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Mon, 07 Feb


Room G37

Raamy Majeed (University of Auckland) Thinking Developmentally About Emotional Architecture

Time & Location

07 Feb 2022, 16:00 – 17:30

Room G37, Senate House, London WC1B, UK


Are our emotions triggered by emotion-specific mechanisms, i.e., “modules”, or are they constructed from domain-general “core systems” with the aid of our folk concepts? Modular theories of emotion struggle to accommodate the growing body of evidence against emotional modularity, whereas non-modular theories, such as various forms of constructionism, typically ignore some of the main reasons why modules were posited in the first place. This paper takes as its point of departure the observation that both modular and non-modular theories of emotion make certain assumptions about the cognitive architecture of emotion without paying adequate attention to the various ways such an architecture itself can be transformed during ontogenetic development. By way of remedying this omission, I argue both the evidence for and against emotional modularity can be accommodated by treating emotions as the products of “developmental modules”: non-innate systems which behave like modules but form due to a myriad of developmental factors.

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