Reason & Emotion

Discussion of articles that appear in the magazine.

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Philosophy Now
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Reason & Emotion

Post by Philosophy Now »

James R. Robinson finds ways of bridging the gap (or not).

https://philosophynow.org/issues/144/Reason_and_Emotion
Walker
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Re: Reason & Emotion

Post by Walker »

Another way to think about the divide between the passions and the intellect, is by first noting that passions are somewhat involuntary. That is to say, we have no control over whether we feel hungry or thirsty, and only limited control over whether we feel angry or sad, and so on. While this is true, it is possible to control how or whether we act upon our passions. Therefore we are responsible for how we act upon them.
The rise in obesity indicates that often the physical feelings called hunger are in fact not hunger, which in terms of passion would make those feelings an illusory passion, or at the least a mis-identified passon.



“If you want to see God, kill desires. Desires are in the mind. When you have a desire for something, don't act on it and it will go away. If you desire to drink this cup of tea, don't, and the desire for it will go away.” - Neem Karoli Baba
James R. Robinson
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Re: Reason & Emotion

Post by James R. Robinson »

Walker wrote: Wed Jun 02, 2021 6:34 am
The rise in obesity indicates that often the physical feelings called hunger are in fact not hunger, which in terms of passion would make those feelings an illusory passion, or at the least a mis-identified passon.



“If you want to see God, kill desires. Desires are in the mind. When you have a desire for something, don't act on it and it will go away. If you desire to drink this cup of tea, don't, and the desire for it will go away.” - Neem Karoli Baba



The point you raise Walker about (illusory or mis-identified) passions of hunger and obesity is an interesting one. As you say
obesity indicates that often the physical feelings called hunger are in fact not hunger.
Indeed, from my perspective, something else emotionally seems to be at play in relation to obese people and their relationship with food and eating.

That 'something else', as I say, could be the suppression of negative emotions (physical or mental) via the consumption of food. The resulting mouth pleasure (if we can call it that) and other related (physical) feelings that come from consuming food, even if they are only a distraction, may well be a coping mechanism for such individuals; albeit one that is not productive in the long term.

If the human interest/reality T.V. series ‘My 600-Lb Pound Life’ is anything to go by, then there is some evidence for the theory I’m presenting here. Although people who are six hundred pounds are clearly a minority of all obese people, their extreme condition does illuminate something for all of us – obese or not. Namely, it was my observation that almost invariably all the people featured in the series had some deep seated emotional (mental) problems. Issues that they had been supressing, sometimes since childhood, by over eating.

Indeed, part of the procedure for helping these extremely obese people lose weight was having them attended psychological counselling for past traumas. It seemed that until they had processed these memories, they would continue to find getting their eating under control difficult. What is more, that would be in despite of the surgery that was performed to reduce the size of their stomachs.

Of course self-control is still important, something which I think that quote by Neem Karoli Baba touches upon. Additionally, we might also observe that, one still needs to want to change in order to change as it were. Addressing deep seated emotional (mental) problems way well be part of that for some obese people. Helping them to learn, or recognise, what is a real passion of hunger and what is actually a coping mechanism to suppressed painful memories and other negative mental feelings.

Thanks for your comment Walker, I enjoyed going down this particular avenue of thought with you.
Walker
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Re: Reason & Emotion

Post by Walker »

:thumbsup:

I’ve noticed that food and its lack creates profound chemical changes, and those energetic changes can, but need not, become habitually associated with particular emotions, just as the released chemical changes caused by adrenaline habitually become associated with particular emotions.

Everyone knows the pleasures of food. These days fewer know the pleasures of food lack, probably because lack creates distress and is avoided. One of the pleasures of food lack is the discovery of actual hunger, which deepens understanding of the distinction between need and desire.

