http://www.soc.ucsb.edu/faculty/scheff/main.php?id=1.html* He traces the idea of "unit of analysis" which we know from Vygotsky, not just back to Goethe (where I had got to) but back to Spinoza!
* He uses what he calls "whole/part methods" which I find quite intriguing;
* He talks about the kind of problems Mike has raised about actions-in-context, i.e. cross-cultural research;
* Also likens the problem of understanding action-in-context to the hermeneutic circle.
His stuff about emotion simply arises because he insists on studying cultural and historical problems with the *whole* of the human interactions involved, whereas historical records and studies tend to factor out the emotions. This he rightly disagrees with and tries to rectify.
I think anyone on the list would be interested in this fellow's work. I gather Santa Barbara is not a million miles from San Diego. :)
Andy Jay Lemke wrote:
I have had Scheff on my reading list for a while, but was away from the right kinds of libraries most of last year.I'm afraid I just don't see why it's important to list something as a "basic" emotion? That usually just means that someone wants it to count as having academic or intellectual importance, or that they want to link it to our baser animal nature, or that it's a candidate for some sort of biological universal, pre-determined by evolution. All of which agendas give me the creeps!But I've heard good things about Scheff, so I will get round to him soon. How about this: there are several hundred "basic" emotions?In any case, I was thinking of anthropological arguments about "guilt cultures" vs. "shame cultures" and the kind of analysis Achilles was citing from LSV about how feelings, whatever their biological functions or antecdents, get infused and transformed by culture into something a great deal more.Thanks for the reminder about Scheff! JAY. Jay Lemke Professor (Adjunct, 2009-2010) Educational Studies University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI 48109 www.umich.edu/~jaylemke Visiting Scholar Laboratory for Comparative Human Communication University of California -- San Diego La Jolla, CA USA 92093 On Nov 28, 2009, at 8:47 PM, Andy Blunden wrote:Thomas Scheff http://www.soc.ucsb.edu/faculty/scheff/ makes a good case that guilt is among the basic emotions, Jay. Andy Jay Lemke wrote:Achilles, and friends --I am not sure of the best interpretation of LSV's position on these matters, but it seems to me to be in the spirit of his work and the later CHAT tradition that we imagine a culturally informed "development" (probably with phylogenetic antecedents) in which the "higher" functions develop out of the earlier ones by a progessive layering or refinement, specialization, and differentiation -- both for higher feelings as well as higher cognitions. Indeed I don't think we want to separate affect and cognition, or feeling and meaning, emotion and reason, too much. A little distinction is useful to give us purchase on understanding their integration. I would assume that in the developmental and evolutionary sequence, these two aspects of our adaptive operating-with-the-world, are initially less separable and less distinguishable, aspects of a single functional process. And that later in the sequence we LEARN to MAKE a distinction, and perhaps even to FEEL a difference between them. But it is their functional integration which is of the greatest importance, not their difference (in my opinion). So to the higher mental functions viewed cognitively (and it is not at all clear that LSV did view them ONLY cognitively in our modern sense) there must correspond also "higher feelings", what we might call culturally refined or culturally differentiated and functionally specialized feelings, which function as part of the whole engagement in activity that enables us to sometimes get a bit ahead of our semi-predictable environments. Insight. Intuition. A feeling for the organism. Good hunches. Good judgment. A nose for useful lines of research. And so on. Of course once we are immersed in a complex world of highly culturally differentiated feelings, we realize that their functions are not simply practical, not simply dictated by evolutionary fitness. Or at least not in very obvious ways. And so I have taken to making a heuristic distinction of my own in terminology among emotions (the more classical ones, triggered by environmental events, with obvious adaptive significance, like those listed by Darwin and borrowed by James, such as fear, anger, disgust, desire, etc.), affects (which I use to mean the "higher" feelings, the more culturally specific and "refined" ones, like feeling noble or feeling guilty), and feelings as such (the general category, of which emotions and affects are subclasses, and which also includes the more auto-perceptual feelings like feeling tired or feeling dizzy). Again it is not so much the distinctions here that I value theoretically, but getting a sense of the scope of the whole domain of feelings, and how to make sense of any particular feeling-type within it. (Distinguishing again between the uniqueness of a particular feeling on a particular occasion and the more generic feeling-types recognized or recognizable culturally across instances.)Whew! A lot to chew on ... JAY. Jay Lemke Professor (Adjunct, 2009-2010) Educational Studies University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI 48109 www.umich.edu/~jaylemke Visiting Scholar Laboratory for Comparative Human Communication University of California -- San Diego La Jolla, CA USA 92093 On Nov 27, 2009, at 10:45 PM, Achilles Delari Junior wrote:Jay, Thank you very much. Something near to this distinction between feelings and emotions was posed by William James too, according Vygotsky, but James saw this