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The Affective Origins of Consciousness and Mind


Paranormal Adept
This thread is inspired by my discovery of Darwin's classic text The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, referenced in a volume of papers available online entitled Habitus in Habitat I : Emotion and Motion, edited by Sabine Flach, Daniel Margulies, and Jan Söffner and published by the Peter Lang Verlag. I will provide links to both of these works below.

The Darwin text is available online at Gutenburg as well as in a new edition in 2009 from Oxford University Press, linked here at amazon:


Here is a review of the Oxford edition of the Darwin book (its fourth edition):

"John C. Fentress
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic beautifully presented
Reviewed in the United States on January 6, 2013

Darwin's classic 'The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals' published in 1872 remains a remarkable testimony to the powers of observation and insight of this remarkable man. This edition adds value to the work through the thoughtful introduction and after notes by Paul Ekman, a man who as much as any other has shown how bringing Darwin's work into fields such as ethology and comparative psychology can help us understand the roots of our own emotional expressions. It is true, as Ekman notes, that some of Darwin's explanations for emotional expression have been replaced. This in no way invalidates the value of his remarkable insights. I suggest that all who are interested in how emotions are organized, in both animals and humans (a false distinction, by the way) take a serious look at what the originator of our modern evolutionary perspective on life had to say about the richness of emotional behavior, differing in detail across species (and individuals) within a common core of historical roots."

Habitus in Habitat I : Emotion and Motion develops the applications and significance of Darwin's text and is available without a fee at the following academia.edu link, which opens with a paper by Shaun Gallagher but also provides -- scroll down for it -- the table of contents and texts of all the papers in this volume:

Movement and Emotion in Joint Attention

I recommend reading the introductory paper, beginning on page 7, to obtain an overview of the volume as a whole, which is highly relevant to the contentious interdisciplinary field of Consciousness Studies in our time and accords with the insights of the biologist and ethologist Jaak Panksepp and his colleagues in the recently developing field of Affective Neuroscience.



Paranormal Adept
Here is the Introduction to Habitus and Habitat I, linked above in the OP and again at the bottom of this post.

Habitus and Habitat I -- Motion and Emotion
Sabine Flach, Daniel Margulies, and Jan Söffner, eds

"Theories of habituation reflect their diversity through the myriad disciplines from which they emerge. They entail several issues of trans-disciplinary interest – such as embodiment, aesthetics and phenomenology, which on the other hand have profoundly influenced the discussion. Embodiment has become a prominent issue in disciplines such as the cognitive sciences, neurosciences and psychology – but it has equally had an impact on the social sciences, art history, and cultural, literary, and media studies, as well as philosophy of mind and phenomenology. Since the 1980s, from the interaction of these various perspectives, interdisciplinary fields of issues play a key role in the discussions, and this is one of the most promising fields of cultural, social and psychological interest. At the same time the issue of aesthetic experiencing, and especially of the relation between the senses and the emotions, has provided vivid and fruitful debates – and they are essential for artistic fields of knowledge as well.

One major issue here is not just the senses, but also phenomena of ‘sense’ (meaning) and ‘sense’ (sensuality) in their intricate interaction. This interaction includes the ‘sense’ emerging in environmental relations, but also its subjective manifestations through perception; and it is based upon the correspondence of the sensual organs and the modalities of the senses.1 The interdependence of sense and the senses, of cultural meaning and sensuality, can only be conceived as being a complex relation of stability and flexibility, of habituations and readjustments, considering both a shared reality and private experience. The meaning emerging from the balance and the adjustments of these interrelations cannot accordingly be analyzed by referring to concepts of the intelligible world alone – as would be the case when reducing it to concepts of inscribed meanings. Embodiment entails a phenomenology that cannot just be reduced to concepts or metaphors of scripture.

