Call For CommentatorS 

The Society for Philosophy of Emotion (SPE) will be hosting a book symposium for Dr. Marta Benenti's new book, Expressiveness: Perception and Emotions in the Experience of Expressive Objects, during the 2022 Eastern American Philosophical Association (APA) conference, and we are looking for commentators who are interested in engaging in a critical discussion of Expressiveness, with the aim of moving the discourse on relevant topics that are highlighted by her book forward. Please continue reading below for further details on Expressiveness, Dr. Benenti, and the requirements and responsibilities for participating as a commentator. If you are interested in being a commentator, please email me (Cecilea Mun,, informing me of your interest, along with a copy of your CV, by March 20, 2021. I will contact those who expressed their interest by March 27, 2021, with the decision regarding their expressed interest and any further details. We encourage a diversity of scholars of all ranks who are interested in participating as a commentator to respond to this CFP, provided that they are willing and able to commit to fulfilling the expectations of our double-anonymous peer review process. Commentators will also be selected not only based in their qualifications, but also based on considerations for the value of diversity and inclusiveness.
A natural landscape can look serene, a shade of colour cheerful and a piece of music might sound heartrending. Why do we ascribe affective qualities to objects that can't entertain psychological states?
The capacity that objects, and especially artworks, have to express affective states is a bizarre phenomenon that needs to be clarified in numerous respects. Philosophers are still struggling with the phenomenon of expressiveness being a matter of imagination, perception, or mnemonic association, and usually do not agree on the role that emotions and human bodily expressions play in it. Benenti questions the main theories that populate the aesthetics domain using the tools of philosophy of mind. This study deals with crucial debates concerning seeing-in, cognitive penetration, the relation between phenomenal character and representational content and between emotions and expressions. It aims at providing a viable account of the experience we have of expressive properties by casting light on its fundamentally perceptual nature. The outcome is an empirically informed and critical overview of a topic which has been rather neglected in the philosophy of mind.
The book will be of interest to scholars of the philosophy of mind, aesthetics, the cognitive sciences, and psychology.
Marta Benenti received her PhD in Philosophy in 2018 from the FINO Consortium (Universities of Turin, Eastern Piedmont, Genoa and Pavia). She is now a teaching assistant of philosophy at the University of Eastern Piedmont. Her areas of interest are philosophy of the mind and aesthetics, and she is particularly interested in the interplay between perception, emotions and imagination in the experience of expressive qualities. 
Each commentator will receive a free copy of Expressiveness, and your participation as a commentator would include a 20 minute critical commentary on Expressiveness, and a response to your commentary by Dr. Benenti. After the book symposium is presented at the 2022 Pacific APA, I will contact all of the participants to finalize details about submitting revised comments for double-anonymous peer review by at least two referees and subsequent publication, contingent on the peer review process, in the Journal of Philosophy of Emotion (JPE). The revisions requested will primarily entail making sure that what is submitted is made to be suitable for publication in the JPE, including adhering to the JPE style guidelines. Please refer to the book symposiums published in the JPE for examples.
If you agree to be a commentator, we ask that you provide a critical commentary from the perspective of your area of expertise, and that your commentary helps contribute to furthering a relevant topic of concern that is brought out in Expressiveness. Your commentary should be approximately 3,000 words in length, and we will leave the length of the author’s response up to Dr. Benenti to decide. We ask that you have your comments to Dr. Benenti, and me, who will be organizing the book symposium, at least two months before the date of the book symposium. Please also note that the word limit is a guideline, and one of the most important factors to ensure that the book symposium passes the peer-review process is the clarity and accuracy of its contents. Please read about our double-anonymous peer review process for more details.
Furthermore, please note that in order to participate as a commentator, you would also have to become a member of the SPE by the time of the book symposium at the APA conference, and to make sure to register for the 2022 Pacific APA conference; yet your SPE membership will also include a manuscript submission fee waiver from the JPE, which you would be able to use when submitting your commentary for peer review and possible publication. Please note that the JPE is an independently published, open access journal and SPE membership fees and JPE manuscript submission fees all go toward paying for operating costs and providing need based subventions to facilitate diverse and inclusive participation. Our completely transparent Financial Report is also made available for your review.
Finally, the SPE will reserve seats at a local restaurant for a group dinner for some time during the 2022 Pacific APA conference. I will let everyone know when I start planning for this social event, and I would ask that you please RSVP with me in order to ensure the proper coordination of our plans. Please also contact me regarding any dietary restriction, and please note that all participants will be responsible for their own bill.