On the basis of Descartes’s account of the passions of the soul, we argue that current interoception-based theories of emotions cannot account for the hallmark of a passion of the soul, i.e., that its effects are felt as being in the soul itself. We also pay attention to the epistemic functions of the passions and to Descartes’s category of emotions that are caused and occur in the soul alone. Certain passions of the soul and certain internal (or intellectual) emotions are similar to what are today called ‘epistemic (or noetic) feelings’ and ‘epistemic emotions.’ Descartes’s work reflects another challenge for contemporary embodied cognition: how might epistemic affect be embodied? Since the signature of embodiment is increasingly understood as interoceptive, the challenge to interoceptive research is demonstrating the degree to which (epistemic) affect results from interoception. This challenge also implies that the locus of emotional experience is taken into account.
Keywords Descartes  passions of the soul  internal emotions  mind-body dualism  interoception  noetic feelings  epistemic feelings  epistemic emotions
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