Rather the approach to these phenomena must be profoundly based on concepts of performance and performativity, regarding the interrelation of
sense and sensing 2 as a relation as inextricably linked to the interrelation of habitus and habitat. Despite the fact that similar discussions have always been inherently interdisciplinary, the disparate nature of disciplinary approaches continues to thwart the necessary exchange of ideas. To grant a common base for the whole project, we have developed the unifying theme: habitus in habitat, because it constitutes a fundamental issue concerning all these fields of interest, and it allows for contributions from a variety of disciplines. The term habitus, in a general sense, refers to habituated embodied and mental schemata, implied in social communication, in personal attitudes, in social identity, in cultural experience, and in the production of cultural meaning
On the other hand subjectivity is not only constituted by habitus – a habitus is also deeply rooted in subjectivity and depends on subjective experiencing as well. The concept of habitus is also profoundly ‘emotional’ from its very origin and its antique predecessors. The Greek word for habitus is 'hexis' – i.e., the ‘having’ also rendered in the Latin word habitus – and as such it is already used in Aristotle, most prominently in the Nicomachean Ethics. Aristotle thinks of hexis as a tendency or disposition, induced by our habits, to have feelings and to act (1105b 25–6). Hexis is a stance on oneself and on the environment. Moral virtue, in his eyes, is therefore the right hexis, i.e. the disposition to have appropriate feelings and act appropriately. It is thereby a form of cognition and judgment as well – even though it does not necessarily imply conscious reasoning. Indeed, emotions have always been central to human experience and behavior. They condition our actions and are inherent in all forms of communication. 3

It has also become widely accepted that there is no cognition without emotion, suggesting that every formation of cognitive skills and epistemological faculties, every cultural practice and any form of human communication is accompanied by specific emotional habituations and the formation of an emotional
habitus – a set of habits involved in emotional communication. Since these habituations always imply a stance on the surrounding environment, they are closely linked to a habitat as well. In the current discussions on the emotions, this is true, e.g. for Jesse J. Prinz, who conceives of emotions as “not merely perceptions of the body but also perceptions of our relations to the world”4; it is true for Peter Goldie, who develops a concept of conscious “feeling towards”5 and focuses on emotions “by subtly identifying the thoughts which are involved” in order to open up “a space to consider the ethical and sometimes the political dimensions of an emotion”6; it is true for Joseph LeDoux, who con-
ceives of conscious feelings as being grounded in a subjective “capacity to be consciously aware of one’s self and the relation of oneself to the rest of the world”7; and it is true for Matthew Ratcliffe, who developed a theory of existen-tial feelings, i.e. of feelings as “finding oneself in the world”8. This is just to name four recent theories considering the emotional relation with an environment in very different ways. According to each of them, habitus is nevertheless closely tied to issues of both subjectivity and environmental interaction.

Habitus, though, is not just individually acquired, but it also forms a foundation for habituation to collectively shared patterns of embodied communication. For Marcel Mauss habitus is closely related to the Techniques du corps – techniques of the body, which consist of a “work of individual and collective practical reason”9. This remains stable in Pierre Bourdieu’s vast theory of habitus as a fact of the production of social meaning and social distinctions – which are embodied in human interaction. His concept of habitus – at least in his later writings10 – can be understood as an enactive way of the social production of meaning, referring to the whole body and including cognition, judgement, and aesthetics. Moreover, Bourdieu elaborates on the habitat as well. For him habitus stems from the habituation with an environment. It is a fact of being habituated with what one inhabits. And at the same time it is a fact of being inhabited by one’s own habitat. Habitus is formed by and constitutes a ground for embodied interaction. Bourdieu’s notion of habitus has recently been extended by his former student Loïc Wacquant, who focuses even more on embodiment than did his mentor. In opting for a “carnal sociology” of habitus, taking more seriously the knowledge gained by “bodily and sensual apprenticeship”11, he opens up the term for phenomenological considerations drawing upon Edmund Husserl12, Maurice Merleau-Ponty13, and Martin Heidegger14 for the discussion of “dispositional representations” in the brain (such as conceived of by Joseph LeDoux)15, for considerations about cultural meaning – and for the knowledge sometimes implied in artistic practises.

All this makes the concepts of habitus and habitat apt for describing the cultural aspects of embodied cognition, perception, appreciation, judgment and taste – of being more or less attuned with situations or people, of practical knowledge, and of subjective experiencing. Habitus, hence, can be understood as a set of behavioural attitudes and habits that make up both a subjective and a cultural identity. Habituation refers to experiencing within a culturally shaped environment, it refers to what one gets habituated to. Habitus, on the other hand, as a form of stance relating to an environment and to oneself, draws to the foreground both subjective and culturally shaped issues about the ‘sense of senses’ and the ‘sense’ of motor actions. Indeed, in considering the interrelation between habitus and emotion, scholars tend to focus progressively more on the connection between emotions and motor actions (usually understood as ‘expressions’). In other words: The habitualization of emotions is constituted by more than simply psychological aspects (in the narrow sense of the word), it must rather be described by considering the moving body – and how this body, by means of its (often subliminal) motions, relates to its environment. In reflecting on the etymology of the word ‘emotion’(i.e. ex motus – out of the motion) in an embodied sense, and not just related to a mental, and hence metaphorical ‘movement of the soul’ (a motus animi), the relation of motion and emotion becomes an issue of the embodied mind, implicating literal movements of the body as well.

