Loopy regulations: The motivational profile of affective phenomenology

Philosophical Topics 47 (2):233-261 (2019)
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Affective experiences such as pains, pleasures, and emotions have affective phenomenology: they feel pleasant. This type of phenomenology has a loopy regulatory profile: it often motivates us to act a certain way, and these actions typically end up regulating our affective experiences back. For example, the pleasure you get by tasting your morning coffee motivates you to drink more of it, and this in turn results in you obtaining another pleasant gustatory experience. In this article, we argue that reflexive imperativism is the only intentionalist account of affective phenomenology—probably, the only account at all—that is able to make sense of its loopy regulatory profile.
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