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Jonathan Mitchell
University of Manchester
  1. The Intentionality and Intelligibility of Moods.Jonathan Mitchell - 2019 - European Journal of Philosophy 27 (1):118-135.
    This article offers an account of moods as distinctive kinds of personal level affective-evaluative states, which are both intentional and rationally intelligible in specific ways. The account contrasts with those who claim moods are non-intentional, and so also arational. Section 1 provides a conception of intentionality and distinguishes moods, as occurrent experiential states, from other states in the affective domain. Section 2 argues moods target the subject’s total environment presented in a specific evaluative light through felt valenced attitudes (the Mood-Intentionality (...)
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  2. The Epistemology of Emotional Experience.Jonathan Mitchell - 2017 - Dialectica 71 (1):57-84.
    This article responds to two arguments against ‘Epistemic Perceptualism’, the view that emotional experiences, as involving a perception of value, can constitute reasons for evaluative belief. It first provides a basic account of emotional experience, and then introduces concepts relevant to the epistemology of emotional experience, such as the nature of a reason for belief, non-inferentiality, and prima facie vs. conclusive reasons, which allow for the clarification of Epistemic Perceptualism in terms of the Perceptual Justificatory View. It then challenges two (...)
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  3. The Irreducibility of Emotional Phenomenology.Jonathan Mitchell - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85.
    Emotion theory includes attempts to reduce or assimilate emotions to states such as bodily feelings, beliefs-desire combinations, and evaluative judgements. Resistance to such approaches is motivated by the claim that emotions possess a sui generis phenomenology. Uriah Kriegel defends a new form of emotion reductivism which avoids positing irreducible emotional phenomenology by specifying emotions’ phenomenal character in terms of a combination of other phenomenologies. This article argues Kriegel’s approach, and similar proposals, are unsuccessful, since typical emotional experiences are constituted by (...)
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  4. The Attitudinal Opacity of Emotional Experience.Jonathan Mitchell - 2020 - Philosophical Quarterly 70 (280):524-546.
    According to some philosophers, when introspectively attending to experience, we seem to see right through it to the objects outside, including their properties. This is called the transparency of experience. This paper examines whether, and in what sense, emotions are transparent. It argues that emotional experiences are opaque in a distinctive way: introspective attention to them does not principally reveal non-intentional somatic qualia but rather felt valenced intentional attitudes. As such, emotional experience is attitudinally opaque.
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  5. Affective Representation and Affective Attitudes.Jonathan Mitchell - 2019 - Synthese (4):1-28.
    Many philosophers have understood the representational dimension of affective states along the model of sense-perceptual experiences, even claiming the relevant affective experiences are perceptual experiences. This paper argues affective experiences involve a kind of personal level affective representation disanalogous from the representational character of perceptual experiences. The positive thesis is that affective representation is a non-transparent, non-sensory form of evaluative representation, whereby a felt valenced attitude represents the object of the experience as minimally good or bad, and one experiences that (...)
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  6. On the Non-Conceptual Content of Affective-Evaluative Experience.Jonathan Mitchell - 2018 - Synthese:1-25.
    Arguments for attributing non-conceptual content to experience have predominantly been motivated by aspects of the visual perception of empirical properties. In this article, I pursue a different strategy, arguing that a specific class of affective-evaluative experiences have non-conceptual content. The examples drawn on are affective-evaluative experiences of first exposure, in which the subject has a felt valenced intentional attitude towards evaluative properties of the object of their experience, but lacks any powers of conceptual discrimination regarding those evaluative properties. I also (...)
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  7. Can Evaluativism About Unpleasant Pains Meet the Normative Condition?Jonathan Mitchell - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (7).
    This paper assesses whether Evaluativism, as a view about the nature of unpleasant pains, can meet a specific normative condition. The normative condition says whatever candidate state is offered as an analysis of unpleasant pain should be intrinsically phenomenally bad for its subject to be in. I first articulate a method reflecting this condition, called the normative contrast method, and then frame Evaluativism in detail. The view is then tested through this method. I show that Evaluativism can explain why cases (...)