The term “emotion”, hence, should no more just refer to something disembodied and inner, but it should also refer to an environmentally related behavioral pattern involving cognitive, motivational and sensorimotor aspects of experience. And moreover, emotions involve embodied interaction with an environment – as much including the interrelation of subjective expressions and impressions as involving trans-subjective emotionality (observable in affect-driven mass phenomena or moods and atmospheres). Discussing the embodiment of emotions also leads to discussing questions about how emotions present themselves to others. This question is an important issue for aesthetic and artistic theory and art history. Here habitus in habitat does not allow for privileging facial expression (as is often the case in research on motional expressiveness). Rather the focus must be on the whole body in motion. Moreover, it must include considerations about the media implied in every human habitat.16

These questions figure paramount in the arts. Just to pick two famous examples from the vast discussion of expressive movements in the visual arts: Konrad Fiedler, in his Schriften zur Kunst (Writings on Art) 17, develops a concept of artistic autonomy based upon a critical and psychophysiologically grounded re-interpretation of Kant. He thereby liberates art from being a mere ornament accompanying scientific insights – he rather describes its autonomous and legitimate production of knowledge. Fiedler’s point of departure is the ‘production of reality’ as a fact of sensual mediation.18 With reference to the works of Wilhelm Wundt, he establishes the category of ‘expressive movement’ in order to describe all modes of articulation:

“The problem of artistic means of expression will not gain a scientific setting until one gets habituated to seeing them as expressive movements (…): Only by means of such an inquiry can the fact slowly come to the light which aspects of human consciousness are assisted by the diverse modes of expression.”19

In aiming to establish a new form of verifiable knowledge, Fiedler establishes a concept of insight leading the sensual “matter of reality” to the “expression of itself”. While challenging concepts of art as the imitation or representation of reality, Fiedler establishes the concept of an expressive movement joining visual perception and gestalt perception – thereby producing a mental figure without reference to anything pre-existing. Aby Warburg’s concept of the “pathos formula”, to give the second example, allows for describing the manifold emotional articulations of bodies – pointing to the fact that iconic figurations are essential for the knowledge of and about emotions. Warburg’s pathos formula is a methodological instrument which is suitable for bringing to light the epistemological relevance of the detail – or the “moved accessories” (“bewegtes Beiwerk”), as Warburg calls it. As Warburg explains: These moved accessories, the increased motion of the garment and the hair (as Warburg exemplifies with regards to Botticelli’s 'Birth of Venus') constitute the way in which the work of art relates to its antique tradition. Not the motif or the composition of the image, but the “bewegtes Beiwerk”, the moved detail, carries on the historical correspondences and articulates their inherent energetic momentum. The pathos formula thereby does not only display or represent affects and passions, but it rather is understood as affective itself. Warburg does not just describe this element, but regards it as a methodological instrument – thereby making the specific moved detail an epistemological instrumentarium as well. Moreover, the concept allows for analysing the intricate historical dimension of iconic figurations. Indeed, habitus and habitat cannot be discussed without shedding light on their temporal dimension, which makes them crucial for historical research and considerations as well. They are not just focused on a given moment – they also include questions about perpetuation, and therefore the relation of shorter and longer spans of time. A habitus is always something provided with a past one carries on. One’s own past, and the past of the collective, is something which one has been dealing with for the duration of one’s lifetime.

This is essential for personal impressions and for formative events – as prominently discussed in psychoanalysis. Indeed, relating to a past and – so to
speak – embodying one’s own past in one’s habits is not only about remem-
bering past events. But the habitus-based organization of the past is apparent on the level of the episodic memory too. Neurobiological research has provided evidence that it is not the original experience that is remembered, but the latest actualization of it. Memory is hence a fact of changing habits of remembering, transforming, and reconsolidating the remembered issues.22

