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Edmund Blackadder. "This will be the greatest moment in art since Mona Lisa walked into the studio and said, I'm feeling a little odd today .". Feelings, emotion and intuition. By the end of these 2 lessons you will have: a definition of emotion developed a critical view of the value of it.

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edmund blackadder

Edmund Blackadder

"This will be the greatest moment in art since Mona Lisa walked into the studio and said, I'm feeling a little odd today."

feelings emotion and intuition

Feelings, emotion and intuition

  • By the end of these 2 lessons you will have:
  • a definition of emotion
  • developed a critical view of the value of it
what are emotions
What are emotions?
  • Pleasure, anger, sorrow, joy, love, hate, desire.

T’oegye(Korean philosopher 1501-70)

  • Fondness, dislike, delight, anger, sadness, joy.

Hsun Tzu(Chinese philosopher 3rd century BC)

Any thoughts? Responses? Overlaps? Additions?

generate your own list of feelings
Generate your own list of feelings
  • One emotion or feeling per card
  • Sort them (in categories)
  • Order them (on a continuum)
  • Compare and Contrast them

(Venn diagram? Grid? Axes? )

Problems with this activity as a means of gaining definitions or an understanding of what emotions are.
  • What about vertigo?

or angst? or ennui? or being in flow?

What about other feelings or emotions you’ve had, but that don’t have a name?

  • What about love? How many definitions are there?
  • What if you said “I feel…” and finished the phrase with one of your words, would it make sense?
  • Does this mean thatevery emotion is a feeling?
how do we distinguish between feelings moods and emotions
How do we distinguish between feelings, moods and emotions?
  • Try sorting the emotions and feelings cards onto this grid:
  • Instinctive and social at polar ends. (anger/love - guilt/shame)
  • Inward & outward looking at either edge. (fear - wonder))
  • What questions does this activity raise?
  • Are there any better classifications?
the received western idea is that
the received (Western) idea is that:

Emotions are hot, urgent, irrational forces that sway us like the tides…

Reason is the cool reflective analysis that comes from education and civilisation…

And that reason should control the emotions!

think of examples where emotions mean a loss of control a take over or are seen as a dark force
Think of examples where emotions mean a loss of control, a take-over or are seen as a dark force.
  • How accurate is this ‘tidal’ paradigm?
  • How much choice is there is emotion?
  • When might you go into a frenzy of rage?
  • When might you feel relaxed?
  • And when not?

… when its reasonable to do so

So our emotions do not work without elements of reason and knowledge.

the james lange theory
The James-Lange theory
  • The emotions are essentially physical in nature.
  • Bodily changes come before, and therefore cause, emotions.
  • If you remove the physical symptoms, then the emotions disappear. You are left with “a cold and neutral state of intellectual perception”- William James, 1884.
  • If you mimic the physical expression, then you will feel the emotion.

How could you test or support this idea?

crunch time define emotion
Crunch time: define emotion
  • Are feelings emotions?
  • Or are emotions feelings?
  • Are feelings thoughts.
  • Or are thoughts feelings?
  • What is the opposite of emotion?
  • Did it help to ask that question?
  • How does your definition compare?


other definitions
Other definitions
  • Derived from the latin word movere, meaning ‘to move’
  • Edward O Wilson defined emotion as “the modification of neural activity that animates and focuses mental activity”.

Are these definitions enough?

blaise pascal
Blaise Pascal
  • “The heart has its reasons whereof reason knows nothing”
david hume
David Hume
  • “Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them”
douglas yates
Douglas Yates
  • “People who are sensible about love are not capable of it”
michel eyquem de montaigne
Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
  • “To understand via the heart is not to understand”
jonatan m rtensson
Jonatan Mårtensson
  • “Feelings are much like waves, we can't stop them from coming but we can choose which one to surf.”
mark twain
Mark Twain
  • “Any emotion, if it is sincere, is involuntary.”
arnold bennett
Arnold Bennett
  • “There can be no knowledge without emotion. We may be aware of a truth, yet until we have felt its force, it is not ours. To the cognition of the brain must be added the experience of the soul.”