Institut Jean Nicod

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17 mai : Neil Van Leeuwen (Georgia State University)

Vendredi 17 mai de 11h à 13h
Neil Van Leeuwen (Georgia State University)

Title : "Surrounded by Possibilities"

The talk will be on the psychological structures that support connections between imagining and emotion and on what those structures do for us as agents.

How do imaginings influence our emotional states? And what do those manners of influence do for us as agents? In this talk, I take the following approach to answering these questions. First, I clarify the language of imagining: “imagine” can take a constructive sense, an attitudinal sense, and an imagistic sense. Second, I specify the neuropsychological pathways by which imagistic imaginings activate emotions. Third, I argue that the kind of functional pathway in question, which I call I-C-E-C (imagining-categorization-emotion-conceptualization), functionally supports three valuable agential capacities: bodily preparedness to potential events in the near environment, prudent evaluation of future action, and empathic moral appraisal. Interestingly, I-C-E-C also makes us susceptible to being emotionally engaged in fiction. So this theory gives an account of why humans are so enchanted by fiction: engagement in fiction is supported by a pathway, I-C-E-C, that we as agents wouldn’t want to do without.