Neuro-psychoanalytic research on this fact closely relates to Freud, who some 100 years earlier already claimed that the present transforms the remembered past – which led him to the assumption that memories acquire new forms and functions over the course of time: the concept of ‘Nachträglichkeit’ (James Strachey translated this as ‘deferred action’, which falls short of ideal. The literal translation is ‘belatedness’ or ‘posteriority’, and the term is difficult to render in English).23 The process of inventing one’s own past, indeed, cannot be separated from emotional experience; and it was, again, Aristotle who pointed out this fact by noting the neat relation between emotion and memory – and conceiving of memory as a simulacrum (eidolon). But to return to Freud 24:
Unconscious processes of both a self-organizing formative and a self-organizing episodic memory must be considered when considering habitus. And this is equally true for conceiving of the interrelation of habitus and habitat. The interrelation of past and present holds a memory that is both personal and collective. These are the most important reasons why we consider habitus and habitat to be useful concepts for engaging the question of how emotion can be thought of. And we think that this relation is especially crucial when it comes to questions of the cultural production of meaning and the cultural shaping of experience in exchange with a material cultural heritage partially embodied in its members. But this is not all there is to say about it: The habitus of one individual is also a part of the habitat for others. Not only is habitus shaped by the environment – it is also the environment which is shaped by habitus. Furthermore, this issue cannot be discussed without considering issues of subjective experiencing – i.e. without raising the question of how an emotional relation of habitus in habitat is brought forth as an experience. The formation of an emotional habitus, i.e. the development of a set of habits involving the moving body is, hence, as fundamental to understanding emotions as understanding emotions is fundamental for conceiving of habitus in habitat.25

The project of habitus in habitat is to reciprocally open the sciences and the hu-manities, and face both the opportunities and challenges. The interdisciplinary issue of this volume is hence to describe concrete interdependences of subjectivity, habituation, and embodied environmental relations – and to address the question of how these interdependencies relate the social and subjective production of meaning and the field of the artistic knowledge. The issue of subjectively relating to the world and the development of personal emotional habits is crucial for this discussion. Moreover the focus must be on how emotions present themselves, how they are mediated and what role cultural and artistic habits or styles play in this formation. One further point of departure for considering habitus in habitat is that neither a culture, nor a community, nor cognition, nor the formation of individual and cultural systems of meaning is possible without the habituation of bodies. Habituation and habitualization, as the relationship and interface of the body to the environment, therefore must not only be considered as a matter of cultural ‘inscriptions’, but be taken as an embodied interaction in the full material meaning of the term.26

From this material perspective, the scientific debates about the embodied mind 27 and the plasticity of the human brain 28,29 always take part in a culturally meaningful habitat, which is in turn partly constituted by their participation 30 with deep impact on the humanities, social sciences, and the issue of knowledge for the arts. Purely material approaches to embodiment, from any disciplinary perspective, fundamentally require the consideration of interrelations with cultural, social, and aesthetic productions of meaning in order to achieve philosophical purchase on issues previously only discussed within the humanities. The approach of a habitus in habitat accordingly cannot be limited to issues of embodiment only. Indeed, the term embodiment itself only achieves full meaning when discussed with respect to practices of transmission, which can be context-independent, and hence, in a way, disembodied as well. This fact is essential for conceiving of the interrelations of subjective, cultural and social habituations. More concretely: What can be embodied might also have an option for transmission or contagion via the relation of a body with its environment, thus raising the issue of relating embodied subjectivity to the environment. While this question constitutes a major issue in the cognitive sciences, it also has deep impact on the neurosciences (relating to mirror phenomena and neuronal plasticity), for affective psychology (intercorporeal phenomena of emotional communication are at stake), psychology of perception (focusing on the ‘ecological’ conditions of sensing), as well as phenomenological philosophy (which must relate to sensorimotoric habitualization when discussing issues of embodied reasoning).

[26 Gallagher / Zahavi: The Phenomenological Mind
27 Varela / Thompson / Rosch: The Embodied Mind ; Gallagher: How the Body Shapes the Mind; Johnson: The Meaning of the Body
28 Cf. Doidge: The Brain That Changes Itself , and Schwartz and Begley: The Mind and the Brain
29 The birth of new neurons during human adult life was dogmatically disregarded by neuroscientists until well into the past three decades. Even in the face of prior evidence to the contrary, the persistence of such beliefs, and their eventual overturning was dependent on factors beyond the scientific evidence alone.
30 One example, provided by Catherine Malabou, is the concordance of the rise of the neoliberalmarket economy, which demands the flexibility of the individual, and the turn in neuroscience towards research on the malleability of the human brain. Malabou:
What Should We Do with Our Brain?]

