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

By Jerome Neu

Is jealousy eliminable? if this is the case, at what expense? What are the connections among satisfaction the sin and the satisfaction insisted on through identification politics? How can one query an individual's knowing in their personal happiness or override a society's account of its personal rituals? What makes a sexual wish "perverse," or specific sexual relatives (such as incestuous ones) bad or perhaps unthinkable? those and different questions about what sustains and threatens our id are pursued utilizing the assets of philosophy, psychoanalysis, and different disciplines. The dialogue all through is knowledgeable and stimulated by way of the Spinozist desire that knowing our lives will help switch them, may also help make us extra unfastened.

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We need only to let ourselves go. In addition, in some cases, what may be involved is a refusal to let oneself go. 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.

Similarly, some observers note morphological differences in natural (expressive) crying and instrumental (deliberate) crying (Wolff 1969). And, it may be the case that the chemistry of emotionally induced tears and of tears stimulated by other means is different (Frey 1985). " 8 So it remains true that if a person wishes to appear to be in an emo28 A TEAR IS AN INTELLECTUAL THING tional state at deliberately chosen times, it may be best not actually to be in that state. But on some theories, notably William James's theory that identifies the emotion with what would usually be taken as its expression, to put on the external form of an emotion is tantamount to experiencing the emotion.

James recognizes this corollary of his theory and goes on to draw therapeutic implications from it: If our theory be true, a necessary corollary of it ought to be that any voluntary arousal of the so-called manifestations of a special emotion ought to give us the emotion itself . . Everyone knows how panic is increased by flight . . Refuse to express a passion, and it dies. Count ten before venting your anger, and its occasion seems ridiculous. Whistling to keep up courage is no mere figure of speech .

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