Monday, 19 June, 2000
Prof. Rolls � B&B Emotion
function: God-given (like reason???), to elevate man above the animals???
emotions as value-giver???
LeDoux � the emotion reaction is the immediate direct connection, e.g. from the auditory thalamus � (at least partially) separate from the cortically-mediated signal, which forms the rational, considered component of our actions
hence there may be emotional responses made without cognitive participation, and emotional memories + impressions of which we are not fully aware
the more intense the amygdala arousal, the stronger the imprint, i.e. emotionally-charged memories are remembered better
discussion of emotions is one where the evolutionary/scientific and the literary/folk-psychology dichotomy seems most marked � there is an abiding reluctance to relegate our most intense and sublime displays of seemingly sublime phenomenology to a biological drive
still leaves the question (one related to consciousness) of where the phenomenology derives from � why/how is that when our limbic system goes into overdrive we are wracked with feelings of sadness, anger or frustration?
rather than, as Descartes put it, simply intellectually aware �as a sailor in his ship�
why don�t we simply have a sense of excess salt levels etc., as opposed to the prickling, driving qualia of thirst
perhaps the answer is simply of potency � that the phenomenology somehow compels us where mere set-points, as in a thermostat, are insufficient
perhaps it�s a question of flexibility � when an organism has evolved what amounts to, in nature, complete free will (the ability to act in a (seemingly) independent manner, without reference to (immediate/comprehensible) external/environmental compulsion/stimuli, within its physical limitations) � it can literally act as it likes � you need something which doesn�t necessitate, but does drive, the organism to act in accordance with its crucial homeostatic drives
happiness (joy/euphoria), contentment
disgust, horror, contempt
hunger/thirst/sex/sleep etc., i.e. motivations
curiosity, excitement, puzzlement
amusement, humour, laughter, irony
embarrassment, shame, guilt
pain, itch, tickle
sympathy, pity, tragedy, empathy?
a separate modality; indefinable in terms of something else
emotion /I"m@US(@)n/ n. & v.
m16. [Fr. �tion, f. �uvoir excite, move the feelings of (after mouvoir, motion), ult. f. L emovere, f. e- e- + movere move.]
A ������� n. �1 A public disturbance; a commotion. m16�m18.
�2 ������ A migration; a change of position. Only in 17.
b �������� A physical agitation or disturbance. l17�e19.
3 �������� Agitation of mind; strong mental feeling. m17.
4 �������� Any of the natural instinctive affections of the mind (e.g. love, horror, pity) which come and go according to one�s personality, experiences, and bodily state; a mental feeling. Also, mental feeling as distinguished from knowledge and from will. e19.
2b ����� shelley The winds of heaven mix forever With a sweet emotion.
3 �������� g. huntington The colonel announced with emotion that this was the happiest day of his life.
4 �������� a. storr Those who..have had a relationship in which their emotions have not been deeply involved.
������������ m. amis Without a trace of hatred or anger or surprise or any emotion I have felt myself.
������������ j. hilton He had shown so little emotion about anything.
B ������� v.t. Make emotional; imbue with emotion. l18.
������������ emotionless a. m19.
������������ emotionlessly adv. e20.
������������ emotionlessness n. e20.
difference between primary/secondary reinforcers
difference between motivation/emotion/mood (state) etc.?
can flatness of affect be a sort of emotional state, or is it simply an absence of/diminished positive emotional state