What is emotion?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by zzz_ZZZ_zzz, Jan 17, 2006.

  1. zzz_ZZZ_zzz Registered Member

    Generally what is emotion, do we need it? Actually emotion is a good thing or bad thing, because sometimes emotion bring us to bad thing. Example because of our unstable emotion, it makes us become fast to angry. Can emotion impact to experience and science or art?

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  3. Spectrum Registered Senior Member

    What is emotion? According to the strict definition of the word, e-motion is that which is experienced without motion.
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  5. Christopher3 BLINDED BY SCIENCE Registered Senior Member

    Emotion is something we need to exsist, without it we would not feel for anybody or anything! We would have no sympathy, empathy, love, interests, needs such as sex is directly tied to the lymbic system in the brain, which controls most emotions. We would not have feelings for people, we would not fall in love, have friends, like or dislike, have tastes, want company, exsist in society, we would just be robots with a microchip... some people are like that!!! Is taht a good thing, dont take this the wrong way ...but emotions direct our life, ours needs, wants and fears and dreams, without emotions we could not survive, life would be dull, painful, sad and non- exsistent!!! Chris
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  7. VitalOne Banned Banned

    emotions are just chemical reactions....
  8. Christopher3 BLINDED BY SCIENCE Registered Senior Member

    emotons are chemical reactions that come about from our brain chemistry and hormones, that are put there for a purpose of our everday exisitence and survival in life!
  9. Zephyr Humans are ONE Registered Senior Member

    Important chemical reactions

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    of course, certain types of brain damage can remove the ability to feel certain types of emotions - which often leads to the victim's making disastrous decisions.
  10. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

    Emotions are basically uncontrollable, and most cases illogical, feelings and/or senses of the mind. I would stress the word "uncontrollable".

    Baron Max
  11. gendanken Ruler of All the Lands Valued Senior Member

    That would be a-motion.

    E-motion is sending mobility via internet.

    Corporal sabotage.

    Last edited: Jan 18, 2006
  12. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member


    That's emotion speaking, isn't it?
    Little bit?

    We do need emotion. Without a doubt.
    The question is the rank that said emotion might attain in our hierarchy of command.
    Emotion is a wonderful mover. Without emotion, we'd likely never move at all.
    But, it isn't always the best decision-maker.
    Thus, we must strike a balance between emotion and rationality.
    Too much of either is a sure recipe for disaster.


    Just chemical reactions?
    Why the 'just'?
    One would almost think that chemical reactions are unimportant in your scheme of things.

    However, calling them 'chemical reactions' is a reductionist viewpoint and fails to explain their motive power.


    More often than not, the removal of emotions lead to the making of no decisions. Instead, the list of pros and cons for any decision (even one as simple as whether or not to cross a street) grows and grows without any final outcome. The patient becomes paralyzed by indecision.

    The decision to stop comparing pros and cons is a decision, you know. So, to decide you have to make a decision as to when to decide. (And to make that decision... etc...) Putting aside the maxim of 'even if you choose not to choose you still have made a choice' which, while true, is from an outsider's perspective and doesn't pertain to the decision making process under discussion; emotion is required to make a choice. We have to have a predilection for one outcome over another.

    A truly relativist world is not an active one. When all outcomes are weighed equally, then no outcome (except the 'no choice' outcome) is likely to occur.


    So. Without emotions... life would be full of emotions?
  13. cole grey Hi Valued Senior Member

    Emotions are one type of meta-perception.

    Apparently there are others - for example, you can be the non-judgmental watcher of yourself - but why not just jump right in?

    We probably needed it at some point to evolve into the type of mammal we are. Now we might not, but I think, as a species, generally, we like it.
    Without it life would be dull, but we wouldn't know it.
  14. Qorl Guest

    Without emotions you will be a thing not a self aware human. I don't remember a good ones but bad ones are really nasty.
  15. Cyperium I'm always me Valued Senior Member

    Emotion is how you feel, when someone ask you "how do you feel?" then you are asked to tell him/her your emotion.