These discussions have also contributed to constructivist and cybernetic theories. Moreover, current evolutionary biology focuses on the meaning of expressions and accessories of the whole body in motion, while art history investigates the relation of images to the body 31 (considering concepts of pictorial anthropology and the relation of vision, motion and emotion), and together with performance studies, and literary and music theory, focuses on the relation of embodiment to practices of showing and hiding, simulating and dissimulating. Images, in this sense, can be understood neither as mere carriers of meanings nor as representations or expressions of reality – they must rather be conceived of as a relation between cognition and experience, inner images and externalized images, imagination and representation. In the line with Richard Wollheim’s theory of “Sehen-In” (seeing-in) 32, Max Imdahl’s concept of an iconicity of “sehendes Sehen” (seeing seeing) 33, and the notion of echo-objects as introduced by Barbara Stafford 34, the image here is understood as a performative act (a picture act or image action) addressing the complete sensorium. And it is here that image theory relates to theories of embodiment as put forth by Shaun Gallagher 35 and Alva Noë, who conceived of the Action in Perception 36 – or, alternatively the “Theory of Response” as developed by the art historian David Freedberg in collaboration with the neurologist Vittorio Gallese. 37

Together with performance studies, and literary and music theory, art history focuses on the relation of embodiment to practices of showing and hiding, simulating and dissimulating. In all of these issues, the interrelation of cultural questions with neuroscientific and neurological perspectives is becoming more and more potent. Discussing both subjectivity and environmental embodiment on the basis of asking about habitus in habitat, first of all, means building a bridge between the sciences and both social and cultural theories. Indeed, in these disciplines, such aspects of embodiment had been discussed long before the term had been coined – and sometimes they are discussed when focusing on related issues such as ais-thesis and aesthetics, theatrical and cultural performativity 38, production of presence 39 in religious cults and sociocultural events or social rituals 40, swarm and mass phenomena, and the relation of meaning to the senses. These issues may be social but they are not limited to

[31 Cf. Flach / Schneider / Treml (eds.):Warburgs Denkraum.
32 Wollheim: Objekte der Kunst
33 Boehm: Die Arbeit des Blickes. Hinweise zu Max Imdahls theoretischen Schriften
34 Stafford: Echo-Objects
35 Gallagher: How the Body Shapes the Mind
36 Noë: Action in Perception
37 Freedberg: The Power of Images, and Gallese / Freedberg: “Motion, Emotion and Empathy in Aesthetic Experience”
38 Fischer-Lichte:Ästhetik des Performativen]

sociological questions (as the term habitus might suggest to readers well acquainted with Bourdieu than with different traditions of it). This fact becomes more striking when considering that emotions extend beyond solely anthropological issues. In current research they are understood as being a fundamental aspect of animal behavior as well – and hence human emotions can be investigated through experiments with animals or by referring to comparative ethology. Taking research on animal emotions and animal behavior into the study of evolutionary heritage of human emotions provides for a vivid discussion about the interrelations of phylogenetic and ontogenetic aspects of emotions 41– in other words: the evolutionary development of specific ‘animal’ emotions through interaction with a ‘natural’ habitat – and the habitualization of human emotions in and with a culturally produced habitat. This discussion regarding evolution, development and culture has even become intertwined in the current discussion about neuronal plasticity and mirror neurons, paving the ground for a more productive discourse on the interrelation of ‘nature’ and ‘nurture’ in emotions: It allows for conceiving of the formation of an emotional habitus, which exists beyond the dichotomous alternatives of solely classical conditioning or cultural production of meaning, allowing rather for the articulation of a habitus in habitat relation as well. The advantage here is that the interrelation of culture and evolution are emphasized rather than opposed. Focusing on the interrelation of motion and emotion thus expands the scope of habitus in habitat, providing a foundation for broader discussion. Emotional habitus and emotional habitat constitute the foundation of personal and shared experiencing, of subjective attitudes and sociocultural communities, of the psychology of emotions and cultural practices 42. And they have much to contribute to the study of emotions, both for cognition and aesthetics. Habitualizing embodied emotionality is hence crucial for communicative and social sciences, psychology, philosophy, and all cultural fields of research. The papers assembled in this volume address a variety of issues related to these premises. These include questions of appearance and representation, which are central to regarding emotions as emerging from motion, such as: How do emotions present themselves? How are they represented in motion? What is their relation to the specific media contexts of the arts? How can an embodied relation

