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Reinsborough, Michael (2020) 'Reference and Affect: What role in computation and the neurosciences.' In: Purgar, Krešimir, (ed.), Iconology of Abstraction: Nonfigurative Images and the Modern World. London: Routledge. (Routledge Advances in Art and Visual Studies)

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Abstract

Twenty First Century computational neuroscience and Twenty First Century psychoanalysis have two very different ways of representing the mental life of the subject, each with its own merits and limitations. This paper performs a superimposition of Peircean semiotics onto André Green’s model of unconscious representation. The idea of reference in Peirce (distinct from representation) can be better understood in light of how affect emerges from the unconscious according to Green. The mental representation, according to Greene, is accompanied by a quantum of affect. From this I construct a theory of reference: the role of affect within mental representation is what we can describe as the “feeling” of reference. While this is primarily a contribution to linguistics or semiotic theory, it could also be used to think about how the sciences consider their objects of knowledge—in this case the mental life of the subject. Perhaps the most relevant example is the application of neuroscience to computing and in particular “affective computing”, the computational recognition of human emotion.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Foundation College
ISBN: 9780367206048
Copyright Statement: This is the version of the chapter accepted for publication in Purgar, Krešimir, (ed.), Iconology of Abstraction: Nonfigurative Images and the Modern World. London: Routledge (2020). Re-use is subject to the publisher’s terms and conditions
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429262500-21
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2023 12:23
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/39923
Related URLs: https://www.rou ... k/9780367511296 (Publisher URL)

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