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Re: emotional encapsulation Dinah

Posted by alexandra_k2 on December 20, 2005, at 19:30:11

In reply to Re: emotional encapsulation alexandra_k2, posted by Dinah on December 20, 2005, at 18:08:55

> But that still assumes that one has a phobia of snakes because one believes on some level, or believed at some point in time, that the snake can harm one.

> I'm just not certain that's a valid assumption.

but it is true by definition!
fear *just is* the result of the belief that the stimuli can harm one *by definition*.
that is just what we mean by fear.

you are dead right.
that may well be what we mean by the term...
but it is an empirical matter whether there is anything in the world that matches the description.

if you have a picture of a snake, a spider, and a mushroom... and you flash that picture (i think in under 250milliseconds) then the person has no conscious recall of what was flashed at them.

the person with the snake phobia has heightened SGR (a measure of physiological arousal / affective response) to the pic of a snake, but not to the pic of the spider or the mushroom.
the person with the spider phobia has heightened SGR to the pic of a spider, but not to the pic of the snake or the mushroom.
the control group has baseline SGR to all three stimuli.

in this case... the person exhibits the physiological markers of 'fear' even though they don't have any (conscious) beliefs about the stimulus whatsoever!

so... maybe fear is a response that can happen in response to something we believe to be a threat...
but... it need not require a conscious (or even a consciously accessible) appraisal of the stimuli. it doesn't even require a conscious awareness (or consciously accessible awareness) of the stimuli.

these emotional responses...

would seem to be encapsulated from cognitive evaluation.

but does SGR constitute fear?
how much are we prepared to revise our concept in the light of scientific discovery?

linguistic decision...

language isn't perfect...
sometimes... our 'definitional truths' need to be revised... but if you do this too much... then you have changed the subject.

like... scientific investigation of consciousness where they define it as something they can study objectively when consciousness is *by definition* an essentially subjective phenomena.

have they changed the topic?
or should we change our concept?

there are a number of considerations...

if you want to know the 'real nature' of emotions...
then if the causal-historical theory of reference is true of natural kind terms...
and if emotions are natural kind terms...
then the 'real nature' of emotions is an empirical matter...
and we may well commonly believe a number of falsehoods about the real nature of emotion.
we may well... need to revise our concept...
and... our criteria of application.




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