In Clark and Chalmers’ original discussion, Otto’s (standing) belief that the MoMA is on 53rd St. is extended. However, Otto’s desire to go and see the exhibition, like Inga’s, appears to remain inside him (see Clark and Chalmers 1998, p. 13). In addition, Otto’s enjoyment of the exhibition, once he finally gets to the MoMA, presumably need not involve his notebook either. It is certainly implausible to imagine that when Otto sees a painting by, say, Kandinsky, he looks up his notebook, reads that Kandinsky is his favourite painter, and only then looks back to the painting in awe and admiration. As Sterelny (2010, pp. 471–472) writes, in a quick passage on the possibility of extending desires and emotions, “it is hard to credibly imagine Otto keeping his preferences in his notebook, representing the information that he is gay, or that he likes blonds. … The notebook might be an external belief store, but not an external store of lusts, longings, hopes and preferences”. The reason why Sterelny thinks that desires and emotions cannot be extended is that these are typically experiential and bodily phenomena: “The notebook might of course be an external cue, a prompt that allows Otto better access to his internal, embodied wants and desires. But it cannot substitute for those internal states, for these have a phenomenological, embodied component” (p. 472). Sterelny in particular blames the parity principle for the impossibility of extending desires and emotions: “parity supported cases do not plausibly generalize to other intentional or cognitive states, in particular those with an affective or motivational elements. The more one thinks cognition is embodied, the less one will accept functional equivalence between inner and outer” (p. 471).
Note, though, that the parity principle does not require functional equivalence between internal and external processes. What it requires is functional equivalence between internal processes (which we already intuitively regard as cognitive or as mental more generally), and extended systems composed of internal-plus-external processes—in other words, it requires functional integration between inner and outer, such that the resulting system does something that we are inclined to identify as cognitive or mental (see Wilson and Clark 2010). An extended cognitive process, then, is not one where the outer plays the same functional role as the inner. As Wilson and Clark admit, some passages in Clark and Chalmers (1998) do suggest that the outer must by itself be functionally equivalent to the inner for it to be part of an extended mind (e.g., see the passage, quoted earlier, that the information in Otto’s notebook plays the same role as Inga’s memory). The right interpretation, it has now been clarified, is that it is the joint system Otto-plus-notebook that is functionally equivalent to (plays the same role as) Inga’s internal memory system. It follows that, in order to extend affective states, one need not find outer processes that have themselves an embodied or phenomenological character. Rather, it is enough to point to integrated extended systems whose states and processes play a role that we intuitively regard as distinctively affective.Footnote 5 As we are about to show, we believe that there are indeed extended affective systems of this kind.
Importantly, when asking whether affectivity can be extended, one should not forget that the realm of the affective, as conceptualized in mainstream philosophy of emotion and by our folk judgements concerning emotional categories, includes a variety of both occurrent and dispositional phenomena. Our aim is to argue that all of these can be extended, by applying the arguments already provided so far for ExM and presented in the previous section. To do so we need first to illustrate the various phenomena that are traditionally, and intuitively, seen as making up the realm of the affective.
The emotions (fear, anger, sadness, hope, shame, joy, contempt, and so on) are paradigmatic affective states. The term “emotion”, however, is ambiguous: it, alongside the labels for individual emotion types, can indicate both an occurrent and a dispositional state (see also Goldie 2000, p. 104). If we hear that Mary is angry at John, we can understand this in two ways. We can infer that Mary is at present experiencing an episode of anger at John, and is also perhaps in some way expressing her anger at John, and/or undergoing some physiological change, such as a change in heart rate; or, we can infer that Mary has a longstanding angry disposition toward John, such that she may experience and also express her anger when she is in John’s presence.
To avoid this ambiguity, we distinguish between emotional dispositions, and emotional episodes (see also Deonna and Teroni 2012), where the latter are occurrent states with an event-like or temporal structure. Occurrent emotions (emotional episodes) are the component of the affective domain that has received the greatest philosophical attention, and of which there is the greatest diversity of competing theoretical analyses. For the sake of providing the broadest possible treatment of the issue, rather than entering the debate over which of these accounts is correct, we adopt here a “componential” approach, according to which emotional episodes are complex occurrences involving cognitive evaluations or “appraisals”, bodily (autonomic and expressive) changes, and feelings. This approach reflects not only, we think, our common-sense understanding of the emotions, but also a dominant trend in affective science (e.g., Russell 2003; Scherer 2009). We return to the question of whether any or all of these elements can be extended in Sect. 5 below.
