External Talk: The Emotional Mind: The affective roots of culture and cognition

Friday 24 May 2019, 1.00PM to 2.00pm

Speaker(s): Dr Rami Gabriel & Dr Stephan Asma - Columbia College, Chicago

Tracing the leading role of emotions in the evolution of the mind, a philosopher and a psychologist pair up to reveal how thought and culture owe less to our faculty for reason than to our capacity to feel. Many accounts of the human mind concentrate on the brain’s computational power. Yet, in evolutionary terms, rational cognition emerged only recently. Many of the distinctive behaviors and social structures of our species are best discerned through the lens of emotions. Even the roots of so much that makes us uniquely human―art, mythology, religion―can be traced to feelings of caring, longing, fear, loneliness, awe, rage, lust, playfulness, and more. Using affective neuroscience and ecological psychology, Asma and Gabriel will argue that emotions have intentionality, and that the mind is neither a computer nor a collection of innate modules.

Location: PS/A/202 (Venables Room)