Affective states and indian asthetics

Mind and Matter 6 (2):147-177 (2008)
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Abstract

The self evolved out of a sense of somatic motor orientation and body boundary awareness; and affective states as motivators furthered in conjunction with a sense of self evolutionary speciation. Affective states form to a greater extent than cognition the sense of experiential reality that is taken for granted. Neurophysiological and experiential culture-invariant evidence indicate the existence of eight (and possibly ten) basic affective states in mammals. These affective states have in humans found expression in mythic terms as well as in the basic themes of world literature. According to classical Indian introspective analysis of aesthetics the basic emotions determine human activity and are the well- spring of literature and art, especially if the emotions become dis- sociated from a sense of egocentricity, i.e. if they become detached from a sense of self so that they no longer are in uenced by ex- istential fear. The comparatively close similarity between Indian aesthetics and the neurophysiology of the different affective states suggests the possibility that such aesthetic value judgments may be based on widespread evolutionary determinants.

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