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Re: [xmca] Hello Other Brain, how are you?

I'm going to ignore Andy's request to ignore his message to Mabel, because I'm sure Mabel is not the only person being told this sort of thing. The claim, I suppose, is that emotion is a subjective experience, and therefore something mental, internal, personal, private and so inaccessible to other people, including the researcher, who has access only to the external 'expression' of that emotion, on the face, in movements, etc.

Nonsense. How to argue against that view? Take a look at Joe de Rivera's work on emotions as interpersonal movements, towards or away from people on three interpersonal dimensions of intimacy, openness, and status. Read Hall and Cobey (1976) on emotion as transformation of the world. Read Mead's Mind, Self and Society where  he challenges Darwin, insisting that "we cannot approach them [emotions] from the point of view of expressing a content in the mind of the individual" (p. 17) because to do so presumes a dualism between consciousness and the biological organism.

These are some resources that come immediately to my mind. What can others out there recommend?


On Nov 14, 2009, at 4:42 AM, Andy Blunden wrote:

> You have good muses Mabel (Vygotsky and Marx), pity you
> don't have better supervisors. Your approach, studying
> microsituations as social, is Vygotsky's approach too, I
> think, and excellent one, that is often, I fear, not well
> understood. I am probably the last person to ask about that
> kind of problem as I have a devil of a problem making myself
> understood. Others will know the answers to your questions
> better than me, too. But I will mention a few suggestions.
> Mabel Encinas wrote:
>> My supervisors are questioning now, that I do not study emotions, but "the expression of emotions". I know how to solidify my argument in this bit, but could you please give me some references of where should I read about the difference-relation between ontological and methodological dualism?
> I guess you have already read Vygotsky's comments on
> ontological vs methodological/epistemological dualism:
> http://marx.org/archive/vygotsky/works/crisis/psycri13.htm#p1367
> If you use Google on this one, you will probably find a page
> where I am being attacked by someone called Neville for
> failing to make this distinction. I am far from sure of the
> value of that exchange but you are welcome to read it. I
> would not attempt a short summary of this issue.
> I am not sure what you are being accused of about emotions.
> Martha Nussbaum is a Critical Theorist who writes good stuff
> about emotions. And of course everyone reads Antonio
> Damassio, with his distinction between feelings and
> emotions. Certainly, emotions are only present in
> consciousness thanks to their "interpretation" by culturally
> acquired concepts.
> ""the expression of emotions" is a strange expression to me.
> Are they using "emotions" to refer to forms of consciousness
> which are "expressed" in high blood pressure, etc? Or are
> they using "emotions" to refer to physiological conditions,
> which are "expressed" in the character of behavior. I don't
> understand. I am sure others will know. Sounds like a
> template accusation.
> Andy
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