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Project ID: 655143
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.3.2.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EMOTIONS FIRST (EMOTIONS FIRST. Feeling reason: the role of emotions in reasoning)

Reporting period: 2016-01-01 to 2017-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

"Neuroscientists have recently discovered the entanglement of emotions and reasoning in our mental life. On the basis of these results, cognitive scientists are developing a semantics of conceptual classification, grounded on feelings and emotions towards the world. My work for the Marie Curie project has proven that the ancient Greek philosophers developed theories of emotions in reasoning for which cognition should be understood as distributed and extended in the social dimension of interactions. I addressed these findings to contemporary philosophy, especially in relation to the 4E cognition model, and the perfectionist theory of well-being, developing my own philosophical account about emotions and reasoning: “Extended Affectivity”.
The main purpose of the project was to reach further philosophical understanding in the integrated functionality between the rational and the emotional dimensions of the mental by researching the ancient philosophical sources, and to disseminate the outcomes in educative settings. This last point highlights the relevance of the project for the society, that is the implementation of the contemporary theories and practices in education with a novel understanding of the integrated functionality of emotions and cognition.
I applied my model in different educative settings, developing some outreach activities and public engagement. In February and March 2017, I developed the “Emotions for learning” workshops for Primary School Children, in collaboration with the Widening Participation Office of the University of Edinburgh. I delivered a talk and a workshop at the event “When Education Becomes Possible: Stories of Life and Learning”, organised by the Edinburgh University Chaplaincy for the Story Telling Festival, October 2017. I created with Harriet Harris the “Roots of Compassion Workshop: learning practices from different traditions that help to grow compassion”, collaborating with the Multi-faith and belief Chaplaincy team, for the Well-Being and Mental Health Week, November 2017.

I fulfilled the short-term objectives:

1. I published 15 papers in peer refereed journals (2 are in press). In addition, I also published 6 book chapters (2 are forthcoming), 1 encyclopaedia entry, 1 review, and 1 introduction. I edited 1 journal's issue and signed the contract for 2 edited volumes, “Emotions in Plato” with Brill, and “The Value of Emotions for Knowledge” with Palgrave Macmillan.
2. I took part to 30 international conferences, as speaker, and made seminar and colloquia presentations in Edinburgh and abroad; I increased the network of contacts in academia not only by attending conferences and seminars, but also teaching abroad through the Erasmus Plus Teaching Project for one week (at the Free University of Berlin, 8,5 hours, Agreement Number: 2016-1-UK01-KA103-02399, Project title: Erasmus + KA 103, and at Fudan University of Shanghai, 8 hours, Agreement Number 2016-1-UK01-KA107-023839; Project Title: Erasmus + ICM KA107 ). The Erasmus Plus Program provided a financial support for the travel and the living allowance, but I did not received any payment for the teaching. I also created a network with the University of Paris-Nanterre (collaborating with Dr. O. Renaut) for the Joint Workshops on Ancient Theories of Soul and Knowledge. I sponsored two academic visitors from the USA (Cecilea Mun from Central Michigan University, and Jerry Gardner from the University of Utah).
3.I organised 3 international conferences (“Feeling Reasons”, “Emotions in Plato”, and ""The social dimensions of cognition and education"").
4. I disseminated the research results to the wider public through leaflets, workshops, videos, interviews. I applied my model of emotions in reasoning in different educative settings, developing some outreach activities and public engagement."

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

- I have completed a survey of relevant literature; developed my own theory; and discussed my theory with peers.

- I attended (1) courses at the Institute for the Academic Development, (2) workshops and seminars at the UoE and abroad;
- I delivered some lectures and tutorials and supervised two dissertations.

- I established a strong collaboration with the members of the Eidyn Centre and of other Departments; I became a member of the Emotion network; I developed an international network with Nanterre University, Free University Berlin, Fudan University Shanghai, and the Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Paranà;
- I managed the calls for papers and the programs for three international conferences.

- I collaborated with the outreach officers for delivering workshops and public talks

Main results: publication of 15 peer-reviewed papers; signed the contract with Brill and Palgrave Macmillan for two edited volumes; international profile; outreach activities; exploitation of result in educative settings

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Theoretical achievement: I have developed an original theory of cognition, Extended Affectivity, in which I develop an account of the epistemic role of emotions in social learning processes and virtue theory. “Extended Affectivity” is a model for social affective cognition and action-understanding grounded on affective relationality. I got novel understanding of the bridge from desires and feelings to deciding and acting, building the conceptualization of the good for the agent in the process, in the continuity between life and mind. Cf. (2015) “Aporetic State and Extended Emotions: the Shameful Recognition of Contradictions in the Socratic Elenchus”; (2016) “Extended affectivity as the cognition of the primary intersubjectivity”; (2017) “Epistemic emotions: the building blocks of intellectual virtues”; (in press) ""The route of goodness. Epistemic emotions, self-realization, and perfection""; (in preparation) The Value of Emotions for Knowledge, Palgrave Macmillan 2019.

Impact: I created with Harriet Harris the “Roots of Compassion Workshop: learning practices from different traditions that help to grow compassion”, collaborating with the Multi-faith and belief Chaplaincy team, for the Well-Being and Mental Health Week, November 2017. We are now developing a pilot project for exploiting the result to (1) clinical education and (2) cultural change. I am also developing an interdisciplinary pilot project about extended cognition in the classroom with some colleagues in philosophy and education.


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