Download A Tear Is an Intellectual Thing: The Meanings of Emotion by Jerome Neu PDF

By Jerome Neu

Is jealousy eliminable? if that is so, at what rate? What are the connections among satisfaction the sin and the satisfaction insisted on by means of identification politics? How can one query an individual's realizing in their personal happiness or override a society's account of its personal rituals? What makes a sexual hope "perverse," or specific sexual kin (such as incestuous ones) bad or perhaps unthinkable? those and different questions about what sustains and threatens our identification are pursued utilizing the assets of philosophy, psychoanalysis, and different disciplines. The dialogue all through is educated and prompted via the Spinozist desire that figuring out our lives might help switch them, can assist make us extra unfastened.

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Sample text

The person at a horror movie, in addition to whatever physiological arousal takes place, may well be inclined to flee the theater, but (recognizing the pointlessness of the inclination) inhibit it. A person who is afraid to fly may nonetheless board a plane, inhibiting their inclination to act on their fear. Fear of fictions need be no less real than irrational fear of flying, despite recognition of the unreality of the underlying thoughts. One may not believe the actors on stage arc really suffering, but one's own sadness may nonetheless be real.

But the truth is that we enter a world with an already established language for speaking of the inner life, a social world into which we are initiated by others who take note of our behavior and responses. At the beginning, our inner life is an undifferentiated turmoil. But as others come to pick out certain of our behaviors, such as crying, as salient, they attach labels to them ("Baby is sad"), and we gradually come to connect what is going on within us in certain situations with these words.

It may be that only certain primates in fact have the machinery for crying. , "the nictitating membrane in air-breathing vertebrates below primates") to perform the physiological functions of crying in protecting the eyes (1932, 9-14 Whatever the availability of the machinery, if we distinguish the two main types of dangerous situation requiring protection (pressure on eyes when screaming/howling and irritating particles), and if only one of the two types of situation (direct irritation of the eye) arises and so stimulates the lacrimal glands in animals other than human beings, then we may have a basis for explaining their lack of emotional tears.

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