    Emotions are for you and for others. For others because it's good for them to know when you are glad and when you are angry. For you because it is good for you to know when you are glad and when you are angry. If not, you probably wouldn't feel much motive to do anything...
  16. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

    Darn good thread. They are a form of energy that can be expressed and shared or bottled up and left to slowly fizzz away or maybe explode into fury. They also seem to appear from nowhere and often disappear into nowhere. They can be smooth and soothing or sharp and demanding. They can be hot or cold, warm or cool.

    Some take drugs while others go to Disneyland. Some just sit and meditate.
  17. Christopher3 BLINDED BY SCIENCE Registered Senior Member

    So. Without emotions... life would be full of emotions? ... No Invert I meant that the pain from having no feelings would be so great because feelings would be obsolete, such as individuals with ceratin parts of brain damage, parkinsons disease or alzhiemers disease lack certain chemicals or receptors in the damaged areas of their brains, this will cause pain, because of having a mis-hap in the normal flow of vital chemical receptors...without this receptors or chemicals all together we could not function at all.. and would be in a vegetative state or brain death.
  18. gendanken Ruler of All the Lands Valued Senior Member

    Cole Grey:
    Do…mine eyes deceive? Could it be the Cole Grey from some yesterwhen that’s crawled back from his priory to mingle?
    “Among the weeds, under a low fence these men saw him asleep.....”

    No, that’s my fingers punching "N" then "O".

    Don't you tire? All this talk?
    Emotions are this, they're that, no they're this and that and the other and they'll stick in 'paradigm' or 'consciousness' or 'humanity' or 'love' in their dribble to make it more plausible.
    Here's the brain trying to read all sticky with ~emotions~:

    "Likely the rest furniture. This? Not this, elope sea with trigonometry.
    No! Indefensible, a genital formica in the right way. Even so, quite grounds calculate it carefully. Sex. So? Listen fervent, event wise: lies. Hate raibowed in. But say. Sex. 145, 356 + sex - 34 = 3, 0sex725"

    The romance of emotions be damned, in my book "emotion" is a cognitive bias. Every last one of those carnal impulses in one's stupidity are authorized by that stupidity.
  19. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member


    I'm afraid I don't understand your point.
    Do I tire? Sure I do.
    All this talk? What talk? My talk? Their talk? Your talk? Whose talk?
    My point on emotions was simple and, as you are well aware, is hash, hash, and rehash. Nothing new in what I've said about how the decision making process is dependent upon an emotional predilection. A bias, if you will.
    Do you deny this?

    I answered your post for a simple reason.
    You stated, unequivocably, that we don't need emotions.
    You didn't cut your corners. You didn't quibble. You didn't relent in any way shape or form.
    You typed a simple, as you said, N and O. No.

    Do you really believe that?
    Do you really believe that humans can get by without emotions?
    What motive force do you think will stimulate them?
    What bias do you think will get them past their mental stumbling blocks while contemplating whether to cross the street now or later? Whether they should buy the blue short or the black one?
    Do you think that a cultural bias could be shaped to replace the emotional one?

    I simply find your statement that we can get by without emotions to be... ludicrous. So ludicrous, in fact, that I feel that you have made that statement from an emotional stance.

    Demonstrated by your clear bias when you choose to 'demonstrate' the brain 'all sticky with ~emotions~':
    What does that have to do with emotions?
    You seem to have simply equated emotions with brain damage and left it at that.
    You've presupposed your desired outcome.
    You show a clear emotional bias in your distaste of the emotional.
    Or. Perhaps you could show me the logical pathway which led to the above quote?
    But. You know... Genital formica... Sounds kinky, doesn't it. Ever tried that?

    Romance of emotions? I'm afraid you lost me there. I can only guess that you're talking about how 'they' have idealized certain emotions? Like love and whatever?
    Who's talking about that? Certainly not me.

    And then you go on to say 'carnal impulses' implying, as shown in the quote previous, that sex is at the root. (Root. Get it?... Never mind.) And that is these carnal desires that are at the root of this cognitive sabotauge? That it's not the emotions at all but rather lust?

    But. No. "Every last one of thse carnal impulses in one's stupidity are authorized by that stupidity."
    A bit circular... are we dealing with one stupidity? You're saying that lust is a vicious circle?

