Facing Up to the Problem of Affect

Journal of Consciousness Studies 29 (11-12):8-28 (2022)
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When examined closely, our experience of affect presents a special challenge: it seems that there is no common quality that marks the pleasantness of conscious states and feelings. The implications of this finding have been debated by philosophers and psychologists for more than a century, and yet the peculiar phenomenology of affect is rarely discussed within consciousness studies. The purpose of this article is to call attention to the problem of affect and to examine the most likely reasons for its neglect. These include the assumption that affect is a special quality, the externalist view of affect as an intentional attitude and, perhaps most importantly, the assumption that pleasures and pains can be circumscribed as a special class of feelings. If none of these reasons hold up to scrutiny, facing up to the problem of affect may require that we revise our concept of consciousness.



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How to Unify Theories of Sensory Pleasure: An Adverbialist Proposal.Murat Aydede - 2014 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (1):119-133.
Attitudinal and Phenomenological Theories of Pleasure.Eden Lin - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (3):510-524.
Value from hedonic experience and engagement.E. Tory Higgins - 2006 - Psychological Review 113 (3):439-460.

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