start theorizing. There are various philosophical theories on offer that seem to give different accounts for the positive or negative affective valences of sensory experiences. In this paper, we will look at the current state of art in the philosophy of mind, present the main contenders, critically compare and contrast them. In particular, we want to examine how they handle the reason-giving power of affective states. We will look into two representationalist proposals (Evaluativism and Imperativism) and a functionalist proposal, and argue that, contrary to their own advertisements, the representationalist proposals don’t have good accounts of why and how sensory affect can motivate, rationalize, and justify subsequent behavior and intentional mental activity. We will show that our own functionalist proposal does a much better job in this regard, and that when the representationalist proposals are modified to do a better job, they fare better not because of their representationalist credentials but due to their functionalist ones.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
AYDTOS
Upload history
Archival date: 2020-04-20
View other versions
Added to PP index
2014-08-02

Total views
260 ( #17,569 of 51,524 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
45 ( #12,455 of 51,524 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.