The Affectively Extended Self: A Pragmatist Approach

  • Giulia Piredda Scuola Universitaria Superiore IUSS Pavia
  • Laura Candiotto Free University Berlin, Institute of Philosophy
Keywords: Extended self, Situated affectivity, Motivational theory of emotions, Pragmatism, Enactivism


In this paper we suggest an understanding of the self within the conceptual framework of situated affectivity, proposing the notion of an affectively extended self and arguing that the construction, diachronic re-shaping and maintenance of the self is mediated first by affective interactions. We initially consider the different variations on the conception of the extended self that have been already proposed in the literature (Clark & Chalmers 1998; Heersmink 2017, 2018; Krueger 2018; Wilson, Lenart 2015). We then propose our alternative, contextualising it within the current debate on situated affectivity. While the idea that we exploit the external environment in order to manage our affective life is now rather widespread among philosophers (e.g. Colombetti & Krueger 2015, Piredda 2019), its potential consequences for and connections with the debate on the self remain underexplored. Drawing on James’ intuition of the “material self”, which clearly connects the self and the emotions in agency, and broadly envisioning an extension of the self beyond its organismic boundaries, we propose our pragmatist conception of the self: an affectively extended self that relies on affective artifacts and practices to construct its identity extended beyond skin and skull.   

Author Biography

Laura Candiotto, Free University Berlin, Institute of Philosophy

Funding: Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Project: Bond. Positive emotions for group cognition.

How to Cite
Piredda, G., & Candiotto, L. (2019). The Affectively Extended Self: A Pragmatist Approach. HUMANA.MENTE Journal of Philosophical Studies, 12(36), 121-145. Retrieved from