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Synthese

, Volume 196, Issue 12, pp 4847–4867 | Cite as

Emotional sharing and the extended mind

  • Felipe LeónEmail author
  • Thomas Szanto
  • Dan Zahavi
S.I.: Groups

Abstract

This article investigates the relationship between emotional sharing and the extended mind thesis. We argue that shared emotions are socially extended emotions that involve a specific type of constitutive integration between the participating individuals’ emotional experiences. We start by distinguishing two claims, the Environmentally Extended Emotion Thesis and the Socially Extended Emotion Thesis (Sect. 1). We then critically discuss some recent influential proposals about the nature of shared emotions (Sect. 2). Finally, in Sect. 3, we motivate two conditions that an account of shared emotions ought to accommodate: (i) Reciprocal Other-awareness and (ii) Integration. Consideration of (ii) and discussion of relational accounts of joint attention lead us to the proposal that a construal of socially extended emotions in terms of a constitutive integration of the participating individuals’ experiences is more promising than proposals that simply appeal to various forms of social situatedness, embeddedness, or scaffolding.

Keywords

Shared emotions Extended mind Extended emotions Joint attention Interpersonal identification 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors thank two anonymous reviewers for Synthese, for helpful comments on previous versions of this paper. Felipe León gratefully acknowledges the support from the University of Copenhagen’s Excellence Program for Interdisciplinary Research to the 2013–2016 project “The disrupted ‘we’: Shared intentionality and its psychopathological distortions”. Thomas Szanto’s work on this paper was funded by his European Union (EU) Horizon-2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship project SHARE (655067): Shared Emotions, Group Membership, and Empathy.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Subjectivity Research, Department of Media, Cognition and CommunicationUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagen SDanmark

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