    I'm really trying to understand, but you've gone on a tangent which I must admit that I didn't expect. Not that I mind the unexpected. Surely not. But, I just don't get what you're trying to say.

    I know your base statement.
    You're saying that we don't need emotions and that emotions are more negative than positive. But, it's the logic behind that that I am having a hard time following. For this reason, I repeat my statement.

    "That's emotion speaking, isn't it? A little bit?"
  20. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

    Let me try this again.
    What you said here and what you say later about the 'romance of emotions' leads me to think that your problem is not with the emotions themselves, but rather the abstraction of emotions that takes place in an intellectual discussion of said emotions.

    However, this doesn't really seem to jibe with your main point of not needing emotions... This would be more of a point that we don't need to over-analyze our emotions. That emotions are what they are and that's that. We don't need to sell them. We don't need to prepackage them. We don't need to put them on a shelf.

    Hash, hash, and rehash was it? (Bitch.)

    Here's something new.
    From me to you.
    A quote from the Plague,
    Perhaps this touches on what I shall now term 'ague'?

    "Moreover, in this extremity of solitude none could count on any help from his neighbor; each had to bear the load of his troubles alone. If, by some chance, one of us tried to unburden himself or to say something about his feelings, the reply he got, whatever it might be, usually wounded him. And then it dawned on him that he and the man with him weren't talking about the same thing. For while he himself spoke from the depths of long days of brooding upon his personal distress, and the image he had tried to impart had been slowly shaped and proved in the fires of passion and regret, this meant nothing to the man to whom he was speaking, who pictured a conventional emotion, a grief that is traded on the market-place, mass-produced. Whether friendly or hostile, the reply always missed fire, and the attempt to communicate had to be given up. This was true of those at least for whom silence was unbearable, and since the others could not find the truly expressive word, they resigned themselves to using the current coin of language, the commonplaces of plain narrative, of anecdote, and of their daily paper. So in these cases, too, even the sincerest grief had to make do with the set phrases of ordinary conversation. Only on these terms could the prisoners of the plague ensure the sympathy of their concierge and the interest of their hearers."
    The Plague -- Albert Camus​
    I find this fascinating. It brings to mind qualia. The uncommunicable. And isn't it true?

    What is emotion? How are we to discuss emotion?
    How can we impart our sense of emotions with another?
    How can we relay to another just what our feelings mean to us? How they inspire us? How they stunt and damage us as well (let's not idealize the emotional. Such is not my intent and I'd appreciate it if you didn't suggest that I do so.)
    How can we?
    Because it's true, isn't it?
    An emotion that isn't shared, when communicated, becomes generic.
    Not always. No. But most of the time.
    We all have these generic and prepackaged ideas of emotions in our heads. Handed down to us from hallmark or where the fuck ever. And when we hear about another's emotion it gets placed in this little box and labelled 'insignificant'.

    So. If your point was that attempting to speak in-depth about emotions is futile, then I agree.
    But, I still disagree that we can do without them altogether.

    My point was simple. That emotions are physical processes and are crucial to human cognition. This has been shown by the decisional paralysis brought about by damage to the emotional centers of the brain. It stands to reason, as well.

    I've brought something new to the table. Now. How about something old?
    Remember this?
    "....we pretend to be constucting edifices of
    impartial thought, when actually we are selecting only
    such acts and agreements as will give dignity to some
    personal or patriotic wish"

    Will Durant -- The Mansions of Philosophy.​
    Or this?
    "We suspect logic because we have learned that most reasoning is desire dressed in a little rationality"
    Will Durant -- The Mansions (later changed to "pleasures") of Philosophy.​
    How can it be doubted that reason is shaped and directed by our emotions? By our passions? And by our fears and regrets, as well.
    Emotion is a motive power. It fuels our engines. It gives us a direction. It gives our rationality something to fasten onto during its cogitations.

    Without emotion, we would be nothing. Less than nothing. We wouldn't be.

    You've given your 'example' of a discourse powered by emotion. Allow me to offer one based upon pure logic.

