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1. From where come from emotions?

1.1. What is an emotion and why do we have them? Some


definitions

Jordi Vallverd
Philosophy Department

Before: anger, sadness, surprise, worry


After: joy, surprise (again), anger (again),

What is an emotion?
There is a strong disagreement about what emotions are, because of:

A. Disciplinary divergences (methodologies, instruments, models,):


Philosophy, Psychology, Neurology, Sociology, Anthropology, .

B. Emotions imply a private experience.

So
Paraphrasing Augustine of Hippo (Confessions, XI, 14),
4th-5th Centuries CE:

What then is an emotion? If no one asks me, I


know what it is. If I wish to explain it to him
who asks, I do not know

Anyhow.some initial lay definitions


http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english

Affective phenomena:

Emotion:
1.

A strong feeling deriving from ones circumstances, mood, or


relationships with others.

2.

Instinctive or intuitive feeling as distinguished from reasoning


or knowledge.

Affect: Touch the feelings of; move emotionally.


Mood : A temporary state of mind or feeling.
Feeling: An emotional state or reaction.
Emotional: Relating to a persons emotions.

Vicious cycle!

Feeling

Emotion

Emotion

Feeling

Ops! Some more academic definitions


Affective phenomena:

Emotion: multi-situated body mechanism to give semantic


meaning and coordination to internal and external data in order
to create action states.

Affect: outward, physical signs of emotion.


Mood : pervasive emotion over a longer period of time

Character/personality

Feeling: the self perception of an emotional event.


Bees: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111208142019.htm
Cocroaches : https://www.sciencenews.org/article/cockroach-personalities-can-speed-or-slow-group-decisions

Interactive Social processes

Anger

Surprise

Sadness
Fear

Why do we need them? Their multimodal nature


Emotions fulfill several purposes

A.

Somatic /physiological: regulating homeostatic processes

B.

Behavioral/expressive: sharing clues about internal states and selecting behavior

C.

Cognitive/interpretative: driving decision-making processes

D.

Experiential/subjective: flavoring personally the Self data binding.

Pain Cry Avoid painful input Fear


A
B
C
D

Main debates
Which is its nature and essence?
A. Psychobiological (and/or universal)
B. Symbolic/Ideological (culturally created)

Emotional experience is not precultural


but preeminently cultural, p. 5.
Lutz, C. (1988), Unnatural emotions, USA: UCP
Anthropological studies of Ifaluk (Southwest Pacific)

End remarks
There is no true agreement among experts about its definition.

(Human) Emotions are a mixture of bodily and cultural processes.


Emotions are multimodal.