Jan 29 Colloquia – Peter Carruthers: “Valence and Value”

Peter Carruthers (University of Maryland) will be giving his talk on Friday, January 29, 2016 in BUCH A201 at 4pm.

Valence and Value

Valence is a central component of all affective states, including pains, pleasures, emotions, moods, and feelings of desire. Much is now known about its causes and consequences, but important questions remain. The goal of this paper is to contrast and evaluate two different views of the nature of valence. According to one, valence is a nonconceptual representation of value. According to the other, valence is an intrinsic qualitative property of experience. (Both views maintain that valence is directly motivating.) A number of considerations are presented in support of the representational view. One is that it avoids any commitment to motivational hedonism; another is that it coheres better with representational theories of consciousness.


This event is free and open to the public, faculty, staff and students.