I have obtained both my Bachelor's and my Master's degrees from the University of Turin. After one year spent at the University of Exeter, I moved to Manchester in order to begin my Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Joel Smith and Dr. Jonathan Mitchell.
Thesis title: Psychological Constructionism: A Philosophical Defence
According to Psychological Constructionism Accounts (Barrett, 2014, 2017; Barrett, Mesquita, Ochsner, & Gross, 2007, Russell, 2003, 2009), emotions emerge from more basic components, and need to be conceptualised or interpreted in order to be categorised as emotions’ instances by the experiencer.
My research project consists in assessing the plausibility of Psychological Constructionism from a philosophical point of view.
Are these components necessary and/or sufficient for emotions? What is the relationship between bodily feelings and the cognitive states involved during an emotional episode? Do we really deploy concepts during an emotional episode? And if we do, how can we account for babies or animals’ emotions? Could predictive processing (Clark, 2013; Miller & Clark, 2018) offer a plausible explanation of the relationship at stake when bottom-up components of emotions interact with (and are shaped by) the relevant top-down inputs postulated by Psychological Constructionism theorists?
By drawing upon the psychological (Duncan & Barrett, 2007; Pessoa, 2018) and the philosophical literature on emotions (Deonna & Teroni, 2012; Nussbaum, 2001; Prinz, 2004; Tappolet, 2016), I will attempt to defend some of the main tenets of Psychological Constructionism by offering a philosophical defence and an unitary account of our emotional experiences.