Friday, December 16, 2005

Emotions

Much like Thoughts there is no particular reason for this post.

Emotions and feelings some say guys don't have them or at least very many of them :) the truth of the matter being we just hide them a lot better under our "Masks". Is perhaps that guy's have more "masks" than gals or is it that our "masks" are "thicker"? Or are we simply slower at lowering them and less comfortable with out them? Is it nature or nurture, biology or culture that generates these differences of is it both?

But what are emotions? Are they a product of our soul or of our biology? Do animals have emotions?
Are emotions something that comes from the soul, if so how could we tell? Of course this brings to mind the eternal question of what is the soul, and do we actually have one? Personally I'd hope so though I'd likely call the soul the mind that which is conscious combined with that which is unconscious.
If they are the product of the soul then do we assume that creatures that are not self aware do not have them? And what are they actually to the soul? Are they the various states of the soul like the differing charges of an atoms ions? Some how they are linked to the environment as external cues can manipulate and alter the emotions is this due to something "spiritual" an indefinable element associated with these external cues or perhaps it argues that the emotions are products of the body, the product of biological processes? As surely the activity of the brain differs from one emotional state to another?
If so what purpose do they serve? Are they there as system for altering the way we interact with stimuli? For often our emotions change how we would react to certain stimuli, when some one is angry they react differently to when they are happy.
Thus are emotions means of changing and altering our responses to external stimuli based on stubble environmental cues of things that have happen previously. Are they a feed back for our consciousness a biological means of encouraging certain behaviors?
Is "love" a biological feed back to encourage conscious behavior the benefits the organism or species?
Is "hate" a biological feed back to encourage the elimination of a threat to the organism or species?
If so it is interesting that culture plays such a large part in setting up triggers for each emotion. Is there for emotion a biological means of focusing our conscious attention and promoting specific sets of responses over other possible responses?

How many emotions are there truly? How many are truly different from one another? Can they truly be separated or are they all shades of a couple of true emotions, if so how do you separate them? They say Love and Hate are but the two sides of the same coin, do they other emotions all spring from similar roots?


So many emotions, so many ways we respond and react as a result. Is it not interesting how certain emotions can be linked to a wide range of things some which have clear biological links and others that have less clear links.
Desire for example we all desire many things some useful many useless.
I desire knowledge it probably isn't my greatest desire but it is one of the greater ones (as for what else I desire well wouldn't you like to know :P).

4 comments:

Matt said...

Emotions are chemical reactions within the brain. :-P

EONsim said...

True :)

But why do they exist?

Christina said...

Mwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha - you psychology student-wannabee, you! :P No idea what they're for (they seem entirely pointless to me and incredibly annoying cos they just make things more complex), or how many there are. I think explicitly seperating them out and defining them would be difficult, if not impossible.

I don't really think there is such a big difference between guys and girls, actually, when it comes to emotions.

And it's not a question of whether guys have emotions - all humans do unless severely damaged - it's a matter of the *level* of emotionality, or the extent to which they express their emotions. I know several guys who are very high in emotionality, and several girls who are extremely low - so much so that you'd think each belongs to the other gender. It's more a personality thing, from what I see.

And also, the reason guys are "all" emotionless (so-called) may just be a case of social conditioning and cultural values and expectations, rather than an inherently male thing. You'd need to compare across various cultures and time periods to gauge that, I guess. Likewise, I'm sure there's "un-emotional" girls out there who feel the pressure to turn on a dime like the stereotype.

Nathan said...

I'd say emotions are interpreted physiological states. Measuring, and understanding physiological states are adaptive, so that the individual is able to respond in an appropriate matter to his or her environment. Of course, as a rapid heart beat can indicate many things, it is important to interpret them, to decide whether it means fear (in the presence of a generic saber-toothed liger), or love (in the presence of a generic hot female).
And because it's interpretation of stimuli, I would argue that emotions are part of the same system that does our thoughts. Which is why I don't like a thought-feeling dichotomy.

That's my two cents (or closer to two grand, considering how much a university education costs these days)