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How do emotions fit into different conceptions of the mind?

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Emotions also raise normative questions: about the extent to which they can be said to be rational, or can contribute to rationality.

In that regard the question of our knowledge of our own emotions is especially problematic, as it seems they are both the object of our most immediate awareness and the most powerful source of our capacity for self-deception.

While it is quite impossible to do justice to those approaches here, some sidelong glances in their direction will aim to suggest their philosophical importance.

I begin by outlining some of the ways that philosophers have conceived of the place of emotions in the topography of the mind, particularly in their relation to bodily states, to motivation, and to beliefs and desires, as well as some of the ways in which they have envisaged the relation between different emotions.

The revival of philosophical interest in emotions from the middle of the twentieth century can be traced to an article by Erroll Bedford (1957), and a book by Anthony Kenny (1963) which argued against the assumption that emotions are feelings, impervious to either will or reason.

Bedford stressed both the intentionality and the importance of contextual factors on the nature, arousal and expression of emotions.

According to Ekman and Friesen (1989) these are happiness, sadness, fear, anger, surprise, and disgust (the last two of which, however, some researchers consider too simple to be called emotions) (Panksepp 1998).

Other emotions are not so easily recognizable cross-culturally, and some expressions are almost as local as dialects.

But then this is an issue on which cognitive science alone should not, perhaps, be accorded the last word: what to a neurologist might be classed as two tokens of the same emotion type might seem to have little in common under the magnifying lens of a Marcel Proust.

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