    Or perhaps you'd like an example of 'rationalizing'?
    Rationalizing is not pure logic, but rather, it is logic mixed with emotion. Perhaps more emotion than logic? Perhaps more logic than emotion? Sometimes it seems to be one. Sometimes it seems to be another.

    Or how about confabulating? That's an interesting phenomenon, yes? And, what is interesting about it is that it is carried out (in Gazzaniga's classic split brain studies) by the left brain. The side of the brain that is supposed to be the seat of rationality and logic, not emotion.

    Why is it that you decry emotion?
    Rationality seems to have its own flaws (as well as benefits) and yet you are here worshipping at its altar while crucifying emotion for its flaws while ignoring the benefits (and necessity.)

    Your emotions carry you away.
    Calm down.

    (By the way. I was debating on whether or not to bring in intentionality. It is a subject that I've been reading on somewhat recently. And it has a strong correlation with emotion. However, I have a hunch that I should wait on that. Next post maybe. I suspect that you'll feel that inentionality falls too far into the realm of epistemiology and I know how you dislike it. So. I'll wait for now. Perchance to annoy later with epistemological tangents. What say you?)

    One last:
    I kinda miss the talk. Don't you?
    Welcome back to the forums, Gendanken.

    Speaking of welcome back:

    Cole Grey,

    A meta-perception?
    A perception about a perception?
    But, are emotions themselves such? Or do they fall into that category when one attempts to explain them? It is at this time that we fall into a recursive nightmare of self-reference, Hockstadter stylee. This, of course, manifests itself in the mish-mash that often finds its way into expression and the lack of true comprehension on the part of any listener.

    One must keep it simple to retain the interest of a listener, yes?
    But, what of one's own interest? How does one keep that?
    Perhaps this is what has happened to Gendanken?

    How would you go about doing that? (Being the non-judgemental watcher, not the jumping in part.)

    I'll agree with you... somewhat.
    I feel that there is a possibility that a replacement could be found for emotion.
    A sort of cultural indoctrination.
    However, this would result in a dogmatic and sedentary culture. We would become slaves to tradition rather than adaptive.
    Removing emotions would be a death sentence to any generalist species.

    Also, one would have to consider that the new method of motive power would have to be designed rather than evolved. Do you trust man to design his own motive power? And what criteria would he use for such a design? Emotion? So. The last act of emotion would be to create its executioner?

    Emotion would have the last laugh.
    And we'd never even see the joke. That's the sad part...


    It's interesting how the consensus seems to be about communicating emotions rather than personal experience.

    Should we split these types of emotions up into new terms to eliminate confusion?
    Emotion and meta-emotion? And meta-meta-emotion?
    And so on?


    Now. There's an answer.
    Reminds me of something Frodo said.
    "Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both no and yes."
    Covers your bases though, doesn't it?
  21. VitalOne Banned Banned

    But they really are JUST chemical reactions, nothing more. That answers the question "What is emotion"
  22. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

    Yes. But it doesn't differentiate between emotion and non-emotional cognitive functions. All cognitive functions are just chemical reactions.

    In fact, it doesn't even differentiate between cognitive functions and metabolic functions. Or transcriptive functions. Or baking soda volcano functions.

    So. In that vein, your description is hardly a useful one, eh?
    Thus is the problem with reductionism. Rather than breaking the description down to its simplest terms, one should keep in mind that an explanation is also necessary.
    Not merely the how. But the why.

    However, I'm emotionally attached to the idea. Thus perhaps my logic is not to be altogether trusted in the matter.
  23. cole grey Hi Valued Senior Member

    Even further, perceptions about perceptions, and perceptions which define other perceptions. As Gendanken said, "...in my book, emotion is a cognitive bias..."

    I don't know what happened to our little thought experiment personified, I just got caught up in having a life for a minute. Wow, what a waste of time that was. I am glad to see you and gendanken here, I miss your half page rambles, if you can believe that.

    Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now), does it a lot supposedly. Very Zen as well. Kabbalists have an element of this. Seems like the last part of a hindu male's life was supposed to spent moving in this direction, at one time in history.
    I personally am too emotional to do this.

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