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.

Abstract :
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.