important in our souls – our real selves, our goals, our concerns, and our
•Descartes described how emotions cannot be entirely controlled by thinking, but
can be regulated by thoughts.
•Descartes suggested that emotions depend on how we evaluate events.
•Descartes one of first to argue that emotions serve important functions.
•Descartes’s idea is that our emotions usually functional but can sometimes be
•Descartes wrote in era historians called Early Modern Period.
•Descartes was contemporary of William Harvey.
•Disease was caused by imbalance among four humors, and each gave rise to
distinct emotional state.
•New physiology to which he contributed, emotions arise in mind, enable our plans
and affect our bodies.
George Eliot: the Literary Approach
•Many of greatest insights into emotions come from novelists and poets.
•Writing of George Eliot offers some of most impressive ideas regarding
emotional experience and its place in intimate relationships.
•1871-1872, Eliot published Middlemarch, novel about emotions.
•Eliot – Our emotions can act as sort of compass. Emotions also principal means
by which people affect each other.
•Eliot – Emotions are what relationships are made of. Emotion has powerful
effects. Understand our emotions differently from those of other people.
Historical Figure: George Eliot
•One of the greatest novelist.
•Born Mary Ann Evans.
•One of the few women of her time to support herself independently financially.
•Her and George Henry Lewis had one of the greatest emotional and intellectual
relationships of history of letters.
Brain Science, Psychology, Sociology
•Behaviorism and cognitive psychology tended ignore emotions.
•Past 50 years, study of emotions came into its own in brain sciences, in
psychology, and in social sciences.
Walter Cannon and Walter Hess: Brain Science
•Before age of electronics, and findings that brain itself works by sending
electrical signals from neuron to neuron, main findings about brain function came
from brain lesions, either deliberately in animals or accidently in people.
•Walter Cannon argued against Harvard colleague, William James.
•James theory – viscera where bodily feelings supposed to arise.
•Cannon argued if James right, when viscera severed from brain of laboratory
animals, one expect reduction in their emotions.