Seminar Series in Analytic Philosophy 2022-23: Session 26

Emotions Embodied: Old Debates and New Frontiers

Jesse Prinz (CUNY Graduate Center)


9 June 2023, 16:00 (Lisbon Time – WET)

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)


Abstract: Historically, the central debates about emotions concerned the role of cognition: are emotions thoughts of some kind or can they arise without thinking? In the 20th century, this evolved into a debate between appraisal theories and embodied theories. In the 20th century, we’ve seen new ways to reconcile these old divides. The resulting theories and mounting evidence have given proponents of embodiment renewed hope. Recently, however, attempts to reconcile cognitive and embodied theories have been challenged. On the one hand, there are critics who think bodily responses are not adequate to explain emotions, and, on the other hand, there are some who think that earlier embodied theories do not fully appreciate the role of the body in emotions. This presentation recommends an embodied theory that builds on the lessons of these old and new debates.