Human emotional experience is organized at multiple levels, only some of which are easily penetrable by or dependent on language. Affects connected with mammalian parental care seem involved in Anna Wierzbicka's example of the experience of Jesus in Gethsemane. However, such affects are not characterizable as she requires, using only NSM's short list of linguistic semantic universals. Following her methodology, even using an enriched NSM really exhaustive of linguistic semantic universals, may involve serious losses of cognitive opportunity. Specifically, it forecloses (...) any possibility of linking language with other cognitive resources to construct novel concepts, as may be needed to understand the deep biologically-based structure of emotion—which, after all, goes far deeper in us than language does. (shrink)
Pleasure, in the inclusive usages most important in moral psychology, ethical theory, and the studies of mind, includes all joy and gladness — all our feeling good, or happy. It is often contrasted with similarly inclusive pain, or suffering, which is similarly thought of as including all our feeling bad. Contemporary psychology similarly distinguishes between positive affect and negative affect.[1..
Depue & Morrone-Strupinsky's (D&M-S's) language suggests that, unlike Kent Berridge, they may allow that the activity of a largely subcortical system, which is presumably often introspectively and cognitively inaccessible, constitutes affectively felt experience even when so. Such experience would then be phenomenally conscious without being reflexively conscious or cognitively access-conscious, to use distinctions formulated by the philosopher Ned Block.
Four principal papers and a total of 43 peer commentaries on the evolutionary origins of morality. To what extent is human morality the outcome of a continuous development from motives, emotions and social behaviour found in nonhuman animals? Jerome Kagan, Hans Kummer, Peter Railton and others discuss the first principal paper by primatologists Jessica Flack and Frans de Waal. The second paper, by cultural anthropologist Christopher Boehm, synthesizes social science and biological evidence to support his theory of how our hominid (...) ancestors became moral. In the third paper philosopher Elliott Sober and evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson argue that an evolutionary understanding of human nature allows sacrifice for others and ultimate desires for another's good. Finally Brian Skyrms argues that game theory based on adaptive dynamics must join the social scientist's use of rational choice and classical game theory to explain cooperation. (shrink)
Rolls's preliminary definitions of emotion and speculative restriction of consciousness, including emotional sentience, to humans, display behaviorist prejudice. Reinforcement and causation are not by themselves sufficient conceptual resources to define either emotion or the directedness of thought and motivated action. For any adequate definition of emotion or delimitation of consciousness, new physiology, such as Rolls is contributing to, and also the resources of other fields, will be required.
Interpreting VTA dopamine activity as a facilitator of affective engagement fits Depue & Collins's agency dimension of extraverted personality and also Watson's and Tellegen's (1985) engagement dimension of state mood. Serotonin, by turning down the gain on dopaminergic affective engagement, would permit already prepotent responses or habits to prevail against the behavior-switching incentive-simulation-driven temptations of the moment facilitated by fickle VTA DA. Intelligent switching between openly responsive affective engagement and constraint by long-term plans, goals, or values presumably involves environment-sensitive balancing (...) of these neuromodulators, such as socially dominant primates may show. (shrink)