[.39 Gumbrecht: Production of Presence
40 Victor Turner: The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure; Dissanayake:
Art and Intimacy
41 For the discussion about more or less basic and more or less secondary emotions, which is – of course – highly relevant for this discussion, see: Panksepp: Affective Neuroscience; Solms /Turnbull:The Grain and the Inner World
42 Cf. Söffner: “Non-Representational Mimesis”]

with, for instance, a printed text or a two-dimensional image, be conceived of and habitualized? How are embodied emotions brought into visibility, audibility, or readability? How can media processes relate to neuronal processes, and vice versa? Focusing on the embodied interrelation of habitus and habitat, moreover, means going beyond concepts of emotionality as ‘something inner’ expressed by ‘something outer’. Encoding and decoding are part of the emotional process themselves. This suggests the question of emotional ‘meaning’, ‘sense’ or
‘meaningfulness’ of emotional articulations, the relation between cognition and sensorimotoric aspects of habitualized emotions, and their relation to the imaginary as well as proprioception. These issues can also be focused on by considering the specific habitualizations of the senses – and hence include concepts of the iconic or the pictorial. As stated above, current research on the articulation of emotions is primarily focused on facial expressions. The papers assembled here rather attempt to conceptualize a broader view on the articulation of emotions by addressing the whole body – as well as its environmental interrelations. They focus on mises-en-scene of the body as a whole, on body practices, and on the immanent cognitive and emotional processes involved. Moreover they investigate the way in which articulations can be culturally ‘coined’ and have their own ‘lives’ by travelling not only from body to body, but also through time and space, and hence from one culture to another. This is especially true when relating emotionality to the process of embodied communication and of time-related media practices (e.g., in film, literature, music and performance).
The first section of this volume, Socially Shared Emotions, concerns issues of how the transmission of or the contagion by emotions works and how emotions can be socially shared. The opening paper of Erika Fischer-Lichte focuses on how emotions figure in theatrical performance. A central issue of the paper is the notion of emotional contagion leading to the transformation of the spectators. Defining this contagion as a liminal experience (a term borrowed from the theory of rituals) is especially important when conceiving of shifts in the habitus produced in a special segment of the social life (especially the theatre – but not only) and needing repetition to become stabilized. The paper traces historic notions of emotional contagions leading to a variety of insights concerning its transformations. The chapter is followed by Thomas Fuchs’ insightful paper on embodied interaction, opening up the discussion for neuroscientific and psychological issues by conceiving of the brain as a social organ. Social habituation and embodied socialization here figure as facts of the ontogenetic development, based upon the plasticity of the brain. The important issue is intercorporal interaction leading to issues of shared meanings, which link individuals in a common system through mutual perceptions and reactions. A similar approach of social interaction has been developed in the phenomenological works of Shaun Gallagher. In this volume he focuses on issues of participatory sense-making, drawing upon his interactive approach to social phenomenology – as opposed to ‘Simulation Theory’ and ‘Theory Theory’, as they are discussed in the philosophical discussions about the ‘Theory of Mind’. The notion of habitus here figures prominently as a set of attitudes, which are embodied rather than mentalized. It is discussed by focusing on phenomena of joint attention. Marta Braun instead turns to issues of habitus as a means of social distinction. In focusing on Eadweard Muybridge’s famous photographic practises of moved bodies, she discusses a mediatic habitat allowing body morphologies to be traced. Her criticism especially concerns racial differences that are addressed by this practise.

Jan Söffner focuses on nostalgia and homesickness as deeply rooted in shared intercorporality. Experiencing that one’s own habitus does not fit into the cultural habitat of a foreign place is examined as a liminal experience of embodied interaction. The second section of the volume turns to discussing
Expressivity and Interaction grounded in an emotional habitus in habitat. Erik Porath here traces ways of dealing with the unconscious and its interpretation as linked to and rooted inexpressive interactivity. Focusing on works of Sigmund Freud and Conrad Fiedler, he develops a notion of self-referential expressiveness without the distinction of a subjective inside and an objective outside. Especially Fiedler’s thoughts upon a ‘field’ shaping the visual world figures as a habitat for expressive interaction. Christine Kirchhoff’s article, instead, deals with psychoanalytical conceptions of emotional affectedness. In discussing the “inner outside”, she traces notions of how the unconscious of a self and an other interrelate. Crucial for her approach is the constructedness and mediatedness of the unconscious. A further dimension of emotional communication is approached by Burkhard Meyer-Sickendiek, who focuses on theories of grace as both beauty in movement and an expression of a moral sentiment present in Kant, Schiller, Kleist, Hegel and Wieland. Meyer-Sickendiek discusses this issue through the background of its opposite, shame, as an important emotion relating to social coercian. The important issue is how an expression of the ‘beautiful soul’ in actu was conceived of, and how it related to notions of consciousness. The section closes with the important insights of Arno Villringer, who offers a neuroscientific approach to the body and its representation in the brain. This paper not only regards the most updated theories about the topic, but also provides for a broad basis concerning theories of embodiment by focusing on the human homunculus and what is to be considered conscious and unconscious – thereby rounding up the second major topic of the section, which is subliminal or unconscious enaction.

