"Commitment and Attunement"

Heidegger's view of attunement, and evolutionary theories of emotion, would appear to be wholly independent accounts of affects. This paper argues that we can understand the phenomenology of attunement and the evolutionary functionalist theory of emotions as distinct perspectives on those same emotions. The reason that the two perspectives are distinct is that some affects can act as commitment mechanisms, and this requires them to be experienced in a way that obscures their ultimate functional role. These perspectives are potentially mutually consistent, however, and being aware of both may provide insight for productive research programs. Although there are conflicts between the methods and background assumptions of these two approaches, I argue that we should allow these conflicts to stand if the outcome of interaction is productive.

Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, December 2014, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 579-594.