My aim in this paper is, on the one hand, to point out the novelty and the deep interest of Damasio’s account of emotions and feelings, and, on the other hand, to focus on some persisting theoretical problems still present in his new neurobiological model of the mind and brain. More specifically, my contention is that the Portuguese neuroscientist actually does not take into a more comprehensive consideration the role actively played, thanks to our body as a whole, by the social and cultural contexts surrounding us (the world we share with others, in general) in not only supporting and consolidating our inner life, as well as our description of it, but, importantly, in shaping and constituting it. This is by now the subject of extensive research. In particular, I propose some relevant psychological, phenomenological and neurophenomenological paradigms that emphasize social and cultural ‘tools for feelings’ (music, for example). I also try to explain in which sense intentional and cognitive properties permeate emotional experience, highlighting the temporal structure involved in the neural dynamics of emotions. In the end, I provide a more general critique of Damasio’s assessment of emotions and their nature that, even if not incompatible de jure with the above mentioned theoretical approach, would fail to abandon completely Descartes’ ‘solipsistic’ heritage.

Osservazioni critiche sul modello delle emozioni di Antonio Damasio

Giorgio Rizzo
2018

Abstract

My aim in this paper is, on the one hand, to point out the novelty and the deep interest of Damasio’s account of emotions and feelings, and, on the other hand, to focus on some persisting theoretical problems still present in his new neurobiological model of the mind and brain. More specifically, my contention is that the Portuguese neuroscientist actually does not take into a more comprehensive consideration the role actively played, thanks to our body as a whole, by the social and cultural contexts surrounding us (the world we share with others, in general) in not only supporting and consolidating our inner life, as well as our description of it, but, importantly, in shaping and constituting it. This is by now the subject of extensive research. In particular, I propose some relevant psychological, phenomenological and neurophenomenological paradigms that emphasize social and cultural ‘tools for feelings’ (music, for example). I also try to explain in which sense intentional and cognitive properties permeate emotional experience, highlighting the temporal structure involved in the neural dynamics of emotions. In the end, I provide a more general critique of Damasio’s assessment of emotions and their nature that, even if not incompatible de jure with the above mentioned theoretical approach, would fail to abandon completely Descartes’ ‘solipsistic’ heritage.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11587/438444
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