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Bakker and Emotion

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What Came Before:

--- Quote from: Bakker User ---Bakker frequently has recommended Cordelia Fine's A Mind of its Own. One of the vignettes presented therein is of a patient known as EVR. This EVR suffered brain damage that hindered his ability to process and feel emotion. The result was a near-incapacity to make practical decisions.

The implication, explored in this essay, is that emotion is vital to decision-making, not least because emotion is strongly tied to value; without emotion, all items suddenly acquire the same value - null. So, to concretize it, if all items have the same value, then when choosing a restaurant to eat at, how could one weigh cost, atmosphere, proximity, cuisine, health-and-cleanliness, etc.? If it's all the same to you, rationality leads to everything and nothing...

So Bakker must be aware of all this, yes?
We've all noted that the Dunyain have history and culture, I think.

We've noted Kellhus' confusion during his Wilderness Trek and his daddy issues.

So let's make it explicit. Do the Dunyain feel emotion?

There are four instances in the PoN I can recall in which it is (potentially) implied that Kellhus feels emotion:

*Possibly when Kellhus spares Cnaiur - I  think this has been touched upon by others
*The crucifixion/circumfixion and Serwe's death - could be delirium
*Momentarily, when Aurax nearly seduces him (with pheremones?) in the guise of Esmenet
*This is the most telling, I believe: when Esmi is pregnant and the Holy War is in Caraskand, she nearly falls down a chasm; Kellhus notes that the fall would have been fatal and, just before he saves her, feels lightheaded


Now, for Neil and Sam in Neuropath: they've supposedly had the capacity to feel emotion excised from them, yet we see many outbursts and expressions of passion and excitement from them. Should we really take all this as an act (which could possibly rquire emotion anyway, in the terms outlined earlier)?

Why would Neil pursue this Argument if he didn't possess some strong attachment to it? To make a point to the world? Well, then that has some value to him.

Not least: when

(click to show/hide)at the end, Tom is sitting restrained and Neil screeches something about deactivating "this brain loves you" - well, was such a mad-scientist like outburst really necessary at that point? For whose benefit was it? Tom's, in the last moments of normalcy? Everything he tells him, his own desire to "speak with the real Tom"...

Could Bakker be getting at something here?
--- End quote ---

What Came Before:

--- Quote from: Curethan ---Can't really coment on Fine or Neuropath cuz I aint read them.
But Kellhus' whelming illustrated to me that it was about mastering emotions (because they are a product of the darkness) in place of eliminating them.
--- End quote ---

What Came Before:

--- Quote from: Bakker User ---Alright, I hadn't considered that. I can't locate the passage on his training, but it seemed to me as though it's meant to Condition numbness into them, make them insensate to pains and fears and by extension anything else.

But I could see your point reflected in the children of Kellhus and Esmenet: though Theliopa's interesting, and Cayutas we don't see beyond the facade of, the emotional volatility of the loony and the twins makes more sense as a portrayal of the consequences of a lack of control in Dunyain...

Though the biggest counter, as I see it, is that in Earwa the non-physical soul actually exists. That certainly throws a wrench into the neuroscience.
--- End quote ---

What Came Before:

--- Quote from: Madness ---Some thoughts, Bakker User.

From my old Emotion & Motivation notes:

"1. Actions. Emotions are actions commonly deemed "emotional," such as defending or attacking in response to a threat. This aspect of emotion is especially relevant to Darwin's view of the functional roles of emotion. He suggested that emotions have an important survival role because they aid in generating appropriate reactions to "emergency" events in the environment, such as the sudden appearance of a predator.

2. Physiological arousal. Emotion is a state of physiological arousal--an expression or display of distinctive somatic and autonomic responses. This emphasis suggests that emotional states can be defined by particular constellations of bodily responses. The physiological arousal that accompanies emotion allows us to examine emotion in nonhuman animals as well as in human beings.

3.  Feeling/Cognition. Emotion is a representation of an internal state (feeling - type of percept) that is private and subjective. Humans can report an extraordinary range of states, which they say they "feel" or experience. These reports of subjective experience - cognitions - may or may not have overt (behavioural) indicators."

The idea is that our emotional expression (internal and external) communicate things about our biological state to our selves and those around us. It's why Kellhus can assume people's thoughts from their circumstances and emotive facial, linguistic, and kinetic expressive behaviours so easily.

Those basic or universal emotions that seem to be shared by all humans, regardless of culture, are the expression of evolved traits. Possibly easier to change than your opposable thumb but just as aquired - though I guess we can break both quite easily.
--- End quote ---

What Came Before:

--- Quote from: Bakker User ---1 & 2 seem inextricable, right? And from a reductionistic perspective, 2 & 3 would be as well?

So, I'm confused: did this EVR lack the capacity for 2, for 3, or for both? It's not clear to me from my reading on him.

Kellhus: 2. Seems to have learned to generally suppress these.

3. Exercises superhuman "self-control".

Neil: 2. Not clear.

3. Disabled through neuromanipulation.

So if I have this right... wait, so what permits Neil to formulate objectives beyond "piss", "get food", and reflexive actions?


Kellhus and Emotion

Even if my position on Kellhus turns out to have been muddled, I'm still interested in perspectives on this scene:

--- Quote ---This is the most telling, I believe: when Esmi is pregnant and the Holy War is in Caraskand, she nearly falls down a chasm; Kellhus notes that the fall would have been fatal and, just before he saves her, feels lightheaded
--- End quote ---

A rare burst of #2 activity that nearly hinders him?
--- End quote ---


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