Book Symposium

Abstract: Renowned neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux digs into the natural history of life on earth to provide a new perspective on the similarities between us and our ancestors in deep time. This page-turning survey of the whole of terrestrial evolution sheds new light on how nervous systems evolved in animals, how the brain developed, and what it means to be human.

In The Deep History of Ourselves, LeDoux argues that the key to understanding all human behavior lies in viewing evolution through the prism of the first living organisms. By tracking the chain of the evolutionary timeline, he shows how even the earliest single cell organisms had to solve the same problems we and our cells have to solve today in order to survive and thrive. Along the way, LeDoux explores our place in nature, how the evolution of nervous systems enhanced the ability of organisms to survive and thrive, and how the emergence of what we humans understand as consciousness made our greatest and most horrendous achievements as a species possible.

Author Bio: Joseph LeDoux is the Henry and Lucy Moses Professor of Science at NYU in the Center for Neural Science, and he directs the Emotional Brain Institute of NYU and the Nathan Kline Institute. He is also a Professor of Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical School. His work is focused on the brain mechanisms of memory and emotion, and he is the author of The Emotional Brain, Synaptic Self, and Anxious.

Guest Editors: Songyao Ren (Duke University) and Bobby Bingle (Duke University)

The Journal of Philosophy of Emotion (JPE) is publishing a book symposium on Dr. Joseph Ledoux’s latest book, The Deep History of Ourselves, and we are looking for commentators who are interested in engaging in a critical discussion of it, with the aim of moving the discourse on relevant topics that are highlighted by his book forward.

We are aiming to publish this book symposium in the JPE’s summer 2022 issue. If you are interested, please submit a proposal (approximately 500 words) by June 1st, 2021. A decision about your proposal will be made by June 10th, 2021. If your proposal is accepted, you will receive a free copy of The Deep History of Ourselves and be asked to submit your commentary (approximately 3000 words) by September 1st, 2021. You will be notified by September 15th, 2021 as to whether your commentary will move forward to be peer-reviewed for inclusion in the book symposium. All submissions should be made electronically to Proposals and commentaries will be vetted by Bobby Bingle and Songyao Ren, as guest editors of this book symposium, as well as Dr. Cecilea Mun, editor-in-chief of the JPE, and Dr. LeDoux.

An example of a similar kind of published book symposium can be found in the JPE’s issue on Stephen Asma and Rami Gabriel’s book, The Emotional Mind: You can also find the JPE’s style guideline here: The following three factors will be considered in the peer review process: 1) accuracy and charitable interpretation, 2) relevance to the concerns within the philosophy of emotion, and 3) scholarship.

We encourage a diversity of scholars of all ranks who are interested in participating as commentators 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 be selected not only based on their qualifications, but also based on considerations for the value of diversity and inclusiveness.

Please note that the JPE requires a submission fee of $35, or you can become a member of the Society for Philosophy of Emotion (SPE), which includes the JPE submission fee waivers. The JPE is an independently published, open-access journal, and all manuscript submission fees go toward paying for operating costs and providing need based subventions to facilitate diverse and inclusive participation.

Important Deadlines:

06/01/2021 proposals due

06/10/2021 authors notified on decisions regarding proposals

09/01/2021 commentaries due

09/15/2021 authors notified on initial decisions regarding commentaries