CFP: Emotions and Cognition: Philosophy, Psychology, and Neuroscience in Dialogue

RiFP – Rivista internazionale di Filosofia e Psicologia

Deadline: September 30, 2016


What is an emotion? What is the relationship between emotion and cognition? How can one best articulate the distinction, if there is one, between cognition and emotion? What is the function of emotion with respect to cognition? And what contribution can neuroscience make to our understanding of emotions and the relationship between cognition and emotion? These are just a few of the key questions addressed by those philosophers, psychologists and neuroscientists who investigate emotional experience.

RiFP – Rivista internazionale di Filosofia e Psicologia, with the support of SINe – Società italiana di Neuroetica e Filosofia delle Neuroscienze, seeks to promote a broad interdisciplinary discussion on these themes for the first issue in 2017. RIFP and SINe invite all scholars who wish to contribute to this discussion to send original manuscripts on the relationship between emotion and cognition, from a theoretical and/or empirical and/or historical approach. The sub-themes of the present call for papers include, but are not limited to:

(a) work that focuses, including from a historical perspective, on the relationship between emotions and knowledge, by defining the possible differences between, or identity of, emotional experiences and cognitive processes. The relationship between emotion and reason has a complex and well-articulated history that has developed around two main perspectives: a Humean perspective that assigns an important role to the “passions”, and a Kantian perspective that, in contrast, downplays the emotions privileging the role of “disembodied” thought. That the emotions play a fundamental role in psychic life and mental processes no matter how the latter are defined, is today considered beyond doubt. Contemporary discussion instead focusses on the nature of the relationship between emotions and cognition in various circumstances. We are especially interested in contributions which provide a diachronic perspective on contemporary research, pointing out blind spots and dead ends in the debate to date, and indicating which avenues of research have the most potential for elucidating our understanding of the interactions between emotion and cognition. We will also welcome contributions that present the most influential contemporary proposals, outlining their strengths and weaknesses in order to provide a taxonomy that helps to map out the current discussion.

(b) work that considers the role of emotions in the genesis and interpretation of psychological “pathology”, explicating which conditions should in fact be defined as “pathological” and which might instead be reinterpreted and re-categorized  (as “normalcy”, “anomaly”, “different cognitive style”). In particular, we welcome contributions which offer new interpretive perspectives on emotional dysfunction and the various kinds of therapeutic modalities for the treatment of dysfunction.

(c) work that explores neurophysiological aspects of emotional experiences, focusing on the central role of the limbic system in producing the emotional experience that structures the behavior of the individual. Both from a neurobiological and a theoretical-interpretative point of view, the properties of the limbic system have received increasing attention leading to modifications in descriptions of this system in current research. Contributions that provide up to date information on current research and debates in this area are especially welcome.

(d) work investigating the connection between morals and emotions, focusing in particular on the links between research in ethics and cognitive neuroscience, which demonstrate that both descriptive and normative theories can and must (or, vice versa, cannot and must not) take into consideration and incorporate  new findings related to the role of brain functions in judgements and behaviors.

(e) work in behavioral economics and neuroeconomics that highlights the complementary and/or antagonistic role(s) of emotion and cognition in decision making. Only several decades ago, economics, considered as an autonomous discipline, tended to reduce decision making to a function based on the simple maximization of individual utility.


Manuscript preparation and submission

Manuscripts should not exceed 9,000 words (including footnotes) and must be submitted through the online submission procedure available on the journal internet site by September 30th, 2016.

Manuscripts written in Italian or English will be considered for publication. An English abstract of max. 150 words and 5 English key-words must be provided. Please, insert the code “Emotion&Cognition2016” in the box “Communications to the Editor” in the online submission form (step 1). Two separate documents should be submitted. The first document must be anonymous and contain only the manuscript and abstract without any identifying information about the author(s). A second document (called “supplementary file”) must be submitted separately (step 3) and include pictures, tabs, title, abstract, the whole manuscript as well as author(s)’ name, affiliation, e-mail, and surface postal address.

After a preliminary assessment by the Editorial Board, submissions undergo a double-blind peer review process. For instructions on how to prepare the manuscript, click on the link “How to ensure a blind review” available on the internet site. The decision will be communicated to the authors within 6 weeks after submission. After manuscript acceptance, an authors’ guideline will be provided to copyedit the final version of the manuscripts.

For further information please email Andrea Lavazza: