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

By Jerome Neu

Is jealousy eliminable? if that is so, at what price? What are the connections among satisfaction the sin and the satisfaction insisted on by way of 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 family members (such as incestuous ones) bad or maybe 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 expert and prompted by way of the Spinozist wish that knowing our lives may also help swap them, can assist make us extra unfastened.

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On all these accounts, crying may function to bring relief. For Darwin the tears in crying are just an "incidental result" (T75); associative and other processes produce tears as the result of a mechanism present for other reasons. Of course, according to the account by Darwin "A TEAR IS AN INTELLECTUAL THING" 35 cited earlier (174, 206, 216-17), tears on happy occasions may be traced, via associative habits, to the physiological mechanism that leads to tears in connection with excessive laughter.

The connection is defeasible when there is an explanation for why the ordinary presumptions fail. The ordinary presumptions are rooted in the conditions of language and communication. Biology and history conspire to forge the links. Our theories and images of emotional expression feed back into and reinforce our "natural" expressions of emotion. What is the relation of sadness and crying? The ordinary view is that we cry because we are sad. James's suggestion was that we are sad because we cry.

26) It is difficult to believe that a boy of seven or eight could fail to have had innumerable experiences associating blood with injury and pain. He need not explicitly recall those associations in order for them to contribute to the effects of a perception (which, again, is itself a kind of thinking shaped by experience and social categories). Psychological processes of identification, association, displacement, and so on may seem special adaptations on our part to the peculiar relation we have to fiction, but the same mechanisms are no less active in our interactions with the "real" world.

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