Topics in philosophy of mind



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.

Course plan


· First six sessions: general introduction.

· Five next sessions: discussion of five 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.


· 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.

· Presentation, or co-presentation, of one of the five mandatory readings. Participation in the discussion sessions of the readings will also be taken into account.

· Students not reaching a final grade of 5 or more but such that they have obtained 3 or more will be reevaluated by answering a list of questions about the contents of the course delivered by the teacher in due time.


· 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.

· Pineda, D. (2019): Sobre las emociones, Ediciones Cátedra.