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Week 2 Notes: Lecture and Reading

by: Ian Peck

Week 2 Notes: Lecture and Reading 20986

Marketplace > University of Pittsburgh > OTHER > 20986 > Week 2 Notes Lecture and Reading
Ian Peck
GPA 3.9
The Nature of the Emotions
James Lennox

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Once again, an in-depth reading of the assigned text written in question-answer format for better studying. Read them on their own or as a guide as you read the text for a clear, broad understandin...
The Nature of the Emotions
James Lennox
Class Notes
HPS 605, Nature of the Emotions
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This 15 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ian Peck on Friday September 11, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to 20986 at University of Pittsburgh taught by James Lennox in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 48 views. For similar materials see The Nature of the Emotions in OTHER at University of Pittsburgh.


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Date Created: 09/11/15
HPS 605 Nature of the Emotions Notes on Lecture Week 2 Note Consider which theories handle which problems best I What counts as an emotion Consider Pleasure 0 Is it a sensation emotion or both Consider Pride 0 Is it a virtue a vice emotion or both 11 Are there Basic Emotions If so which are basic 0 Plutchik s wheel of emotions attempts to answer this I Basic emotions are in the middle ring I Extreme high emotions are in the center I Extreme low emotions are on the outside I Emotions that blend between two primaries are between them 111 What Makes and Emotion Basic Three kinds of answers 0 Atomic where other emotions are combinations of the basic units 0 Universal but in what sense I Culturally universal 0 Deep I Deep in the sense that they evolutionarily primitive I Or deep in the sense that they are more hardwired IV The Object or Orientation of Emotions Do all emotions have a source 0 Afraid of what Bored with what Excited about what Can we have emotions that are not about anything 0 Joy Serenity Anxiety V How Should We Explain Emotions What should our explanations look like 0 Casual 0 Some sort of scientific laws of emotions Will the explanations be about 0 Beliefs 0 Our evolutionary past 0 Our genes 0 Our brains Should we take folk explanations seriously Can we trust our own explanations VI Can Emotions be Rational Rational in two senses 1 Thinking believing judging 2 Being logical or reasonable Two questions 1 Given rationality do emotions involve judgements or beliefs in some way 2 Are emotions necessarily in con ict with our reasoning or can they work with it 0 Does emotional intelligence exist VII What is the Emotion to Expression Relationship Are there emotional dispositions Can we feel emotions without expressing them What role does Neuro Physiology play What does it mean to control our emotions Are emotions primary tools of communication VIII What is the Relationship between Culture and Emotions Are there culturally universal emotions 0 Joy Sorrow Are some emotions unique to certain cultures Does culture shape emotion or only its expression O E g the difference between national pride here and national pride in Vietnam Does the art of that culture reveal or re ect those differences IX How are Virtues and Values Related to Emotion Does one s sense of justice affect how they anger Does one s values determine who they will love Does being virtuous mean responding with the correct emotions 0 Can someone always act on moral principle without feeling any emotional satisfaction Do our reactions to art re ect different values X Are we Responsible for our emotions Are we slave to our passions Is it better to express them If we are responsible for them must we control our responses 0 Are those responses representative of our character I If so then is emotional responsibility really about shaping our character Note Consider all these questions while reading Notes on Reading Week 2 I The Stoics A Introduction 1 What is a Stoic One who believes the emotions to be natural responses but need not act upon them e g when you feel sad in public and refrain from crying One who believes humans are rational creatures B From Early Stoics Page 1213 1 Similar to Aristotle early Stoics saw emotions as movements of the soul If emotions are a movement of the soul what would a stoic see rationality or reason as A movement of the mind 2 To act on an impulse is to act irrationally To the stoic rationality is natural to our lives Therefore to act irrationally and let our emotions dictate our actions is to act against our nature 3 What are the four primary emotions for a Stoic i Desire ii Fear iii Pain iv Pleasure 4 Julia Annas For the Stoics any action in humans or in animals is brought about by an impulse which is a response to something in the environment Which of the five theories of emotions discussed in lecture is evident in the above quote What does this suggest about early Stoics Neuro Physiological Theory Perhaps the early Stoics views of emotions laid the foundation for this theory 5 What is the difference between an animal and a human with regard to the Stoics What is the most important characteristic of this difference Humans are capable of reasoning The most important characteristic of reason is language for it allows for a particular feeling to be put in words 6 How is an impulse bad in the eyes of the Stoics An impulse is bad when acted upon rather than the action taken being thought out logically with reason 11 Seneca A From De Ira The Horrors 0f Anger Page 14 What is Seneca s overall opinion of Anger Use specific quotations from the text Why does Seneca feel this way 9 6 Seneca sees anger as utterly inhuman the most hideous and frenzied of all the emotions Seneca feels this way because anger calls for violence and pain What are the two biggest problems with anger that make it so hard to deal with Anger cannot be reasoned with nor can it be concealed What is similar between the desire anger brings according to Aristotle and the desire anger brings according to Seneca They both call for vengeance What Counts as Anger Pages 1415 What is unique about anger according to Seneca Only humans can feel it because anger entails reasoning which animals are not capable of Aside from anger animals are not capable of human emotions because they are lacking what ability Speech without it no feeling can be