Self Help

The Book of Human Emotions - Tiffany Watt Smith

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Matheus Puppe

· 44 min read



  • John Constable was a painter interested in categorizing and classifying clouds, noting their shapes and movements to better understand their “language”. However, clouds are difficult to definitively classify as they drift and melt into one another.

  • Similarly, emotions can be difficult to precisely describe and categorize. Our emotional states may involve complex mixes of different feelings that shift and change.

  • Paying attention to our emotions, as Constable did the clouds, can help us better understand ourselves even if emotions don’t always fit neatly into categories.

  • The passage discusses how historically, emotions were understood differently than today and were not seen as a distinct concept until the 19th century. Ideas from humorism, supernatural forces, and physiology influenced historical understandings of passions and moods.

  • Thomas Willis, Darwin and others in the 17th-19th centuries contributed to developing the modern concept of discrete emotions through scientific study of the body and nervous system. Darwin in particular studied emotional expression across cultures and in children and animals.

  • Darwin believed emotions were evolved physical responses that occur before subjective feelings. He saw emotions like fear as epiphenomena - physical reactions followed by feelings.

  • Freud disagreed, believing emotions cannot be understood just through the body and brain. He saw the mind/psyche as influencing emotions in complex ways, like repression or emerging later through dreams.

  • Cultures shape how emotions are conceptualized and experienced. Languages have different emotional vocabularies, and some cultures value emotions ignored by others.

  • Anthropologists found emotions are entwined with cultural expectations and ideas, not just biology. What arouses emotions in one culture may not in another.

  • Historians later examined how emotional cultures of the past understood emotions through literature, medicine, laws, etc. They found emotions emerge and change over time, like boredom, self-help, smiling in portraits.

  • Even seemingly basic emotions are experienced differently depending on cultural context and meanings attached. Universal expressions may feel very different to people in different times and places.

  • Understanding emotions requires examining the whole cultural story and context around them, not just physiology. Emotions are shaped by moral, political and social assumptions in a given time and culture.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

The text explores various philosophical views and scientific theories related to emotions. It discusses how our understanding of emotions has evolved over time, from ancient Greek and Stoic philosophies that saw value in noticing one’s first stirrings of emotion, to more modern research on emotional intelligence beginning in the mid-1990s.

It notes that paying attention to emotions is now a stated goal of many public policies. However, the book is not aimed at helping individuals become happier or more successful, but rather at understanding the cultural stories and underlying assumptions we have about emotions.

The book presents short entries on different emotions in alphabetical order, with the goal of shedding light on their historical and cultural contexts. It argues we need more words to describe emotional experiences, not fewer, in order to understand the complexity of our inner lives.

Overall, the text examines emotions from philosophical, scientific and cultural perspectives, with the view that our conceptions of emotions shape us and inhabit us in return. It aims to uncover assumptions about what are considered “normal” emotional responses by exploring the histories and contexts of different feelings.

Anger has been discussed and debated for centuries. Ancient philosophers like Seneca and Aristotle viewed it as a brief insanity that should be avoided due to its disruptive potential. Seneca described the physical transformations of anger in vivid detail. While anger can be useful in some contexts like war, it has no place in civil society according to these thinkers.

Some medieval and early modern physicians saw benefits to expressing anger in moderation. Ibn Butlan thought anger could revive the ill by directing heat to the extremities. Roger Bacon argued it could slow aging by keeping the body warmer. However, anger was also seen as potentially depleting.

In the 20th century, some psychologists encouraged venting anger as a way to improve mental and physical health. Therapies like primal scream aimed to release pent-up anger and connect patients to their true selves. While expression was seen as therapeutic by some, anger remains a complex emotion that is both unruly and has disruptive potential if not regulated. Its management has been debated over centuries.

Today’s psychotherapists are less interested in provoking displays of raw emotion like rage, and more focused on understanding where anger comes from and what purpose it serves. Anger can motivate us when we feel criticized or treated unfairly, but it also provides temporary relief from other uncomfortable feelings like fear, unworthiness, or guilt. Psychoanalysts suggest anger may sometimes mask deeper, more painful emotions.

The debate around expressing anger has shifted - it’s no longer about whether expressing it is healthy, but what other emotions it may be covering up. Repressing anger can lead to resentment building over time. Understanding anger and the emotions behind it is more constructive than authentic displays of rage.

  • The passage discusses the concept of “bewilderment” and explores how feelings of confusion and mess can be useful in certain contexts.

  • While tidiness and organization are valued in modern life, psychoanalyst Adam Phillips argues that mess and bewilderment are actually interesting parts of the therapeutic process. Messed-up feelings and patterns bring people to therapy.

