The affective mind
What is an emotion? Why do headaches feel bad and orgasms good? In virtue of what do affective states motivate us? These are some of the questions that I tackle in my work. My ultimate goal is to get a complete picture of the affective mind.
1. L. Barlassina (2021). Valence: A reflection, in C. Todd and E. Wall (Eds.), Emotion Researcher, ISRE's Sourcebook for Research on Emotion and Affect.
Synopsis: A quick and informal introduction to reflexive imperativism.
2. L. Barlassina (2020). Beyond good and bad: Reflexive imperativism, not evaluativism, explains valence, Thought, 9: 274-284.
Synopsis: Mental states are un/pleasant because they command Less/More of me!, not because they evaluate things.
3. L. Barlassina and M.K. Hayward (2019). Loopy regulations. The motivational profile of affective phenomenology, Philosophical Topics, 47 (2): 233-261.
Synopsis: First-order theories cannot explain how (un)pleasant mental states motivate. Reflexive imperativism can.
4. L. Barlassina and M.K. Hayward (2019). More of me! Less of me! Reflexive imperativism about affective phenomenal character, Mind, 128 (512): 1013-1044.
Synopsis: There are three forms of imperativism about valence. Reflexive imperativism is the best one.
5. L. Barlassina and A. Newen (2014). The role of bodily perception in emotion: In defense of an impure somatic theory, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 89 (3): 637-678.
Synopsis: Emotion = Representation of your own body + Representation of the external world.
6. M. Martínez and L. Barlassina (in preparation). Valence naturalised: Imperativism, evaluativism, and the function of (un)pleasantness.
Synopsis: The function of (un)pleasant mental states indicates that they are commands, not evaluations.
7. L. Barlassina (in preparation). No Hard Feelings: The Cognitive Architecture of the Affective Mind.
Synopsis: A unified theory of hedonic bodily sensations, emotions, and moods.
The Is-Ought interface
To make sense of the world, we make both normative judgments (e.g., judgments about what is right or wrong) and factual judgments (e.g., judgments about what caused what, or about what followed what). These judgments interact in some surprising ways. Studying these interactions helps us to unveil the cognitive mechanisms underlying them.
8. F. Del Prete, M. Kurthy, and L. Barlassina (forthcoming). 'Must' implies 'can', Mind & Language.
Synopsis: We prove the principle that 'must' entails 'can' from Kratzer's semantics. We give experimental evidence for the principle too.
9. L. Barlassina and F. Del Prete (2015). The puzzle of the changing past, Analysis, 75 (1): 59-67.
Synopsis: If you look at how people talk about institutional facts, you will see that they are committed to the claim that the (social) past can change.
10. K. Reuter, L. Kirfel, R. van Riel, and L. Barlassina (2014). The good, the bad, and the timely: How temporal order and moral judgment influence causal selection, Frontiers in Psychology, 5: 1-10.
Synopsis: How people think about "who-caused-what" when given information about who acted first and about who violated a rule.
11. T. Zalla, L. Barlassina, M. Buon, and M. Leboyer (2011). Moral judgment in adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Cognition, 121 (1): 115-126.
Synopsis: Adults with ASDs don't fully distinguish between moral and disgust transgressions. They don't give welfare-based moral justifications either.
Folk psychology, or mindreading, is the capacity to represent and reason about others' mental states. I study the cognitive processes and the mental representations underlying this capacity.
12. K. Reuter, M. Messerli, and L. Barlassina (forthcoming). Not more than a feeling: An experimental investigation into the folk concept of happiness, Thought.
Synopsis: The concept HAPPINESS encodes information about affect, not about life satisfaction.
13. L. Barlassina and R. M. Gordon (2017). Folk psychology as mental simulation, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Synopsis: A detailed introduction to the Simulation Theory of mindreading.
14. L. Barlassina (2013). Simulation is not enough: A hybrid model of disgust attribution on the basis of visual stimuli, Philosophical Psychology, 26 (3): 401-419.
Synopsis: Evidence from Huntington's Disease shows that disgust attribution involves both mental simulation and theorising.
15. L. Barlassina (2011). After all, it's still replication: A reply to Jacob on simulation and mirror neurons, Res Cogitans, 8(1): 92-111.
Synopsis: Jacob (2008) argues that "logically-related mirror neurons" are a problem for the Simulation Theory. He is wrong.