Workshop: Emotion Concepts in Use

Workshop time and location:

June 25 - 26 , 2015, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Germany, O.A.S.E.

Aims and scope:

This workshop aims at analyzing emotion concepts from an interdisciplinary perspective (e.g., linguistics, philosophy, psychology). On the one hand, the workshop is interested in the cognitive mechanisms underlying the experience of emotions and emotion concepts, and, on the other hand, it is interested in the (frame-theoretical) modeling and prediction of the ways in which emotion expressions are used.

A core feature of human mental life is not only the experience of emotion but also the application of emotion concepts to the outer world. We do not only know what it is like to be surprised, but we also describe a situation or an event as surprising or even call something a surprise. On the contrary, we might consider a situation to be sad, but we would not label it by the word sadness (in English, at least).

Moreover, it is not only the case that we apply emotion concepts such as SAD and JOYFUL to inanimate subjects as music, art and literature (e.g., this song is so sad, this melody is so joyful, this story has a happy ending), but we also use emotion concepts to intensify our emotions when we speak, for example, about panic-stricken fear. 

Call for papers:

We invite abstracts of no more than 250 words to be submitted to smelkonian@phil.uni-duesseldorf.de for blind refereeing until May 2. Successful applicants will be informed by May 15.  

Abstracts should deal with the following (or related) topics:

  • the evaluative phenomenology of emotions
  • the acquisition/development of emotion concepts
  • the constitution of emotion concepts
  • commonalities and differences between evaluative adjectives and emotion adjectives (e.g., bad vs. sad)
  • ommonalities and differences between evaluative adverbs and emotion adverbs (e.g., badly vs. sadly)
  • the use of emotion/evaluative adverbs (e.g., surprisingly, terribly) in various linguistic categories, e.g.,as intensifiers, as positives, as discourse  markers, etc.
  • the use of emotion/evaluative adjectives in various linguistic categories
  • emotion concepts and aesthetic judgments
  • metaphorical aspects of emotion concepts (e.g., broken heart for unfulfilled love).