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Darwin & James Reading Notes

by: Ian Peck

Darwin & James Reading Notes 20986

Marketplace > University of Pittsburgh > OTHER > 20986 > Darwin James Reading Notes
Ian Peck
GPA 3.9
The Nature of the Emotions
James Lennox

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About this Document

Here are my notes on two more philosophers, as usual, with page numbers for quick reference and my own short answers for peer comparison. I've noticed that my questions usually answer many if not a...
The Nature of the Emotions
James Lennox
HPS 605
75 ?




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This 0 page Bundle was uploaded by Ian Peck on Sunday November 1, 2015. The Bundle belongs to 20986 at University of Pittsburgh taught by James Lennox in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 44 views. For similar materials see The Nature of the Emotions in OTHER at University of Pittsburgh.


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Date Created: 11/01/15
p Kt 4 II Darwin What s a useful emotionexpressionaction according to Darwin Pg 58 Any of those things that serves a purpose is useful follows the first principle These things become so often used that become re ex and are passed on to our offspring List Darwin s 2rld principle and brie y explain it Situations that are demand a response opposite to those which we have found useful produce an opposite reaction and these are not necessarily useful to us According to the third principle what would the act of blushing be Some responses are entirely of our bodies own natural response the nervous system Can we really control our emotions according to Darwin What is so special about forming habits Pg 59 The formation of a habit can be passed on to later generations if it becomes re exive Fear is useful because it causes us to act in such a way to ensure our safety According to the second principle why does a dog show no fear around its master Pg 60 It is advantageous to show the opposite signs of fear because the master loves the dog To show violent or fearful expression would elicit negative feedback of some kind Which principle says emotions can be a nuisance rather than useful Pg 62 The third principle is all about physical responses to the excess work of the nervous system Trembling Darwin cites is one such emotion which serves no good purpose James 1 What is an emotion according to this theory Pg 65 A reaction to a bodily response that was brought on by something in our environment 2 Which comes first according to James the act of laughing or joy The laughter is what brings on the emotion of joy 3 What is it about these environmental stimuli that causes these bodily functions according to James It is all instinctual but James is vague about this explanation and never directly addresses it 4 What doesn t the theory tackle that theorists today are concerned with James theory isn t concerned with what is considered to be sophisticated aspects of emotions or the differences between the many similar emotions like fear and anxiety or joy and happiness It ignores cognitive and behavioral elements as well making emotions out to be less thoughtful 5 James believes theorists during his time are dividing the brain into two areas in their studies what are they and what science inspired them Psychologists divided the brain into a two areas motor centers and sensorial areas perception and decisionmaking 6 What are James standard emotions Why are they standard Emotions like surprise curiosity rapture fear anger lust greed and any other emotion that is brought on by obvious bodily reaction to environmental stimuli are standard If a bodily reaction is not discernible than it must be a bodily sensation or from ideational centers which have very little facial expression or bodily characteristics involved but revolve around pleasure and aversion 7 Why must our actions come after feeling something in our bodies Why can t we feel an emotion without the body The body to James actually produces the emotion Without our interpretation of the body s reaction to stimuli our actions would be purely of thought ie we would punish because it was righteous not because the injustice angered us Anger is felt in the ustering of the face as it muscles tense and blood ows then that feeling urges us to seek reparations 8 What does James believe is the reason the physiology of the emotions is not easily perceptible to be the precursor to the emotions themselves Pg 69 Our understanding of this physiology is really limited James believes that the actual amount of processes occurring in the body s muscles skin glands heart and other viscera are too numerous to completely account for each 9 What is the one constant of all bodily changes James mentions with concern to our personality Pg 69 All the responses our bodies show to whatever they are reacting to characterize us such as a narrowing of the brow when compelled to deep thought 10 When we try to feel an emotion manually rather than naturally what happens Pg 6970 When we try to feel an emotion manually rather than naturally it doesn t work We cannot will any emotion such as joy when we feel sorrow or a lack of joy This is because there is no mindstuff to constitute this change James believes a physical response precedes all emotion so without that response no emotion can be perceived 11 How does James argue that there is no emotion without our bodies changes Pg 70 He requests the reader imagine what fear would be like if we did not tremble tense or show any other such physical response in the face of danger There would only be cold intellectual perception that there was danger This is proven by the very act of suppressing them does James mean when he says some emotional responses In suppressing these bodily changes trying not to shake when nervous or afraid are we not also verifying the effects they have on our emotional state 12 When don t physical responses precede an emotion Pg 71 Only when some amount of education must be experienced so the individual can be conditioned into the proper physical response presenting itself with exposure to the same scenario in the future So objects that are novel to us cannot force a response until we have some idea about it 13 Does cognition play any part in our emotional process Pg 72 74 Only in the way that an emotionally charged idea can elicit a bodily response or that our conscious effort to calm ourselves or revert to a less emotional state requires some thinking When we feel the pain of dread James says it is a very upper repertory feeling of pain that our bodies seem to produce To stop that pain we just need to calm ourselves 14 What does James say about emotions that are not standard Pg 74 75 His dissenters will cite these as proof that emotion can be felt immediately without the body s precedence James argues that with these cases such as immediate approval of music as good music there is more cognition involved than emotion 15 What could prove or disprove J ames s theory Pg 76 If a body s functions could be repressed but strong emotions still expressed then he would be wrong With the reverse he would be right


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