MoL-2009-02: Wittgenstein's Investigations and Damasio's Explanations: A Comparative Study of Emotion

MoL-2009-02: Hausen, Nicole R. (2009) Wittgenstein's Investigations and Damasio's Explanations: A Comparative Study of Emotion. [Report]

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Wittgenstein's Investigations and Damasio's Explanations:
A Comparative Study of Emotion
Nicole R. Hausen

This thesis compares philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein's conceptual
analysis of emotion with neuroscientist Antonio Damasio's empirical
hypotheses regarding emotion. Specifically, the project proceeds in
five main steps: First, Wittgenstein's and Damasio's respective
objectives and methodologies are presented, in order to provide the
contexts within which to examine the results of their work. Also
covered are the objectives and methodology of Maxwell Bennett (a
neuroscientist) and Peter Hacker (a philosopher). Bennett and Hacker
have jointly propounded a particular view on the relation between
conceptual analysis and neuroscience, and they have critiqued
Damasio's hypotheses from a philosophical standpoint. Second, Wittgen-
stein's investigations of emotion and other psychological concepts are
explicated in depth. Topics treated include his analysis of images,
impressions, and sensations; his distinction between phenomena and
phenomena of emotion; characteristics that he analyzes emotions to
have; his account of ascription of emotion; and his response to the
question "What is emotion?" The material draws directly from
Wittgenstein's many remarks in the philosophy of psychology, and
special care is taken to interpret his remarks as conceptual
statements about what makes sense (rather than as factual statements
about what is true or false). Third, Damasio's research with respect
to emotion is outlined, based on the three books he has written on
that topic. Definitions of pertinent terms are given, including his
definitions that explain what emotions and feelings are. His
somatic-marker hypothesis is described, as is some of the empirical
research that he has used to develop and test his hypotheses. Fourth,
results from Wittgenstein's and Damasio's investigations of emotion
are compared and contrasted. Individual subjects under consideration
are mental images, the ascription of emotions and feelings,
Wittgenstein's and Damasio's answers regarding what emotion is, and
the role that our ordinary notion of emotion plays in Damasio's
empirical studies of emotion. Within these areas, suggestions are made
concerning how each author's work may bear upon the other's. Fifth,
Bennett and Hacker's general account of how conceptual analysis of
everyday language can affect neuroscience is briefly considered in the
case of Damasio; and in conclusion, it is proposed that neuroscience
can (and should) have an impact on everyday language as well.

Item Type: Report
Report Nr: MoL-2009-02
Series Name: Master of Logic Thesis (MoL) Series
Year: 2009
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2016 14:38
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2016 14:38

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