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Charlotte Philosophy Discussion Group Message Board › Is the positive negative framework appropriate for emotions

Is the positive negative framework appropriate for emotions

Charlotte, NC
Post #: 41
Brainstorm: Is the Positive Negative framework appropriate for Emotions?

1. Emotions are a doorway to self discovery.
2. Even within my mind, it is a challenge to identify the emotions and their interplay.
3. The source of the emotion is important. What are its triggers? What are its attachments? Does it come from feelings, urges, or projections?

4. Emotions are a lot more complex than our linguistic analysis frames, whose frame limitations just add to confusion.
5. Our language about emotions is ambiguous about the experiential qualities themselves, their motivations and behaviors.
6. Labeling emotions has a self fulfilling way of pigeon-holing us. It enough of a problem to deal with my emotions, I don’t want to add to my problems by dealing with the inflexibility of labeling.
7. Different cultures have different frameworks for expressing and labeling emotions.

8. Positive and negative have a value connotation that is inappropriate for emotions, e.g. a negative feeling like sadness can arise from a positive feeling of love, e.g. when a loved one dies. That sadness doesn’t have a negative value.
9. The positive negative duality over-simplifies the gradient relationships the emotions have to each other. Emotions are more like blends and degrees than white positives and black negatives. Depending on circumstances, we balance emotions with reason.
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 42
I think that a Like Dislike framework would be more appropriate for emotions. Because we can like and dislike the same thing, that characterization avoids mutual exclusion, i.e. it’s not a dichotomy, e.g. we can love someone and be consciously angry at them during at a particular circumstance. It also avoids the inflexibility of pigeonholing, because what I like now, I may dislike later. Furthermore, it avoids the positive negative psycho-ethical connotations, i.e. disliking something doesn’t make it harmful. Like and dislike allows a complimentary relationship with emotional pairs, e.g. my dislike for feelings of pain complimentarily affects my liking its removal. Another example would be the dislike for the urge that starving brings on as complimentary to liking the satisfaction of eating. For our projective emotions, the dislike of fear is complimentary to like of hope.
I think the emotional like and dislike pairing arises as a mind-brain cooperative control mechanism necessary for evolutionary survival. Whether, the Like-Dislike framework is adequate; well that’s a work in progress.
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