  • Rather than just seeking clarity, Phillips believes exploring clutter and disorder can help uncover new ideas and connections. Sometimes valuable discoveries are made while rooting through a messy mental space.

  • disorder is not always a bad thing - it could enable finding things we weren’t looking for or linking things previously unconnected.

  • The passage uses King Lear as a literary example of how creative disorientation can be - his confusion on the heath prompts a process of identity remaking.

  • Overall it challenges the view that mess is simply an obstacle, suggesting bewilderment has its uses and can be part of uncovering new insights through an untidy therapeutic or thought process.

This excerpt discusses the feeling of calm. It introduces the work of José Delgado, a neuroscientist in the 1960s who researched modifying emotions through electronic brain implants. Delgado dreamed of creating a “psychocivilized society” where people could control their emotions like rage, fear, lust and serenity through devices called “stimoceivers” that stimulated the limbic system remotely.

The passage describes one famous experiment where Delgado stood unarmed in a bullring in Córdoba, Spain. With one hand he held a matador’s cape, while in the other he controlled a device that modified the brain waves of an angry bull, calming it down before it attacked. Delgado believed emotions could be controlled electronically and envisioned a society where calm and other feelings could be switched on and off at will via brain implants.

The passage discusses the history and evolving expectations of cheerfulness, especially in the workplace. It traces how America came to value an upbeat, positive attitude. In the 18th century, self-sufficiency and capitalism encouraged optimism. Visitors in the 1830s noted America’s “general air of cheerfulness.”

In the late 1800s, housewives were told to bring patience and cheerfulness to their homes for family success. This began encouraging emotional labor, controlling feelings to influence others. After WWI, industrial psychologists concluded optimism increased productivity more than material changes. By the 1930s, many companies tested employees for “temperament deficiencies.”

Dale Carnegie’s 1948 book advised always acting vivacious and cheerful, even when dissatisfied. Some evidence suggests acting happy can influence genuine feelings. However, sociologists question compulsory cheerfulness’s long-term effects. Disney university trains employees in maintaining smiles through “guestology” lessons. Constant positive displays risk burnout, raising ethical questions about emotional labor demands in flexible consumer economies.

Here is a summary of the key points about the long-term effects of sustaining a workplace rictus smile:

  • Flight attendants are trained to exhibit an artificial level of cheerfulness and friendliness with passengers, beyond their natural level of emotion, in order to elevate the passengers’ experience.

  • Over time, this “emotional labor” or managing of feelings can lead flight attendants to feel estranged from and distrustful of their own emotions. They report detaching from their genuine feelings.

  • Sociological studies have found that increasingly, jobs across various industries like healthcare, education, and policing also explicitly demand that employees manage their emotions and appear cheerful at all times.

  • The constant need to display positive emotions like cheerfulness, even when not genuinely felt, can contribute to increased stress, depression, and anxiety in employees long-term as they feel alienated from their authentic selves.

  • Sustaining an inauthentic emotional display at work through “emotional labor” may paradoxically lead to dissatisfaction, exhaustion, and feelings of alienation in employees over the long run as it discourages the genuine expression and experience of emotions.

The passage discusses the emotional importance of comfort, warmth, and physical contact for infants and children based on the experiments of psychologists Harry Harlow and D.W. Winnicott.

Harlow’s experiment showed that infant monkeys separated from their mothers would go to a surrogate “wire mother” for food but to a soft “cloth mother” for comfort when frightened. This demonstrated that the bond between parents and children relies on more than just food - warmth, softness, and physical contact are also necessary.

This helped establish the importance of practices like “skin-to-skin” contact or “kangaroo care” between newborns and parents. Such contact helps soothe and calm infants while also strengthening their immune systems.

Winnicott and Harlow both showed how comfort is crucial to our emotional lives even as adults. We may turn to transitional objects, addictions, films, or rituals to find solace and feel emotionally soothed and understood. Their work testifies to the importance of physical and emotional comfort throughout life.

