This article resonated with me particularly because I am very interested in neuroscience. While the many different definitions and views of emotion proved a lot to keep track of, Plamper’s examination on the polarity between emotion and reason from a historical perspective was interesting. The example Plamper uses is that of the amygdala being the source of fear. This analysis of emotion as having a direct neuroanatomical source is often misconstrued to be reductionist, in that it assumes that our personality is a mere composite of different neurotransmitters which implies a purely biological view of emotions. However I would argue that the two do not have to be mutually exclusive and can be used in conjunction to better explain the basis of personality. Our genetic make up, and the resulting chemical make up of our brains is the physical source of our expressed emotions and personality.
One example of this could be narcissism. Narcissism, generally considered a negative trait, could be thought to be either a lack or depleted amount of oxytocin, which is a bonding neurotransmitter. However this does not excuse an individual from their selfish actions. Sorry for the thoroughly neuroscience oriented blog post!