distinction in terms that these social dimension of affective world, the higher feelings, have almost nothing related to biological, physiological, material, body, conditions. And Vygotsky criticizes this like a way of dualistic thinking - this dualism can be understood as based in ideological motivations too: "the human is not an animal,nor a material been, but a divine been, in his higher, superior feelings..."A distinction between feelings and emotions is present in Damasio too in neurofunctional terms... But Vygotsky proposed the question of a systemic inter-relationship in that the lower can turns higher, and vice versa... I don't know what we can thing about this... In this case, distinction between feelings and emotions are useful, but if we want to understand the entire human been, his/her whole personality, the integration and inter-functional relations between feelings and emotions turns relevant too, In my point of view. Best wishes. Achilles._________________________________________________________________ Novo site do Windows Live: Novidades, dicas dos produtos e muito mais. Conheça! http://www.windowslive.com.br/?ocid=WindowsLive09_MSN_Hotmail_Tagline_out09_______________________________________________From: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com Subject: Re: [xmca] about emotions Date: Fri, 27 Nov 2009 19:28:26 -0800 CC: I am certainly one of those people interested in emotion, or feeling, or affect, or whatever we choose to make of the phenomenon. The topic seems to have historically accumulated a lot of ideological baggage. And while its expression may be more sophisticated today than in times past, there doesn't seem to be that much less of it (as for example in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy review noted by someone earlier). Emotion tends to be seen as bad in our philosophical tradition. As the enemy of reason, the motor of self-deception, etc. It links us to the animals, to our "baser" nature, etc. A bit of this in the pagan tradition, a lot of it in christian asceticism, and tons of it in Enlightenment rationalism and its successors. Emotions are also associated with the unreliable feminine vs. the cool and collected masculine, with the passions of the mob vs. the thoughtful elite, with peasants, workers, and children, and pretty much every social category whose oppression needs some legitimation. Indeed one of the near universal legitimations of elite power is "we know what's good for you", not just because of what we know, but because you can't be trusted to see your own best interests through the haze of your emotions. Useful as this is to elite interests, it combines further with the cult of individualism to make emotions a purely individual, mental, subjective matter. Non-material, non-social, non-cultural, and universal (the easier to apply the stigma of emotionality to non- European cultures). It is rather hard to crawl out of this pit of mud. As I've been trying to do for the last year or two. There would be too much to say for a short post on this list, but here are a few basic suggestions: Feeling is a broad enough category to get back to the phenomenology of affect/emotion, whereas "emotion" is too narrowly defined within the tradition of animal-like and universal. There are a LOT of different feelings, and that is more important than efforts to identify some small number of basic emotions. Many feelings are associated with evaluative judgments and this may be a key link to re-unify affective and cognitive. Feelings do differ significantly across cultures, and are part of a larger system of meanings-and-feelings specific to a community. You can't make meanings across any longer term process of reasoning without feelings and evaluative judgments. It is likely that feelings have histories, both in cultures and in individuals. Feelings are often reliable guides to survival, to adaptive action, and to finding ways to meet our needs. Feelings are just as situated and distributed as are cognitions. And just as active and actively made and produced. In short -- pretty much everything in our dominant tradition about emotions and feelings is exactly wrong -- and for the worst possible ideological-political reasons, I believe. JAY. Jay Lemke Professor (Adjunct, 2009-2010) Educational Studies University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI 48109 www.umich.edu/~jaylemke Visiting Scholar Laboratory for Comparative Human Communication University of California -- San Diego La Jolla, CA USA 92093 On Nov 26, 2009, at 8:08 AM, mike cole wrote:With so much interest in achieving an integrated understanding of emotion, cognition, and development, Achilles, your focus on this topic is a helpful reminder of its continued importance. Seems like one of those many areas in psychological research where we cannot keep from murdering to dissect. mike _______________________________________________ xmca mailing list firstname.lastname@example.org http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca_______________________________________________ xmca mailing list email@example.com http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmcaxmca mailing list firstname.lastname@example.org http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca_______________________________________________ xmca mailing list email@example.com http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca-- ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Andy Blunden http://www.erythrospress.com/Classics in Activity Theory: Hegel, Leontyev, Meshcheryakov, Ilyenkov $20 ea
-- ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Andy Blunden http://www.erythrospress.com/Classics in Activity Theory: Hegel, Leontyev, Meshcheryakov, Ilyenkov $20 ea