Multiple ways of looking at emotion

The author brings up Rosenwein and again talks about how there are two different (at least two) camps of thought regarding emotion. this author describes them as polar opposites in the beginning of his essay. What is weird is that he gives any attention to the idea of the tribes with their primitive nature of deciding if someone was fearful simply by using a ritual. Is my thoughts on this primitive myself and perhaps I can’t widen my horizen to accept this? Or maybe I am not reading the article correctly, but to even entertain this concept is strange. It is clear that emotions are universal, to me, and not governed by any outside force of nature like karma or chi or atua. .


I’d like to take a quick look at the Enlightenment’s view on things: “nature as the body and nature as the environment”.  If we can look to emotions as certainties of the human body or human nature, then we can, as the author says, read nature as absolute certainty. What does that say to the author’s earlier tryst with the amygdala? I am not sure. I do know that this author things that you can take the piece by piece evolution of emotion and look at it, like he does with the amygdala.


The author notes that in a hundred year span there have been 92 different definitions for emotion. I think that this speaks to the way that the author said he wanted to look at the evolution of emotion piece by piece. But are we supposed to cut out the pieces like the tribe mentioned earlier in his work that deemed emotions as ruled by outside forces? I did see the author’s connection with emotions and outside forces when he reminded the reader of the ways that we, as a group of people writing or talking about our feelings, will use such phrases that reference “something external” such as “overcome with rage”.

I guess I struggled to see all of the various definitions of emotion and was most struck by the author’s ability to relate something as concrete and valid as the amygdala with the Maoi tribe’s concepts of emotions being governed by an outside force.

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