The Affective Shape Perception and the Encounter of Others

Maria Chiara Bruttomesso


The problem of intersubjectivity, widely and heatedly debated in the different domains of Philosophy, Cognitive Sciences, Neurosciences and Psychology, displays today a diverse panorama of theories that don’t always allow to explore the problem of affectivity. What I claim in my paper is that, in order to understand the problem from its roots, a redefinition of perception is necessary. After analyzing Scheler’s theories of Leib and expressivity as a starting point and finding evidence of their validity in specific neurobiological studies, the concept of perception that emerges loses every possible neutral and mere passive character as we discover it to be affectively shaped through values, emotions, personal experiences. Keeping in mind such characteristics, it is possible to understand the experience of others as an embodied, interactive and concrete encounter, that leads us to call into question the main theories of mind in the Cognitive Sciences and reminds us of the role the others play in shaping us.


Intersubjectivity; Perception; Expressivity

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