Colombetti, Giovanna. the Feeling Body

By Bailey, Andrew M. | The Review of Metaphysics, June 2016 | Go to article overview

Colombetti, Giovanna. the Feeling Body


Bailey, Andrew M., The Review of Metaphysics


COLOMBETTI, Giovanna. The Feeling Body. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 2014. xviii + 270 pp. Cloth, $42.00--It is tempting to locate our thoughts and feelings strictly inside our brains (as opposed to, say, the whole body or outside the body altogether). Many succumb to temptation and even identify people with their brains. But a growing number of cognitive scientists and philosophers dissent. Their research programs take as their starting point alternative hypotheses that locate cognition, perception, and feeling within the human body as a whole.

Colombetti takes these programs one step further. The central thesis her book develops, explores, and defends is that affect is pervasive--throughout the human body, and throughout living things in general. This is the sort of thesis one might expect a writer to propose only to--through a series of qualifications--eventually deny. Colombetti is not in that business. She means what she says here, and her thesis is as bold as it sounds. It implies, for example, that even single-celled organisms enjoy affect appropriate to their lowly station; as she puts it, "Life is thus always 'minded' or 'mindful,' and the richer a living form, the richer its mind."

The reader may be startled to learn that all living things have minds; indeed, this is just the sort of thesis that gamers incredulous stares. Interestingly, Colombetti does not address this kind of worry head-on. But she does give the ingredients to cook up a reply. It would go as follows. The mind is constitutively affective. Affectivity is a lack of indifference and a sensibility or interest for one's existence. And even the simplest living things "have a capacity to be sensitive to what matters to them" because they have a (possibly nonconscious) "perspective or point of view from which the world acquires meaning." These capacities and perspectives are, in turn, a matter of an organism's propensity toward self-organization and the ability to generate and maintain structured order. Organisms engage with their environments and their own parts in complex, purposeful, and patterned ways. These dynamical patterns of self-organization sometimes suffice for emotion, but in all cases suffice for sense-making and affect. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Colombetti, Giovanna. the Feeling Body
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.