expressed They can show traces of emotions like love and friendship but nothing more Is Anger Natural Page 15 What is Seneca trying to determine with his analysis of anger What does he ultimately determine and why Use specific points from the text Whether anger is natural and worth keeping in our repertoire of emotions He determines that anger is unnatural to the loving man who exists to help others because anger is cruel adverse and prone to destruction What argument is apparent in Seneca s explanation of man s inherent good What is the exact quotation What is milder than man when he is in his right mind 3 Therefore anger is natural to man for what other mind is there in an individual What final bit of evidence does Seneca give for anger not being a proper emotion for man to display How does he connect this with his own words Seneca quotes Plato saying A good man does no damage Before that he stated that the nature of man is not eager to punish If man is good he will not punish and give way to anger in doing so Can Anger Be Useful or Controlled Page 16 How does the quotation that Seneca uses show anger to be useful It spurs the mind and gives way to courage so men can go on to meet danger with boldness Is it possible to control anger according to Seneca Why No Any amount of anger will lead to the loss of control because reason must remain isolated from the emotions To reason with anger is to give it a foothold on the mind by which it can overtake you Why must reason remain separate from all emotions It is in uenced by them Our reason is driven by the emotion we feel strongest To Seneca which is stronger anger or reason It depends on one s condition if angry then anger is stronger if not angry then reason is stronger Is Anger Voluntary Pages 1617 What does Seneca think is anger voluntary How Is this similar to one of the five theories of emotion Which one Seneca believes it is voluntary because one must think whether they have been wronged or not This is similar to the cognitive theory which states thought comes before feeling eg I have been wronged anger 2 What has Seneca concluded based on his conclusion that anger is voluntary He has concluded that anger can be controlled because that which is voluntary is obviously under our control 3 What are bodily agitations and why are they not emotions Seneca calls pallor falling tears sexual excitement or deeps sighs a sudden glint in the eyes or anything similar bodily agitations He argues that these cannot be emotions because even the bravest man turns pale before going off to battle Can one so brave be called cowardly because of a bodily agitation 4 What else does Seneca say that is reminiscent of one of the five theories of emotion He says that anger is the agitation of a mind proceeding by its own deliberate decision to exact retribution and follows with Do you really think then that anything can be sought or shunned without the mind s assent These quotations are reminiscent of the cognitive theory 5 What are Seneca s three movements of emotions 1St movement An involuntary preparation where we first feel the emotion 2nd movement A voluntary thought to react 3rd movement A voluntary decision based on reasoning III Galen A From On the Doctrines 0f Hippocrates and Plato Pages 1819 1 Galen uses the story of Medea where Medea struggles between killing her own children and not killing them reason against anger What did this story communicate according to Galen Ultimately it communicated the strength of anger over reason because Medea kills her children 2 What does one s ability to side with reason over anger say about the individual according to Galen Barbarians give way to anger therefore those who side with reason are civilized 3 Julia Annas concludes once more with a final question Is Galen moving too fast here What does she mean Galen sees reason and the emotions as two forces at odds with one another in the process of deciding whether or not to act upon an impulse She urges us to consider if his conclusion that our emotions are in con ict with our reasoning is in fact unreasonable IV Rene Descartes A Introduction Pages 2021 1 Formulated I think therefore I am Believed that if one could be certain without doubt of one s own existence then one could be equally certain of anything The self is undeniably real therefore so too were beliefs such as God 2 Developed dualistic distinction between the mind and body in which the mind s experiences were instantaneous while the body s relied on sense perception 3 A key to understanding his theory is to know the distinction between the mind and body The mind he describes as unextended substance with thought and freewill The body is grounded in reality and therefore is subject to the laws of physics 4 Believed that the mind can interact with the body through animal spirits particles of blood that could carry emotional signals throughout the body At other times believed the mind was connected to the body via the pineal gland at the brain s base 5 At times describes emotions as being entirely physiological and at other times entirely of the mind B Article I Pages 2122 Q Why according to Descartes is it unnecessary to study emotions Why then does Descartes resolve to study the emotions A Unnecessary because each individual has the capacity to feel and express emotion He endeavors regardless because he finds the theories of the ancients to be far from credible Q What is the action and what is the passion Why does Descartes differentiate them if he also says they are one in the same A The passion is the emotion felt internally while the action is the emotion expressed externally They are the same in regard to having the same source but both can be examined separately C Article XVII Q What are the functions of the soul What do each represent A Our thoughts which are half actions of the soul and half its passions The actions are all of our desire and come from the soul The passions or emotions are representative of the things that make us feel them Q it is not often our soul which makes them what they are because it always receives them from the things which are represented by them Which theory of the emotions does this sound like A Cognitive theory if passions are forms of knowledge then some amount of thought must go into them D Article XVIII Q What does Descartes call desires here A There are two desires those of the soul and those of the body He uses worship as an example of a desire for the soul and walking as