And, there are pleasures in actual hunger.
owl of Minerva
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Re: Reason & Emotion

Post by owl of Minerva »

This is an interesting article on reason and emotion which are both functions of the mind. It is not a study of the mind itself; of intelligence and feeling. It would be interesting to consider intelligence and feeling in their own right, how they differ as faculties on a different level to their functions of reason and emotion. Intelligence and feeling have some things in common. They can be described using the same words: perception, insight or wisdom, clear to the understanding, rational. In tandem they describe intuition; the power to know without conscious reasoning. Of course those who are acting unconsciously or from habit are more likely to resort to the functions of the mind rather than to the higher faculties of the mind; to intelligence and feeling.
commonsense
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Re: Reason & Emotion

Post by commonsense »

By conveniently including bodily reactions in his definition of one kind of emotion, Robinson is able to readily prove that heart & mind are not in opposition. It has been said that the definition of terms determines the truth value of an argument.

Robinson claims there are physical emotions, such as hunger. The claim is made, without evidence or explanation, that hunger is a passion or feeling (I.e. feeling like an emotion such as love or hate) that originates in the stomach.

Physical emotions are just balderdash.
Belinda
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Re: Reason & Emotion

Post by Belinda »

commonsense wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 9:45 pm By conveniently including bodily reactions in his definition of one kind of emotion, Robinson is able to readily prove that heart & mind are not in opposition. It has been said that the definition of terms determines the truth value of an argument.

Robinson claims there are physical emotions, such as hunger. The claim is made, without evidence or explanation, that hunger is a passion or feeling (I.e. feeling like an emotion such as love or hate) that originates in the stomach.

Physical emotions are just balderdash.
Let's get the terminology to be as useful as possible!.Emotions are physiological ,and feelings are emotions that are interpreted by the frontal cortex. Thus pure fear is an physical emotion that is a mechanical reaction, whereas jealousy is compounded of mechanical fear and cerebral belief.

Hunger is clearly physiological and can be fully explained by reference to signs such as blood sugar levels and so forth. However, society dictates we deal with hunger in a variety of cerebral ways, some of them as we know are eating disorders and others are led by fashions of haute cuisine or commerce.
commonsense
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Re: Reason & Emotion

Post by commonsense »

Belinda wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 10:50 am
commonsense wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 9:45 pm By conveniently including bodily reactions in his definition of one kind of emotion, Robinson is able to readily prove that heart & mind are not in opposition. It has been said that the definition of terms determines the truth value of an argument.

Robinson claims there are physical emotions, such as hunger. The claim is made, without evidence or explanation, that hunger is a passion or feeling (I.e. feeling like an emotion such as love or hate) that originates in the stomach.

Physical emotions are just balderdash.
Let's get the terminology to be as useful as possible!.Emotions are physiological ,and feelings are emotions that are interpreted by the frontal cortex. Thus pure fear is an physical emotion that is a mechanical reaction, whereas jealousy is compounded of mechanical fear and cerebral belief.

Hunger is clearly physiological and can be fully explained by reference to signs such as blood sugar levels and so forth. However, society dictates we deal with hunger in a variety of cerebral ways, some of them as we know are eating disorders and others are led by fashions of haute cuisine or commerce.
Then hunger, a physiological signal based on monitoring of serum glucose among other factors, is an emotion, or something to be emoted?
Belinda
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Re: Reason & Emotion

Post by Belinda »

commonsense wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 3:30 pm
Belinda wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 10:50 am
commonsense wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 9:45 pm By conveniently including bodily reactions in his definition of one kind of emotion, Robinson is able to readily prove that heart & mind are not in opposition. It has been said that the definition of terms determines the truth value of an argument.

Robinson claims there are physical emotions, such as hunger. The claim is made, without evidence or explanation, that hunger is a passion or feeling (I.e. feeling like an emotion such as love or hate) that originates in the stomach.

Physical emotions are just balderdash.
Let's get the terminology to be as useful as possible!.Emotions are physiological ,and feelings are emotions that are interpreted by the frontal cortex. Thus pure fear is an physical emotion that is a mechanical reaction, whereas jealousy is compounded of mechanical fear and cerebral belief.

