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Hausen, N.R.

Author: Nikki Hausen 

Graduation year: 2009

This thesis was written for a Master of Logic degree at the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (University of Amsterdam).  Prof. dr. M.R.M. ter Hark (University of Groningen, Department of History of Philosophy) was a member of the thesis committee.

Title: Wittgenstein's Investigations and Damasio's Explanations:  A Comparative Study of Emotion



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, Wittgenstein'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.

Laatst gewijzigd:01 november 2013 14:20