21 March: Raamy Majeed (Open University, London) – “Does Modularity Undermine the Pro-Emotion Consensus?”
Sala Seminari, Via Festa del Perdono 7, h. 15:00-17:00.
Abstract: There is a growing consensus that emotions contribute positively to human practical rationality. While arguments that defend this position often appeal to the modularity of emotion-generation mechanisms, these arguments are also susceptible to the criticism, e.g. by Jones (2006), that emotional modularity supports pessimism about the prospects of emotions contributing positively to practical rationality here and now. This paper aims to meet this criticism. In particular, I argue that widespread assumptions about the incompatibility of modularity and emotion-driven reasoning are misplaced and rest on misconceptions about the commitments incurred by committing to emotional modularity, as well as how characteristics of modularity are utilised by the pro-emotions camp. To that effect, I demonstrate how models of emotion processing can accommodate the sorts of cognitive influence required to make the pro-emotions position plausible whilst exhibiting key elements of modularity.