Transparent Sensory Access to Affect

Peter Carruthers

in The Opacity of Mind

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199596195
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731549 | DOI:
Transparent Sensory Access to Affect

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Our so-called “affective attitudes” (emotions and felt desires) would seem to be plausible candidates for transparent self-knowledge. For it seems that the affective components of such attitudes can be globally broadcast together with perceptual or imagistic representations of their objects, thereby becoming accessible to the mindreading faculty. In such cases, then, it might be possible to have transparent sensory access to our affective attitudes. The present chapter explores this possibility. It argues that while the suggestion contains an element of truth, much may depend on how desires and emotions themselves are best characterized. This is because people have very little insight into the sources of their affective feelings.

Keywords: affect; arousal; desire; emotion; hedonic; interpretive; motivational; reward; strength; valence

Chapter.  19340 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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