Cognitions and affects: towards a Spinozistic theory of cognition

Yaylım, Berk
During the last several decades, Spinoza became one of the rediscovered philosophical masters in the academia. However, this rekindled interest is mostly confined to political philosophy. My intended work area in my dissertation focuses on Spinoza's theory of emotion and a possible Spinozistic theory of emotion. The study will have two main parts. The first part (Chapters 2, 3) will consist of unpacking problems of the contemporary theory of emotions in virtue of the main tension between cognitive and noncognitive theories. Cognitive theories lack bodily changes that are essential to our emotional experience, or they lack unity. Noncognitive theories (or embodied/somatic theories) lack intentionality or richness of intentionality. Although there is a wide range of views among contemporary theories, I start with the James-Lange theory and investigate its contemporary ramifications, starting with criticisms and moving on to contemporary adaptations. In the second part (Chapters 4, 5, 6), my main intention is to read and modify Spinoza's Ethics to introduce a theory of emotions that can respond to some problems of contemporary theories, including the cognitive and noncognitive divide. Therefore, this work will try to produce a novel reading of Spinoza's emotion theory and attempt to answer this contemporary tension in the light of this Spinozistic picture.


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Citation Formats
B. Yaylım, “Cognitions and affects: towards a Spinozistic theory of cognition,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2022.