• intrapersona
    560
    I plan to write my honours thesis on this subject and I am looking for recommended authors and/or a discussion on its viability. I appreciate any input you guys may have on this, thanks.

    Ideally, I want to try to describe emotion as mode of cognitive operation which could possibly make sense of the world in a similar way to how our rationality does. This type of processing would be pre-linguistic in nature (as reason is) and it would also be pre-conceptual (in a similar way to how logic is).

    This is to say that emotions aren't merely feelings like sad or happy (those are simply the downstream by-products of awareness of our emotional processing), but rather that emotional processing in the mind is an actual system of information composition, deconstruction and restructuring that can cohere with and use imagination, just like reason does.

    In this view cognitive emotional processing is a way of understanding the world, one which humans have trained themselves out of utilising to its fullest extent by virtue of how we were raised through childhood and the style education we received. I believe it is a tool for understanding the world (like reason) that has been placed in a box with only a few airholes here and there used primarily for when we want to impart personal "significance" to things.

    I want to try and prove inductively that if we were hypothetically trained to use emotions as a way of making sense of the world, new kinds of epistemological truths could be uncovered and perhaps even a new systems of logic or in the very least, new postulates or non-logical axioms

    This isn't to say that emotional modes of thought would necessarily be at odds with many existing axioms or principles of logic, but it may very well be the case. The scrutiny this would place on emotional modes of thought can be answered with respect to postmodernist and post-structuralist views on truth as well as AN Whiteheads process philosophy.

    Finally, you might ask, how can meaning be non-conceptual? This is quite abstract and hard to confer. An example I would give is that when you look at a sunset, it is beautiful because of an emotional connection to visual imagery. This is distinctly proven with people with anhedonia and depression who have emotional processing issues, and would lack the ability to feel emotional connection to the sensations of a sunset to a large extent and would unlikely find it beautiful.
    But where does that leave non-conceptual meaning? The sunset is beautiful prior to the concept of what a sunset it. It is beautiful and amazing in a way that babies are astounded by objects before they conceive of what they are. Surely though, a layering of concepts mapped to the sensation of a sunset may increase the emotional connection to the visual imagery to make it more beautiful/meaningful, but often it does not with other experiences, often it detracts completely. We see this in psychedelic states where peoples conceptual filters of the world are decreased and a more empathic sense of connection and understanding of the world is existent.

    So guys, am I completely off my nut here? Is this just a batshit crazy thesis idea? :lol: Its ok if it is, just need to revise it a little.
  • I like sushi
    2.7k
    Decartes Error - Damasio (a look at rationality and emotions)

    Also, maybe these:
    - The Scientist in The Crib - Gopnik, Meltzoff & Kuhl (ref. to various studies in here that you might find useful - easy reading pop-science book)
    - The Archetypes of The Collective Unconscious - Carl Jung
    - The Language and Thought of the Child - Jean Piaget

    One thing is for sure. We have emotions about every conscious item. We cannot experience without emotion. Emotion is 'experiencing' and often thought of as tied hard to subjectivity.

    The idea of 'the rational' and 'the emotional' as separate is a dead idea that sadly still lingers in the public sphere from what I've seen.
  • baker
    2.9k
    Look at the work of Matthew Ratcliffe, for example, here some of his titles:

    Evaluating Existential Despair
    The Phenomenology of Existential Feeling
    The Phenomenology of Mood and the Meaning of Life
    Existential feelings
    The Feeling of Being


    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Matthew-Ratcliffe


    This is to say that emotions aren't merely feelings like sad or happy (those are simply the downstream by-products of awareness of our emotional processing), but rather that emotional processing in the mind is an actual system of information composition, deconstruction and restructuring that can cohere with and use imaginationintrapersona
    Of course.
    I don't think the line between "reason" and "emotion" is nowhere near as clear as many people like to claim it is. I think it's all emotion, just that when put into words, it looks like reason.

    I want to try and prove inductively that if we were hypothetically trained to use emotions as a way of making sense of the world, new kinds of epistemological truths could be uncovered and perhaps even a new systems of logic or in the very least, new postulates or non-logical axioms
    I think this is what people do anyway, they just don't talk about it that way, given that "emotionality" has such a bad reputation in our culture.
  • intrapersona
    560
    Thank you guys! Much appreciated :pray: :blush:
  • Varde
    34
    Emotions are not pre-linguistic(the brain registers emotes, emotes are legible) nor pre-conceptual(the way emotion is applied to objects/subjects makes them more a sticker, than a blank sticker book, and a sealed sticker packet).

    Emotions affect the mind, giving comfort or discomfort to boost cognitive processes.

    One's innovations, per se, are color green cognition; are stimulated by negative emotions envy, greed, lust, etc.

    There are other uses of emotions...
  • Mww
    2.7k
    Devil’s advocate.

    This is to say that emotions aren't merely feelings (...) but rather that emotional processing (...) can cohere with and use imagination, just like reason does.intrapersona

    Doesn’t this reduce to the possibility I am merely imagining my anger or joy?

    If this process does what, or does as, reason does....why isn’t it just as much reason as reason itself?
    —————

    how can meaning be non-conceptual? (...) An example I would give is that when you look at a sunset, it is beautiful because of an emotional connection to visual imagery.intrapersona

    The sunset is beautiful prior to the concept of what a sunset it.intrapersona

    While this may show visual imagery is antecedent to conceptualization, it still leaves to show the meaning of beautiful is non-conceptual, or that the meaning in imagery in general is pre-conceptually emotional.

    Two words: aesthetic judgement.
    —————

    This type of processing would be pre-linguistic in nature (as reason is) and it would also be pre-conceptual (in a similar way to how logic is).intrapersona

    Granting that reason is pre-linguistic, pre-conceptual implies being generally aware that, but antecedent to being particularly conscious of, insofar as to be conscious of a thing is think a conception belonging to it. If emotional processing is, as stated, “a possible means to make sense of the world”, how can sense be made of that for which no conception has been thought? That there is a world, and that we are affected by it, is certainly given pre-conceptually, but that says nothing about making sense.

    Nothing wrong with thinking outside the box, so....good for you on that.
  • tim wood
    7.9k
    to describe emotion as mode of cognitive operation which could possibly make sense of the world in a similar way to how our rationality does.intrapersona

    The soft, furry thread of this as topic could turn out to be the tail of a sleeping something - but what? Some people laugh with happiness, and some cry. Some laugh at pain, some cry. Your real test is going to be how you control your topic, which is to say how you define it at the start, and how you define the terms and concepts you work with. And that done in such way as to leave you a topic to work with, room to wiggle with, as it were.

    And whatever Mww says, whenever he says it. He invites you to consider aesthetic judgment. I think you shall have to.

    I want to try and prove inductively that if we were hypothetically trained to use emotions as a way of making sense of the world, new kinds of epistemological truths could be undiscovered and perhaps even a new systems of logic or in the very least, new postulates or non-logical axiomsintrapersona

    Emotions may indeed be how we make at least a primordial sense of the world. You need an experiment. Any ideas?
  • T Clark
    6.6k
    Ideally, I want to try to describe emotion as mode of cognitive operation which could possibly make sense of the world in a similar way to how our rationality does. This type of processing would be pre-linguistic in nature (as reason is) and it would also be pre-conceptual (in a similar way to how logic is).intrapersona

    What subject does your thesis cover; philosophy, cognitive science, psychology, neurology? Whatever the subject, you should make sure you get the science right. I suggest "How Emotions are Made" by Lisa Barrett, suggested to me by @Possibility. I'm sure there are others. Philosophers like to gaze at their stomachs and burp out the answers. That won't work with this.
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