Jarvilehto's seductive ideas: Provocative concepts without data?

Introductory Note: This commentary developed out of an informal discussion of Part I (2000) of Jarvilehto?s two-part Consciousness & Emotion series with Ralph Ellis at the recent Amsterdam Symposium on Feelings and Emotions (June 13?16, 2001). Part II of Jarvilehto?s series appears in the present issue. Ellis asked me to share my critical concerns with Jarvilehto?s Part I in this commentary, with an advance copy supplied to Jarvilehto, who will reply in the next issue of Consciousness & Emotion. I think most of us recognize the need for pluralism in the study of complex processes such as consciousness and emotions, but to place emotions and feelings so strongly into the environment as does Jarvilehto strikes me simply as a category mistake. I acknowledge that my commentary comes from my own unique (and by some standards radical) perspective on how the field might best move forward empirically. I believe an honest understanding of how natural psychological kinds emerge from specifiable brain functions, which are obviously modulated by environmental events, is presently the most important and most poorly studied aspect of modern mind-science. I felt that Jarvilehto?s holistic approach would only further serve to discourage investigators from pursuing those important issues neuro-empirically
Keywords *Cognitive Processes  *Consciousness States  *Emotions  *Environment  *Systems Theory  Brain
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