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The Others in Me: the Impact of Others on Self-Conscious Emotions and Self-Understanding

Project description

Explaining how we experience our existence

Self-consciousness and sociality are two basic dimensions in experiencing our existence. Self-consciousness is related to experiencing one’s self and sociality to experiencing others. Relations between the two are investigated, based on psychology, through several emotions that associate them, like jealousy or embarrassment. However, on a philosophical grounding, the gap in defining how humans relate to themselves and how they relate to others needs to be filled. The EU-funded The Others in Me project represents an individual fellowship combining expertise from philosophy of emotion, moral psychology and social ontology in research on self-conscious emotions induced by others (hetero-induced) and the influence of sociality on self-understanding.


"This research action at University College Cork (UCC) aims at shedding light on the intersection of 2 central human capacities: self-consciousness and sociality. The first concerns how humans relate to themselves, the second, how they relate to others. The overarching question that this project investigates, from a philosophical perspective, is how these seemingly distinct capacities are related to each other, given what is known in psychology. To answer it, the project focuses on a class of emotions that epitomize the intersection of these capacities: self-conscious emotions induced by others (""hetero-induced""). These emotions offer key insights into what it means for persons to be social, since in them we feel that others impact who we are. The project is divided in 2 parts, devoted, respectively, to how self-consciousness shapes sociality and how sociality shapes self-consciousness.
This action has the following objectives. PART 1: Primary objective: to clarify what our capacity to experience such emotions reveals about the social nature of persons. Secondary objectives: to clarify the differences of ""depth"" among such emotions, their impact on behaviour and evolutionary relevance. PART 2: Primary objective: to illuminate the kind of self-understanding afforded by hetero-induced self-conscious emotions. Secondary objectives: to establish which dimension of the self is at stake in such emotions, which sort of insights we can gain through them and how relevant and reliable are these insights.
This action combines my expertise in the philosophy of emotion with the expertise of my host environment at UCC in social ontology and moral psychology. The work programme includes dissemination and communication activities such as journal articles and an international workshop linked to a collective volume. The research and training at UCC will enable me to restart and enhance my career by adding a secondary specialization in social ontology, greatly fostering my prospects."


Net EU contribution
€ 196 590,72
T12 YN60 Cork

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Ireland Southern South-East
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 196 590,72