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  8.  79
    Nietzschean Self-Overcoming.Jonathan Mitchell - 2016 - Journal of Nietzsche Studies 47 (3):323-350.
    Nietzsche often writes in praise of self-overcoming. He tells us that his humanity consists in “constant self-overcoming” 1 and that if someone wanted to give a name to his lifelong self-discipline against “Wagnerianism,” Schopenhauer, and “the whole modern ‘humaneness,’” then one might call it self-overcoming. He says that his writings “speak only” of his overcomings, later claiming that “the development of states that are increasingly high, rare, distant, tautly drawn and comprehensive … are dependent on the constant ‘self-overcoming of man’”,2 (...)
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  9.  82
    Nietzsche on Taste: Epistemic Privilege and Anti-Realism.Jonathan Mitchell - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (1-2):31-65.
    The central aim of this article is to argue that Nietzsche takes his own taste, and those in the relevant sense similar to it, to enjoy a kind of epistemic privilege over their rivals. Section 2 will examine the textual evidence for an anti-realist reading of Nietzsche on taste. Section 3 will then provide an account of taste as an ‘affective evaluative sensibility’, asking whether taste so understood supports an anti-realist reading. I will argue that it does not and that (...)
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  10. Another Look at Mode Intentionalism.Jonathan Mitchell - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-28.
    A central claim in contemporary philosophy of mind is that the phenomenal character of experience is entirely determined by its content. In this paper, I consider an alternative I call Mode Intentionalism. According to this view, phenomenal character outruns content. It does so because the intentional mode contributes to the phenomenal character of the experience. Here I assess phenomenal contrast arguments in support of this view. I argue that the phenomenal contrast cases appealed to allow for interpretations which do not (...)
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  11. A Nietzschean Critique of Metaphysical Philosophy.Jonathan Mitchell - 2017 - Journal of Nietzsche Studies 48 (3):347.
    This article provides a new account of Nietzsche’s critique of metaphysical philosophy. After framing Nietzsche’s anti-metaphysical project (Section 1), I suggest that to understand the logic of his critique we should reconstruct a taxonomy which distinguishes between ‘rich metaphysics’ and ‘thin metaphysics’ (Section 2). I then consider Nietzsche’s methodological critique of ‘rich metaphysics’, arguing that his position, which alleges motivational bias against ‘rich metaphysics’, is not compelling, since even granting that previous ‘rich metaphysicians’ exemplified such bias there is no necessity (...)
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  12. A Nietzschean Theory of Emotional Experience: Affect as Feeling Towards Value.Jonathan Mitchell - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    This paper offers a Nietzschean theory of emotion as expressed by following thesis: paradigmatic emotional experiences exhibit a distinctive kind of affective intentionality, specified in terms of felt valenced attitudes towards the (apparent) evaluative properties of their objects. Emotional experiences, on this Nietzschean view, are therefore fundamentally feelings towards value. This interpretation explains how Nietzschean affects can have evaluative intentional content without being constituted by cognitive states, as these feelings towards value are neither reducible to, nor to be thought along (...)
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  13.  37
    Affective Shifts: Mood, Emotion and Well-Being.Jonathan Mitchell - forthcoming - Synthese:1-28.
    It is a familiar feature of our affective psychology that our moods ‘crystalize’ into emotions, and that our emotions ‘diffuse’ into moods. Providing a detailed philosophical account of these affective shifts, as I will call them, is the central aim of this paper. Drawing on contemporary philosophy of emotion and mood, alongside distinctive ideas from the phenomenologically-inspired writer Robert Musil, a broadly ‘intentional’ and ‘evaluativist’ account will be defended. I argue that we do best to understand important features of these (...)
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  14. Emotional Experience and Propositional Content.Jonathan Mitchell - 2019 - Dialectica 73 (4):535-561.