Other common occurrent affective states are moods, such as having the blues, feeling elated, being grumpy, feeling anxious, or feeling upbeat. They are usually characterized in the philosophy of emotion as diffuse affective colorations that influence one’s experience of the world, and that make some emotional episodes more likely than others (someone in a grumpy mood, for example, is more likely to burst out at someone else in anger; someone in an anxious mood is more likely to be preoccupied with things that would otherwise not worry her). Moods are primarily feeling states, but are also associated with characteristic bodily postures and gestures, and expressive-behavioural attitudes. Moods are typically distinguished from emotional episodes by reference to duration and intentional character. Moods generally last longer than emotional episodes—one can feel grumpy for hours or even days. Moreover, moods, unlike emotional episodes such as anger, sadness, fear, pride, and so on, are not directed at specific objects (things, people, events); one does not usually have the blues, or feel up, about anything in particular. How exactly to characterize the intentionality of moods is a matter of debate. Some philosophers think that moods are not intentional states altogether (e.g., de Sousa 1987), whereas others think that they are rather about general or indeterminate objects (Broad 1954; Goldie 2000; Solomon 2007; Ben-Ze’ev 2010). Here we take moods to be pervasive affective states with an unclear intentionality, such that they are not about anything in particular, but remain nevertheless “open” to the world, in the sense that they present the world as affectively toned, in one way or another. Moods, too, are naturally conceived of as event-like, i.e., as unfolding over a span of time, during which they can change and evolve. Think, for instance, of a bad temper caused by a difficult day at the office taking on a particular coloration as one deals with, say, people, traffic, and weather during the journey home.
The affective realm also includes a variety of dispositional states. We have already encountered the emotional dispositions, which are dispositions to undergo a certain kind of (occurrent) emotion. When we say that Mark is envious of the rich, for example, we mean that Mark is prone to experience and/or manifest envy for a rich person whenever he meets one or hears about her and her possessions. Being angry, being jealous, being scared, and being proud are all examples of expressions that can refer not just to occurrent emotional episodes but also to emotional dispositions (e.g., Ryle 1949, Chap. 4). Emotional dispositions can last very long, up to one’s whole life.
Emotional dispositions are distinguished from the sentiments. Emotional dispositions can be characterised as “single-track”, namely, as tendencies to exhibit one specific emotion (e.g., anger, envy, jealousy, fear, pride; see Deonna and Teroni 2012). Some affective dispositions however are “multi-track”, i.e., they are tendencies to feel a variety of different emotions. When we say that Mary loves John, for example, we imply that Mary is likely to undergo an intelligible pattern of different emotions towards John and in relation to him, such as erotic desire and warm affection, but also worry, pride, or jealousy. Similarly for hatred. These multi-track affective dispositions are traditionally characterized as the sentiments (see also Broad 1954; Ben Ze’ev 2000, Chap. 4).
A further category of affective dispositions are the temperaments. A temperament is generally viewed as the tendency to have certain moods. Often-cited examples of temperaments are being cheerful, being phlegmatic, being irritable, being gloomy, being melancholic, being lascivious, and being nervous (Deonna and Teroni 2012, Chap. 9). Someone with an irritable temperament, for instance, is disposed to enter a grumpy mood more often than someone with a cheerful or phlegmatic temperament.
Finally, temperaments are distinguished from character traits, which are dispositions to evaluate and affectively respond to events in a certain way. Paradigmatic examples are “being optimistic, kind, courteous, opportunist, meticulous, modest, loyal, frivolous, cruel, but also negligent, insensitive, unfriendly as well as the standard virtues and vices” (Deonna and Teroni 2012, p. 106; Goldie 2004). Character traits differ primarily from sentiments in that the latter are considered attachments to specific things (objects, but also people and institutions), whereas the former are attachments to values (such as justice, modesty, loyalty, and so on). Recent literature has raised a sceptical challenge to the treatment of character traits as context-independent, enduring, and stable features of moral agents (e.g., Harman 2000), motivated by results from situationist social psychology (see, e.g., Kunda 1999 for discussion), which have been taken to indicate that individuals tend not to exhibit uniform traits—e.g., kindness, charity, or honesty—across different contexts and situations. One response (e.g., Upton 2005) is to hold that features of character should be understood in “local” terms, as dispositions to respond evaluatively only within a circumscribed context—to attribute to an agent the property, for example, of being “honest-at-work”, or “compassionate-towards-the-sick”. We will not take a stand upon the question of which account of character traits, global or local, is correct, but hold that each is consistent with HEA as we will develop it.
Occurrent emotional episodes and moods, and dispositional emotions, sentiments, temperaments, and character traits differ in their temporal span. Emotional episodes typically last a few seconds or minutes, whereas moods can last for hours, days, or even weeks. The various dispositional affective states are usually long-lasting and relatively stable: one can be angry at one’s parents for the whole of one’s life; likewise for a sentiment of love, a gloomy temperament, and a frivolous character trait. Arguably, not all affective dispositions fall neatly within one category only. Being irascible, for example, can be seen as a single-track emotional disposition (e.g., Goldie 2004), but also as a temperament, and even as a character trait (if one exhibits a pattern of preferential attachments to one’s own interests at the expense of others’, say). For our purposes, what matters is that it is possible, and indeed customary, to identify a variety of occurrent as well as dispositional affective phenomena. Moreover, we can do so in the absence of a definitive, theory-driven “mark of the affective”: our appeal is to well-established and, we think, relatively uncontroversial categorizations of affective phenomena.