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Emotions, attitudes and
Bilyana Martinovski
Semiotic conditions
• Perception
• Senses: smell, vision, hearing, taste and touch
• The architecture and functions of the brain
• Experiences
• Cognitive system: think, feel
• Cultural conceptual systems
Theories and models about
• Darwinism, biology, physiology
• (William) Jamesianism, psychology,
• Cognitivism
• Social constructivism, anthropology,
Darwin, Ekman
biology, physiology
• Survival value, evolution, adaptation role
• Expression of feelings
• Universalism
• Other species have it
Plato, Descartes, Arnold
reason, will, appetite
‘I think therefore I am’
Appraisal theory
– Not deliberate, ‘direct, immediate, non-reflective,
non-intellectual, and automatic’
– How one thinks about something may influence
what feelings come up
– Lazarus’ coping strategies
Social constructivism
anthropology and sociology
James Averill and Rom Harre;
Handbook of emotion, Lewis&Haviland,
Emotions are social and cultural
constructions, products that have
meaning thanks to social rules
Emotion and prosody, Abelin and Allwood
• Intention and interpretation do not coincide always
• Some emotions can be recognized easier
independently of culture and language, ie they are
more universal
• One recognizes emotions more correctly in ones
own language ie universalism is limited
• Some emotional expressions have similar acoustic
– Anger: - continuity, + intensity
– Fear: + continuity, - intensity
James, Damasio
psychology, neurology
• Experiences of feelings
• Conditions of the body influence and
cause emotions, which in turn influence
Damasio: Descartes' Error
Phineas Gage:
- impaired ability to feel emotion
- intelligence remained intact after the accident
- severely handicapped ability to take rational
- emotions could no longer be engaged in the decision
- rationality stems from our emotions
- our emotions stem from our bodily senses
- state of mind is identical to state of feeling, which is a
reflection of state of body
Privileged Limbic System
Neuroscientists such as Uexkull (1934), Fuster
(2003), and Arnold Scheibel (2006) observe that
evolution gave privilege to the limbic system:
emotional feedback is present in lower species, but
other cortical cognitive feedback is present only in
higher species.
Theories of Mind (ToM)
• Imitation - we reason about others’ states of
mind by imitation, mirror neurons (Rizzolatti
and Craighero, 2004; Iacoboni, 2005)
• Simulation - we reason about others’ states of
mind by simulation (Goldman, 1989)
• Representation - we reason about others’
states of mind by use of common-sense
representations (Hobbs and Gordon, 2004)
Three Layered ‘Mind Minding’ Model (M) of
Interlocutor’s Goals, Beliefs, Desires, Memories,
and Emotional States (BGDME)
Integrated Theory of Mind: Hypotheses
• Embodied ToM - mental states take input
from emotional state, which take input from
body states
• ToM is expected in many species
• Imitation, simulation and representation are
evolutionary stages of cognitive and
emotive development
• Contemporary Homo Sapiens uses all three
ToM processes
• Theories of Mind have linguistic-pragmatic
manifestation in discourse
Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason,
and the Human Brain, 1994
Damasio explores in depth the unusual case
of Phineas Gage, a man whose ability to feel
emotion was damaged after an accident
destroyed part of his brain. Specifically, he
demonstrates that, while Gage's intelligence
remained intact after the accident, his ability
to make rational decisions and to reason
became severely handicapped because his
emotions could no longer be engaged in the
argues that first, rationality stems from our
emotions, and second, that our emotions
stem from our bodily senses. The state of the
mind, or feeling, is merely a reflection of the
state of the body, and feeling is an
indispensable ingredient of rational thought.
Descartes: Discourse on Method,
“I think, therefore I am"
The building block upon which he constructed his
philosophy of Dualism. In Descartes' approach,
thought is the proof of existence; it is the basic truth.
Damasio argues that the body is the genesis of
thought, that thinking is inherent to a body in which
no spirit exists. The fundamental difference in
argument situates itself in that thought is a
physiological function, based on anatomy making the
statement "I think, therefore I am" a repetition. It
essentially becomes "I am, therefore I am" when
Damasio's principle of the body-mind rather than
dualism is applied. This presents the reason why the
work is titled Decartes' Error.
somatic-marker hypothesis
The somatic-marker hypothesis
proposes a mechanism by which
emotional processes can guide (or bias)
behavior, particularly decision-making.