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Emotion as a Way of Knowing. “emotions shape the landscape of our mental and social lives”. Martha Nussbaum, author of Upheavals of Thought: the intelligence of emotions. Our emotions accompany us throughout our lives

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Emotion as a Way of Knowing


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    1. Emotion as a Way of Knowing

    2. “emotions shape the landscape of our mental and social lives” Martha Nussbaum, author of Upheavals of Thought: the intelligence of emotions • Our emotions accompany us throughout our lives • When thinking of experiences and memories it may be difficult to consider sense perceptions and ideas without the inter-threaded emotions

    3. What are emotions? • Can be activated by external causes (chased by a hungry lion causes fear) • Can be activated by internal causes (wake up feeling sad but not sure why) • Emotions are reactions or responses related to sense perceptions, internal states, thoughts or beliefs about things or people • Emotions prompt us to reflect more than other WOK.

    4. How do we know our emotions? On your own write on a piece of paper the answer to the following three questions: How are you feeling right now, at this moment? How do you know? Why do you think you are feeling way? Find a partner (emotion pairs activity) Write on a piece of paper the answer to the following questions: What do you think your partner is feeling? How do you know? Compare answers. To what extent do you think knowing your own feelings depends on knowing the feelings of others, and the feeling of others depends on knowing your own?

    5. So how do you know your own emotions? • Because you feel them • Just as only you know your own sense perception of the world, so too only you know your own emotions directly “from inside” • Your direct experience and personla familiarity with yourself leads you to this conclusion Can you be wrong when you identify your own feelings? Are there times when someone else can identify what you are feeling better than you?

    6. Emotional Intelligence Interpersonal Intelligence is: Understanding other people and their motivations and therefore able to work well in co-operation and collaboration Intrapersonal Intelligence is: Understanding yourself and what makes you motivated Watch this clip (4 mins) The importance of emotional Intelligence – Daniel Coleman. What are interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligences? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJhfKYzKc0s&feature=related

    7. Knowing emotion through perception we perceive someone else’s emotions through: • Sight – body language, actions, slight facial expressions, shuffling of feet • Hearing – tone of voice, pause of silence, sigh • Touch – sudden squeezing of someone’s hand, clammy, “hairs on the back of your neck” • Smell – it is suggested that dogs can smell fear? • Taste – what is meant by “it leaves a bitter taste in your mouth?”

    8. Problems of knowing an emotion based on sense pereption Misinterpretation • If we do not know the person well enough • If a person is from a different culture • People can choose to hide their emotions Game 1: guess the emotion. A volunteer acts out the emotion and the rest of the class have to guess. Are some emotions easier to read than others? Game 2: Chinese whispers with body language. What can go wrong?

    9. Knowing emotion through language • Our ability to name emotions and speak of them allow us to share our emotions • Language and perception together contribute to our understanding • We learn the word by linking the observable behaviour to describe something that is invisible

    10. Problems of knowing an emotion through language • How can we be sure that the emotion we experience is the same as what someone else experiences? • Emotions can shift or blend with each other e.g. love and hatred can become jealousy, someone can feel happy and sad at a wedding • Words can be ambiguous • Difference in opinions on naming and classifying emotional responses. Ekman said there are 4: fear, anger, sadness and enjoyment; Weiner and Tomkins said there are 2: sadness and happiness; whereas Tomkins says 9: anger, interest, contemt, disgust, distress, fear, joy, shame and surprise • Differences across cultures and languages e.g. Schadenfreude (German – delighting in other’s misfortune) itoshii (Japanese – longing for an absent loved one • Metaphors for emotion e.g. black for mourning in Europe, white for mourning in India

    11. content • pity • vulnerable • guilty • hatred • sleepy • anger • bored • certainty • tired • irritated • dizzy • longing • relaxed • embarrassed • surprised • amused • horrified • excited • annoyed • proud • nervous 1. Choose three emotions/feelings from the list. Write a description of them. Your partner has to guess which ones you have described. What problems do you encounter? relief wonder wonderful grief energetic dread empathy disgust apathy sympathy sweaty stupid cold ashamed hungry happy helpless hopeful merciful lucky • joy • love • sadness • anxious • afraid • lust • envy • rapture • angst • gratitude • jealous • confident • compassion • awe 2. Are all these words emotions?

    12. Emotion and the Arts What do you “read” the woman’s body language to be? How does the structural composition of the painting heighten the emotional impact? How does the title of the painting affect the interpretation? Edgar Degas, l’Absinthe, 1875-1876