Wonder as a metacognitive emotion

Daniel De Luca-Noronha

Resumo


Although wonder has been the subject of much discussion within the philosophy and cognitive science of emotions concerning its perceptual and spiritual aspects, its cognitive aspects are not as clear. The main effort has been to clarify the effects this emotion has on cognition, notably aa broadening of its structures to accommodate a perceptual content marked by beauty, vastness, and complexity of detail. However, emotions can have the same effect on cognition without thereby being cognitive emotions themselves. In an attempt to demarcate the emotion of wonder, we will advance a thesis that aims at specifying its cognitive dimension, namely: wonder is an emotion that is a constitutive part of a metacognitive process by which the agent becomes sensitive to the limits of her conceptual apparatus. What results from this process are precisely the typical sensations which accompany this emotion, such as belonging and reverence. The paper is structured as follows. First, we will bring to the fore the problems inherent in understanding the cognitive emotion of wonder. Second, we will evince a pertinent case of metacognition and show in what way that capacity can be constituted by emotions. Third, we will elucidate the metacognitive character of wonder. Finally, we will offer a case to make clear the explanatory potential of our analysis, namely, the role of wonder in the formation and maintenance of religious belief.


Palavras-chave


emotion,metacognition, wonder

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7213/1980-5934.31.054.DS09

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