Topics in philosophy of mind

Basic Information

Course 2017/2018
David Pineda
Department of Philosophy
Universitat de Girona
Module 6. Theories of Rationality


Wednesdays, 11:00-14:00
UB, Philosophy Faculty, room 410


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. Elements of emotions: phenomenology, intentionality, bodily changes and valence.
  2. The nature of emotion. The following theories will be discussed: the mixed theory, judgementalism, Jamesian theories, affect program theory, social constructionism, psychological constructionism, multidimensional appraisal theory, perceptual theories.
  3. Emotions and action: the role of emotions in the explanation of intentional action.
  4. Emotions and values: the relation between emotions and moral and aesthetic values. The following views will be discussed: ethical rationalism, ethical emotionism, neo-sentimentalism, epistemic emotionism.
  5. Emotions and Reason: the role of emotions in practical reasoning: the somatic-marker hypothesis.


  • 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 3000 words which should be due by the end of June. After the six 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.
CB9 - Students should be able to communicate their knowledge and their arguments to specialized audiences in a clear and articulate way.
CG2. Students should be able to design, create, develop and undertake new and innovative projects in their area of expertise.
CG3. Students should be able to engage both in general and specific discussions in the domain of the philosophy of mind. They should be able to conduct a philosophical discussion (orally and in written form), by putting forward, for example, general arguments or specific examples, insupport of one’s position.

CG4. Students should be able to work both independently and in a team, in an international environment.

CG5. Students should be able to identify methodological errors, rhetorical, conventional and uncritical assumptions, vagueness andsuperficiality.
CE1. Students should be able to critically engage with the concepts and methods of contemporary philosophy of mind.
CE2. Students should be able to identify the core arguments and theories of contemporary philosophy of mind.
CE4. Students should be able to assess the writings of leading contemporary philosophers in the field of philosophy of mind.
CE5. Students should be able to identify and critically engage with the current state of a particular philosophical debate, and form a reasoned view, even if provisional, about it.
CE7. Students should be able to critically use specialized terminology in the field 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.