Reflections on the role of emotions in consciousness and subjectivity, from the perspective of affect-logic

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Abstract:

The phenomena of human consciousness and subjectivity are explored from the perspective of affect-logic, a comprehensive meta-theory of the interactions between emotion and cognition based mainly on cognitive and social psychology, psychopathology, neurobiology Piaget’s genetic epistemology, psychoanalysis, and evolutionary science. According to this theory, overt or covert affective-cognitive interactions are obligatorily present in all mental activity, seemingly “neutral” thinking included. Emotions continually exert numerous so-called operator-effects, both linear and nonlinear, on attention, on memory and on comprehensive thought, or logic in a broad sense. They deeply “affect” also consciousness and subjectivity, as showed by the analysis of four crucially involved phenomena, namely (1) attention, (2) abstraction, (3) language, and (4) the prevailing affective state. The conclusion is that neither consciousness nor subjectiovity can be adequately understood without fully considering their emotional aspects.

Keywords: affect-logic; affectivity; attention; consciousness; emotion; evolution; language; nonlinear bifurcations; subjectivity

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/ce.4.2.03cio

Affiliations: Socio-Psychiatric University Clinic

Publication date: January 1, 2003

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