Norms and Deviations in Emotion

July 15, 2022
ISRE,, University of Southern California, Room SCI L104

Room SCI L104
University of Southern California
Los Angeles
United States


University of Western Ontario
University of Antwerp
University of Antwerp
Institut Jean Nicod
University of Toronto, St. George Campus

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9.30-10.30: Keynote – Norms and normativity: Reflections on the concept of neuro- and other -diversities

-Professor Ronnie De Sousa

10:30-11 – Coffee Break

11.00 - 11.45: Activism and the science of autism: the case of emotions

-Sarah Arnaud

11.45 - 12.30: Desirable Futures: Reframing the Role of Hope in Depression

-Juliette Vazard

12.30 - 1.30 – Lunch

1.30 - 2.15: Passions, anorexia, and the inescapable normativity of psychopathology

-Amanda Evans

2.15 - 3.00: Biased Emotions

-Kris Goffin

3 - 4.00 – Coffee Break

4.00 - 5.00: Roundtable with all the speakers and the audience

Summary of the conference:

Psychiatric conditions are multifaceted, involving all the major aspects of the mind—perception, cognition, affect, and behavior. Further, they have been characterized as involving deviations from “standard” or “typical” functioning. Recent approaches in psychiatry and related disciplines have begun to emphasize the role of affect in conditions previously thought to be primarily a matter of maladjusted behaviors, cognitions, and perceptions. In this pre-conference, we focus particularly on deviations related to affect, cognition, and interactions thereof, focusing particularly on borderline personality, OCD, autism, eating disorders, bipolar disorders, and anxiety disorders.
Our pre-conference addresses several questions, including: what constitutes a deviation from the proper functioning of emotional processes? In what ways are characterizations of the affective and cognitive differences involved in these conditions value-laden? Addressing these questions requires uncovering underlying normative assumptions about how emotions are typically supposed to function, as well as assumptions about what it means to have ‘affective and/or cognitive differences.’ Through the analysis of the emotional deviations of specific psychiatric categories, we aim to uncover underlying normative claims about the mind, and show that identifying them can clarify the characterization of emotional deviations.
As empirically-minded philosophers, we are committed to undergoing interdisciplinary research. Our group is particularly well positioned to respond to these issues located at the intersection of emotion science and psychiatry. The talks in this pre-conference will raise such questions as:
• To what extent does affect impact agency in eating disorders?
• How do affective states, such as anxiety and hope, affect cognitive processes in OCD?
• Can core affect account for the affective component of bipolar mixed states?
• Can the concept of “neurodiversity”, widely used in the context of autism research, be extended to other disorders, such as anxiety disorders? Could a concept such as “emotional diversity” be helpful?
The resultant insights will not only speak to traditional problems in philosophy of emotion, such as the nature and rationality of emotions, but will also further our understanding of psychopathology, and of the broader role of affect in human flourishing or lack thereof.
Our speakers conduct research at the interdisciplinary Swiss Center for Affective Sciences (University of Geneva), while others work at the interdisciplinary Centre of Philosophical Psychology (UAntwerp). This pre-conference will establish the first of many collaborations between the two centers. Our Keynote Speaker is Professor Ronnie de Sousa.

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4 people are attending:

University of Western Ontario
University of Texas at Austin
and 2 more.

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