an example for a desire of the body E Article XIX Q What two types of perceptions are there A Those of the body and those of the soul Soul perceptions are our desires and imaginations The Bodily perceptions are not explained in detail F Article XXII Q All perceptions which I have not explained come to the soul by the intermission of the nerves and there is between them this difference that we relate them in the one case to objects outside which strike our senses in the other to our soul What theory is evident here A Neuro Physiological theory by the relation of an emotion to an object that strikes our senses G Article XXV Page 23 Q Those emotions felt which cannot be explained with objects outside the body Neuro Physiological theory originate where A When unexplained they are said to originate from the soul H Article XXVI Q All those emotions felt by the nerves which the soul perceives are less vivid than those perceived by what according to Descartes A Impressions of the nerves are not as vivid as impressions of the animal spirits 1 Article XXVII Q What is Descartes definition of The Passions of the Soul A The perceptions feelings or emotions of the soul which are caused maintained and fortified by some movement of the spirits J Article XXVIII Pages 2324 Q What are we permitted to call the Passions 0f the Soul according to Descartes What are the conditions A We call the passions perceptions when referring to them in a general sense but not with reference to actions of the soul or desire Just feelings works as well because we feel them through our senses The best name is the emotions of the soul because it covers a much broader set of attributions but especially because emotions affect the soul the most K Article XXIX Q What sensations are particular to the mind Which are particular to the body A Scents sounds and colors are to the mind while hunger thirst and pain are to the body L Article XXXIV Q How do the animal spirits send emotional messages throughout the body according to Descartes A from the gland in the center of the brain animal spirits travel to the nerves through the blood M Article XXXV Note Here we enter deep into Descartes Pseudoscience of Animal Spirits none of this is real Q What is Descartes trying to prove essentially with this roundabout wild animal scenario A The animal spirits are thusly named because of its inherent connection to actual animals N Article XXXVI Q What is this article trying to illustrate via the scenario mentioned above A Basically we see something and it evokes an emotion that corresponds to an emotion we felt upon seeing it previously Once again the animal spirits are the delivery method for the emotions 0 This is touching on the behavioral theory where evolution ties into how we developed our particular reactions to certain scenarios 0 Article XXXIX Q What does Descartes conclude about the human brain A That it is different from person to person P Article XL Q According to Descartes what is the function of emotion A Emotions creates the desire to perform the action an event requires one to do For example run from danger Fear makes you want to run Q Article XLV Page 26 Q We cannot control our emotions but what can we do according to Descartes A We can indirectly control them with representations of those things which evoke certain emotions R Article XLVI Q Similar to Seneca Descartes believes emotions can be resisted or controlled with what A Willpower if anger causes us to lift our hand to strike the will can usually hold it back S Article XLVIII Q Seneca thought that uncivilized people could not control their emotions with reason What does Descartes think of those that cannot control their emotions A Descartes sees them as people with the most feeble souls of all who are carried away by their emotions T Article LI Q What determines which emotion is expressed according to Descartes With which article is this somewhat redundant with A The object of an emotion is the determining factor of that emotion This is similar to the theory in article XXXVI U Article LII Q Why do objects excite diverse passions in us according to Descartes A They do so out of the many ways they may help or hinder us or relate to us as something of importance V Article LXIX Pages 2728 Q How many emotions does Descartes think there are What of the others A He sees six wonder love hatred desire joy and sadness All other emotions are made of combinations of these primary ones W Article LXX Q What is the emotion of wonder according to Descartes A the impression we have in the brain which represents the object as 9 rare X Article LXXIV Q What is the purpose of the passions according to Descartes A Their purpose is to fortify and perpetuate good thoughts that it might otherwise lose Y Article LXXIX Q What are love and hatred according to Descartes and what do they depend on A Love is the desire to be close to things we find agreeable and hate is the desire to be away from things we find hurtful They both depend on the body Z Article LXXX Q What is the passion of desire ultimately according to Descartes A It is the hope to be with what we love or away from what we hate in the future AA Article LXXXII Page 29 Q What act of love does Descartes put before all other acts of love Why What were some of the other acts A The love a good father gives his children because nothing is more pure not the love a miser has for money a drunkard for wine a brutal man for a woman he desires to violate Descartes holds emotions and morality in close relation AB Article LXXXVI Q What is yet another definition of desire according to Descartes A It is an agitation of the soul which causes a want for the good to come to us the bad avoid us the good of the present to remain and the bad of the present to leave us AC Article XCI Q What do we feel when the future does bring good and our desires are fulfilled A Joy it is the affirmation of good AD Article XCII Page 30 Q What is sadness according to Descartes A it is a languor that comes from evil or something that is wrong that we perceive AE Article XCIII Q What are we able to do once we distinctly observed the good or evil in our lives A Once we know which we have in our lives we can feel joy or sorrow like the cognitive theory suggests But if we feel one of these without knowing which we have then it is from an impression that is not good or evil but draws from the same emotions of the soul in response


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