Hunger is clearly physiological and can be fully explained by reference to signs such as blood sugar levels and so forth. However, society dictates we deal with hunger in a variety of cerebral ways, some of them as we know are eating disorders and others are led by fashions of haute cuisine or commerce.
Then hunger, a physiological signal based on monitoring of serum glucose among other factors, is an emotion, or something to be emoted?
It depends on the context. Hunger is either a mechanical reaction or a feeling depending on the context. Sure, it would be unusual for a physiologist to say of an unconscious man displaying signs of low blood sugar or whatever "He's hungry". In real life conscious people have symptoms or feelings which is when 'hungry' is usually used.
However we are not clinicians or physiologists at present .Instead we are looking at a philosopher's claims.
commonsense
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Re: Reason & Emotion

Post by commonsense »

I see your point.

Still I wonder how the feeling of hunger is other than a sensation of hunger.

And is the cold of frostbite a cold emotion? Is frostbite an emotion?

Teach me again, please.
Belinda
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Re: Reason & Emotion

Post by Belinda »

commonsense wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 11:02 pm I see your point.

Still I wonder how the feeling of hunger is other than a sensation of hunger.

And is the cold of frostbite a cold emotion? Is frostbite an emotion?

Teach me again, please.
Me too I see your point! It's fact of the nervous system that hunger, unlike a spinal reflex, is immediately conscious." Immediately conscious " I mean that whatever nerve endings in the organ concerned have registered, that info is communicated to the cerebral cortex.
And is the cold of frostbite a cold emotion? Is frostbite an emotion?
Not unless there is a sensation that is also detected by nerve endings of some sort. I guess frostbite is entirely involuntary whereas hunger causes voluntary actions to dispel hunger. 'Voluntary' meaning subjected to reason via the cerebral cortex.

Special sense organs i.e. eyes can indirectly inform the cortex of frostbite but as far as I know frostbite dulls whatever proprioceptors are at the site of the injury.
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: Reason & Emotion

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

At the gross level there is an obvious distinction between Reason and Emotion from their seemingly distinct activation in the different parts of the brain, i.e. the limbic versus the neo-cortex.

However at the primal and proto-levels I believe 'emotion' and 'reason' were already working in complementarily as embedded very deep in the primal brain.
Surely there are good reasons [rationality] why such and such emotions are necessary, e.g. to facilitate the survival and future of the individuals and thus species.

As per evolution it is so happened or necessarily [due to environmental, etc.] the development of the emotional brain is more active earlier while the 'reason' primal part of the 'reason' brain developed and expanded in the neo-cortex later.

Note Cooper's
The Evolution of Reason: Logic as a Branch of Biology (Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and Biology)
Link
Belinda
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Re: Reason & Emotion

Post by Belinda »

Teleology Hazard!

(Veritas Aequitas wrote :
Surely there are good reasons [rationality] why such and such emotions are necessary, e.g. to facilitate the survival and future of the individuals and thus species.
)
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: Reason & Emotion

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Belinda wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 9:27 am Teleology Hazard!

(Veritas Aequitas wrote :
Surely there are good reasons [rationality] why such and such emotions are necessary, e.g. to facilitate the survival and future of the individuals and thus species.
)
Teleology is only a taboo when leveraged on theistic elements which are not grounded empircally and philosophically.

What I wrote is supported by empirical evidences and can be polished with critical philosophy.
see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teleology#Biology
Belinda
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Re: Reason & Emotion

Post by Belinda »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 6:05 am
Belinda wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 9:27 am Teleology Hazard!

(Veritas Aequitas wrote :
Surely there are good reasons [rationality] why such and such emotions are necessary, e.g. to facilitate the survival and future of the individuals and thus species.
)
Teleology is only a taboo when leveraged on theistic elements which are not grounded empircally and philosophically.

What I wrote is supported by empirical evidences and can be polished with critical philosophy.
see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teleology#Biology
Not so, VA. Evolution by natural selection is at risk of men attributing final cause to it. "To facilitate " may imply intention . I am sure you did not mean to do so however many people would.
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