Topics in philosophy of mind

Basic Information

Course 2015/2016
David Pineda
Department of Philosophy
Universitat de Girona
Module 6. Theories of Rationality


Fri. 12-15
Room 412, Facultat de Filosofia, UB



The course will offer a survey and discussion of the main contemporary philosophical views on the nature of emotion and other affective phenomena with a view also to relevant scientific facts and theories. Main philosophical topics involving emotions will also be discussed, such as the role of emotion in practical reasoning and the role of emotion in morality and aesthetics.


· First six sessions: general introduction.

· Six next sessions: discussion of six mandatory readings.


1. Affective phenomena: emotions, sentiments and moods.

2. The nature of emotion: the mixed theory, cognitivist theories, Jamesian theories, affect program theory, social constructionism, psychological constructionism, multidimensional appraisal theory, perceptual theories.

3. Emotions and rationality: the role of emotions in the explanation of action; the somatic-marker hypothesis.


4. Emotions, morality and aesthetics: ethical rationalism, ethical emotionism, neo-sentimentalism, epistemic emotionism.


· During the first six sessions the professor will introduce all the topics of the syllabus with a suggested bibliography.


· Each of the next six sessions will be devoted to the discussion of one of the six mandatory readings of the course. The readings will cover all of the topics of the course and will be selected among the most relevant recent philosophical published work on emotions. The readings will be provided at the beginning of the course.


· Paper of 4000 words which should be due by the end of June. After the five introductory sessions, the professor will distribute a list of topics together with a bibliographical selection for each topic. Topics other than those in the list may also be considered but need to be consulted with the professor.


· Participation in the discussion sessions of the readings will also be taken into account.


Intended Learning Outcomes:


CB6 – Students should be able to critically understand central texts in the philosophy of mind in a way that puts them in a position to develop and apply original ideas.


CB7 - Students should be able to integrate the knowledge acquired to interdiciplinar areas related to the studies of the mind.


CB9 - Students should be able to communicate their knowledge and their arguments to specialized audiences in a clear and articulate way.


CB10 - Students should acquire the learning skills necessary in order to carry on further their studies and research in a largely autonomous and self-directed way.


CG1 - Students should critically assess and evaluate arguments and develop sound arguments of their own; and they should also be able to detect logical fallacies.


CG5 - Students should be able to identify methodological errors, rhetorical, conventional and uncritical assumptions, vagueness and superficiality.


CE1 - Students should be able to critically engage with the concepts and methods of contemporary philosophy of mind.


CE3 - Students should be able to correctly identify central arguments and positions in contemporary practical philosophy.


CE4 - Students should be able to assess the writings of leading contemporary philosophers in the field of philosophy and the cognitive sciences.


CE7 - Students should be able to critically use specialized terminology in the field of philosophy of philosophy of mind.


General bibliography:

· Solomon, R. (ed.) (2003): What is an Emotion? Classic and Contemporary Readings. New York: Oxford University Press.

· Solomon, R. (ed.) (2004): Thinking about Feeling. Contemporary Philosophers on Emotions. Oxford U. P.  

· Goldie, P. (ed.) (2010): The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Emotion. Oxford University Press.

· Deonna, J. A. & Teroni, F. (2012): The Emotions. A Philosophical Introduction, Routledge.


· Davidson, R.J., Scherer, K.R. & Hill Goldsmith, H. (eds.) (2009): Handbook of Affective Sciences, Oxford University Press.