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Lecture 10

PHL365 Lecture 10: Lecture 10

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PHL 365
Glenn Parsons

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October 26 , 2015 – The Nature of Emotion Readings  Carroll, Why Horror?  Gaut, The Paradox of Horror Emotions  Have strong bodily change – visceral  Tears well up, throat chokes – bodily proponent/experience  Anger, fear, sadness  Conflict with our rational side o Reason and emotion o Example, getting involved with the ‘bad’ guy although you know it contradicts your moral side  Suggests that there is a gap between our rational and emotional side The James/Lange Theory  Takes seriously that emotions are a bodily/physical thing that are distinct from our rational side  “My theory…is that…our feeling of [bodily changes] as they occur IS the emotion”  Not using the word feeling just as a synonym for the word emotion o Feeling means awareness in this definition o Our emotions are instances in which we are aware of the changes taking place of in our body o A kind of perception o Grief – perception that certain things are happening in our body – awareness that constitutes an emotion  Emotions are closely related to other bodily sensations  Emotions are close to things like pain o Pain is simply a state in which we are becoming aware of things happening in our body – namely, something is deteriorating our body  “Common sense says, we lose our fortune, are sorry and weep… The hypothesis here to be defended says that this order of sequence is incorrect… the moral statement is that we feel sorry because we cry.” – William James o Emotion IS this awareness of bodily change  Physiological changes that happen to your body Two big problems with the James/Lange Theory 1. Are there enough bodily responses?  There seem to be a lot of distinct emotions – but not enough distinct responses  The Schacter Singer (1962) experiment o Same physical response  Angry group  Euphoric group o If they are experiencing the same bodily experiences, they should be experiencing the same emotion o More to an emotion than just a physical response  Shame/Guilt o Conceptual perception o Is there any difference in terms of bodily experience between these feelings? o They evoke the same sensation – but yet we know that shame and guilt are not the same emotions o James/Lange Theory i
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