Come affinare le armi della seduzione: emozioni e vigilanza epistemica / How to Sharpen the Seduction Weapons: Emotions and Epistemic Vigilance

  • Francesca Ervas
  • Maria Grazia Rossi
  • Elisabetta Gola
Keywords: seduction, epistemic vigilance, argumentation, communication, rationality


Seduction is often seen as a deceptive strategic game, which hampers deliberation. However, in case of seduction, emotions play a central role in modulating communicated contents. In this sense, seduction is not a form of deception, but an impulse to know. How to provide a cognitive account of seduction able to distinguish it from deception? Within philosophical Western tradition, emotions have a negative role in deliberation as they are automatic, unconscious and obliged. In contrast with this tradition, Mascaro and Sperber have recently argued that the capacity for epistemic vigilance enables people to filter misinformation, based not only on epistemic but also on affective knowledge. Some of the cognitive mechanisms presupposed by epistemic vigilance are targeted at the source of information, others at its content. Within the framework of the argumentative theory of reasoning, we propose a cognitive account of seduction able to distinguish it from deception, by focusing on the affective component of epistemic vigilance. We argue that in seduction emotions, far from being totally automatic, unconscious and obliged, contribute to the appreciation of both the source and content of information. Diversely from deception, seduction presupposes a positive role of emotions which induces a creative style of argumentation.


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How to Cite
Ervas, F., Rossi, M. G. and Gola, E. (1) “Come affinare le armi della seduzione: emozioni e vigilanza epistemica / How to Sharpen the Seduction Weapons: Emotions and Epistemic Vigilance”, Rivista Italiana di Filosofia del Linguaggio, 00. Available at: (Accessed: 24January2021).