The Arts Embodied is the topic of the final section of the volume. It starts with Sabine Flach’s interview with Suzanne Anker, concerning nearly all major issues of this volume by focusing on Anker’s work The Glass Veil, which was exhibited at the conference. The knowledge of the arts is rendered in an especially vivid way throughout the interview, and hence, it also provides an introduction into the issues of the section. In the second paper John Michael Krois focuses on the emotional brain as it is linked to image theory. Starting with what he calls the scandal of emotion without motion (due to ‘frozen’ images), he elaborates on embodiment in spatial interaction with pictures, their gestalt-effects and their work with image-schemas (the term is borrowed from Mark Jonson – but linked with theories of the body schema). In conceiving of first person experiences that are private, Krois puts forth a theory of the structure of emotions as an essential aspect of picture acts. The paper is followed by Sabine Flach’s profound insights into figurations of lament in contemporary art (she focuses on the video installations Silent Mountain by Bill Viola and Pent Up by Sam Taylor-Wood). Flach outlines a theory of the image act grounded on the notion of a “habitus of animage” inextricably linked to the embodied act of showing. Gestures – especially the smallest movements of the body, known as ‘accessories’ – are understood as both visually present and presented; and their iconic dimension provides them with their own intrinsic emotionality. From this, Flach concludes that the images presented in the video installations “do not show emotions; far rather they are […] the emotion.” In furthering Aby Warburg’s concept of pathos formulae, Robert Vischer’s thoughts on the optical sense, and Rudolf Arnheim’s notion of “isomorphic symbolism”, she develops a highly innovative account on what it means to depict life in motion.

Heike Schlie focuses on emotional habituations with Renaissance images. Compassion, the emotion she prevalently discusses, is conceived of as mediated through and staged by the genre of ‘eccentric crucifiction’. Simulating the emotional habitus by providing for an emotional space as its congenial habitat is conceived of with references to the neurosciences. Especially, the notion of mirror neurons as present in current art history is critically discussed. The relation of artistic abstraction and embodiment is vividly discussed in Barbara Larson’s chapter dealing with Twentieth Century Avant-Garde cycles. The issue of shared emotions and collective realities is exposed as crucial for habituations through an artistic habitat. Larson especially elaborates on Kupka’s embodied situatedness as related to abstraction. She draws the conclusion that Kandinsky even goes as far as to develop a theory of neuroplasticity avant la lettre.

The section closes with Jin Hyun Kim’s chapter, displaying how embodiment-
based research on musical expressiveness can be conceived of. Kim argues against a mind/culture vs. nature dichotomy in musical theory, and rather puts forth the notion of a cognitive system embodied and embedded in a biological and socio-cultural environment. Musical expressiveness is understood as emerging from recurrent sensorimotor patterns present as action-perception loops – which can be simulated in human-robot interaction design. She concludes that embodiment of emotions takes place in an act of going along with music rather than listening to an expression of private emotions – thereby rounding up the discussion about emotional artistic knowledge. The conference Habitus in Habitat I – Emotion and Motion was the first major event organized by the research project Habitus in Habitat, primarily based in the research department “WissensKünste – Kunst und Wissenschaft” at the Zentrum für Literatur-und-Kulturforschung (ZfL) in Berlin.“

{Note: I've incorporated some of the footnotes in this paper (and also underlined some passages) for the convenience of those who might want to refer to key texts relating to major issues of contention in Consciousness Studies at present. To obtain all the footnotes, link to the volume as presented at the link below and either read it there or download it to read later. Scroll down past the brief abstract of Shaun Gallagher's paper to reach the pdf of the entire volume.}

Movement and Emotion in Joint Attention

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