    Those arguing for the existence of non-propositional content appeal to emotions for support, although there has been little engagement in those debates with developments in contemporary theory of emotion, specifically in connection with the kind of mental states that emotional experiences are. Relatedly, within emotion theory, one finds claims that emotional experiences per se have non-propositional content without detailed argument. This paper argues that the content of emotional experience is propositional in a weak sense, associated with aspectual experience and correctness (...)
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  15.  56
    Katsafanas, Paul. The Nietzschean Self: Moral Psychology, Agency and the Unconscious.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. Pp. 272. $74.00. [REVIEW]Jonathan Mitchell - 2017 - Ethics 127 (3):777-783.
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  16.  85
    Review of Jean Moritz Müller, The World-Directedness of Emotional Feeling. [REVIEW]Jonathan Mitchell - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
    Review of Jean Moritz Müller, The World-Directedness of Emotional Feeling.
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  17.  78
    Review of Thomas Stern (Ed.), The New Cambridge Companion to Nietzsche, Cambridge. [REVIEW]Jonathan Mitchell - forthcoming - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
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  18.  80
    Self-Locating Content in Visual Experience and the 'Here-Replacement' Account.Jonathan Mitchell - 2021 - Journal of Philosophy 118 (4):188-213.
    According to the Self-Location Thesis, certain types of visual experiences have self-locating and so first-person, spatial contents. Such self-locating contents are typically specified in relational egocentric terms. So understood, visual experiences provide support for the claim that there is a kind of self-consciousness found in experiential states. This paper critically examines the Self-Location Thesis with respect to dynamic-reflexive visual experiences, which involve the movement of an object toward the location of the perceiving subject. The main aim of this paper is (...)
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  19. The bodily-attitudinal theory of emotion.Jonathan Mitchell - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (8):2635-2663.
    This paper provides an assessment of the bodily-attitudinal theory of emotions, according to which emotions are felt bodily attitudes of action readiness. After providing a reconstruction of the view and clarifying its central commitments two objections are considered. An alternative object side interpretation of felt action readiness is then provided, which undermines the motivation for the bodily-attitudinal theory and creates problems for its claims concerning the content of emotional experience. The conclusion is that while the bodily-attitudinal theory marks out a (...)
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  20.  71
    Two Irreducible Classes of Emotional Experiences: Affective Imaginings and Affective Perceptions.Jonathan Mitchell - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.
    A view of prominence in the philosophy of emotion is that emotional experiences are not self-standing intentional experiences. Instead, they inherit the intentional content they have from their cognitive bases. One implication is that emotions whose intentional contents differ in terms of the modal and temporal properties of the relevant particular object – because the intentional contents on which they are based differ in these respects – nonetheless need not differ qua emotion-type. This leads to the same-emotional attitude, different content (...)
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  21. The Mind’s Presence to Itself: In Search of Non-Intentional Awareness.Jonathan Mitchell - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    According to some philosophers, the mind enjoys a form of presence to itself. That is to say, in addition to being aware of whatever objects it is aware of, it is also (co-presently) aware of itself. This paper explores the proposal that we should think about this kind of experiential-presence in terms of a form of non-intentional awareness. Various candidates for the relevant form of awareness, as constituting supposed non-intentional experiential-presence, are considered and are shown to encounter significant problems. The (...)
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  22. Understanding Meta-Emotions: Prospects for a Perceptualist Account.Jonathan Mitchell - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (4):505-523.
    This article clarifies the nature of meta-emotions, and it surveys the prospects of applying a version of the perceptualist model of emotions to them. It first considers central aspects of their intentionality and phenomenal character. It then applies the perceptualist model to meta-emotions, addressing issues of evaluative content and the normative dimension of meta-emotional experience. Finally, in considering challenges and objections, it assesses the perceptualist model, concluding that its application to meta-emotions is an attractive extension of the theory, insofar as (...)
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