Affective intentionality and the feeling body

Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 7 (4):429-444 (2008)
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Abstract

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 the emotions – display. Many theorists of emotion overlook the extent to which intentional feelings are essentially bodily feelings. The important but quite often overlooked fact is that the bodily feelings in question are not the regularly treated, non-intentional bodily sensations (known from Jamesian accounts of emotion), but rather crucial carriers of world-directed intentionality. Consequently, most theories of human emotions and feelings recently advocated are deficient in terms of phenomenological adequacy. This text tries to make up for this deficit and develops a catalogue of five central features of intentional bodily feelings. In addition, Jesse Prinz’s embodied appraisal theory is criticized as an exemplary case of the misconstrual of the bodily nature of affective experience in naturalistic philosophy of mind.

Author's Profile

Jan Slaby
Freie Universität Berlin

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