We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Hard Feelings: Science’s Struggle to Define Emotions - While it's possible for researchers to study facial expressions, brain patterns, behavior, and more, each of these is only part of a more elusive whole:
Around the mid-18th century or so, Dixon writes, these passions and affections were lumped together under the umbrella of emotion. In the early 19th century, Scottish philosopher Thomas Brown was the first to propose emotion as a theoretical category, opening the door for scientific research. But though he was eager to study it, Brown couldn’t define it.
“The exact meaning of the term emotion, it is difficult to state in any form of words,” Brown said in a lecture. And so it has remained.
“The only thing certain in the emotion field is that no one agrees on how to define emotion,” Alan Fridlund, an associate professor of psychological and brain sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara, wrote to me.
"Emotion" is sort-of an artificial construct, is it not? It - whatever it is - can rarely be separated from cognition, perception, ideas, and all other mental processes and biological instincts. We easily can identify, in ourselves, lustful desire ("urge to merge"), rage, despair, joy, fear and anxiety - but these extremes are rare and still more expressible by poets and musicians than by scientists.
That's Paul MacLean's veiw, which is compelling. But as is the case with everything of the mind, there are a million ways to slice it. So Dr Bliss is right about how difficult it is to come up with an exact meaning for emotion. These various ways of slicing the term are human constructions.