The passage discusses the nature of courage and how it has traditionally been viewed as an aristocratic and masculine virtue. It provides the example of Alice Ayres, a Victorian-era nursemaid who died rescuing three children from a burning house. She became immortalized for her heroic and self-sacrificing act of courage and duty. The passage mentions a memorial in her honor in Postman’s Park in London, which commemorates over 50 acts of bravery by ordinary working-class men, women, and children. In contrast to grand monuments depicting important men on horses, this memorial appears more humble in design, channeling the aesthetic of the Arts and Crafts movement. The emphasis on courageous acts by ordinary people recalls a medieval view of courage requiring not just physical strength but also emotional fortitude. Overall, the passage examines how courage is celebrated and how its perception has broadened beyond just an aristocratic male virtue.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

Courage was considered one of the principles that everyone should live by according to medieval thought. In the Middle Ages, courage was seen as stemming from one’s “inner heat” or the temperature of their vital spirits in the heart. Physicians believed curly hair was a sign of greater inner heat and therefore more courage. Courage was also thought to involve cultivating virtues like prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude. It meant withstanding dangers steadfastly as well as enduring pain with equanimity and possessing strength of hope. Overall, medieval views of courage encompassed both physical resilience and broad psychosocial dimensions. Elements of this inclusive concept of courage still influence modern understandings of the term.

Here is a summary of the key points about despair:

  • Despair refers to a deep sense of hopelessness and meaninglessness. It goes beyond sadness or disappointment to a gnawing feeling that one’s life no longer fits or has value.

  • It can set in slowly through a growing sense of alienation from oneself or purposelessness in life. Left unchecked, it takes hold through claustrophobic shame and self-loathing.

  • Early Christian tradition depicted despair as a sin or temptation from demons that sapped one’s will to live. Later it was personified as a figure who lured people to death through twisted arguments.

  • Existentialist philosophers like Sartre and Camus saw despair not as irrational but a fundamental human condition given the universe lacks inherent meaning or purpose. For them, it could be both painful yet also liberating.

  • The myth of Sisyphus, condemned to endless futile labor, was seen by Camus as expressing an optimistic view of despair - that despite its agony, one can still find meaning through continued revolt or labor against the absurdity of life.

So in summary, despair is a dark yet profound human sensation of hopelessness, but some see it as insight into the deeper meaninglessness of life that can paradoxically be grounds for continued effort or invention.

  • Camus sees Sisyphus’ fate of eternally pushing a boulder up a hill as representing the human condition of endless and ultimately meaningless labor.

  • Most would imagine Sisyphus feeling frustration or indignation at his never-ending task. Eventually he may fall into dark silence upon realizing it has no purpose.

  • However, Camus believes that by losing hope of ever finding meaning, Sisyphus becomes free. He accepts his fate as simply the result of his actions and life he has created.

  • Rather than giving up in despair at the futility, Sisyphus adjusts to the pointlessness. From his acceptance comes a strange lightness and strength that is greater than his boulder.

  • Camus is interested in the moment when Sisyphus walks back down the hill to begin again, showing a “heavy yet measured step” indicating he has found freedom in accepting his fate rather than resisting it futilely.

So in summary, Camus sees Sisyphus as representing how one can find freedom and strength through accepting rather than resisting the meaninglessness and futility of our lives and conditions.

  • Risk of data breaches by disgruntled employees is a concern. These employees typically work in technical roles like engineering or IT.

  • They may feel entitled to company data and breach security following a perceived professional setback or unmet expectations at work.

  • Better screening and monitoring of employees is advised to prevent hiring “problem employees” who may pose a risk.

  • Worries about disgruntled employees threatening cybersecurity are expected to rise in coming decades as debate continues on how to detect risky individuals.

  • A key recommendation is for organizations to monitor employees’ moods and attitudes, looking out for signs of “despondence and grumpiness” as indicators of decreasing trustworthiness and potential risk.

  • Greater job autonomy and ownership over work may help reduce employee disgruntlement compared to strict monitoring and control, but continued vigilance is still advised for now.

  • The word ‘shock’ originally comes from Latin and Old French roots meaning “to have one’s abilities or courage snatched away.” It came to be associated with fainting in English.

  • In medieval literature, heroes fainting from powerful emotions like love did not signify weakness, but rather revealed the depth of their passions. This was explained by medieval medical beliefs about how extreme emotions could affect the heart and vital spirits.

  • Today, fainting from strong emotions is still occasionally reported, such as from love, horror, or being overwhelmed by impressive artworks (as described by Stendhal Syndrome).

  • Remorse, love, dismay and fainting are discussed in relation to examples from Dickens’ novels and medieval romance poems like Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde.

  • Ecstasy involves paradoxically feeling intensely connected to one’s body through activities like dancing or sex, while also experiencing a sense of boundlessness and being “set free.” It has historically been important in spiritual experiences.

  • In the 19th century, neurologists began medicalizing ecstatic states as symptoms of nervous diseases like hysteria. Experiences that were once spiritual became reduced to brain abnormalities. Dostoyevsky defended ecstatic episodes as meaningful regardless of physical causes.

The essay discusses the history and evolution of the concept of empathy. In the late 19th century, Vernon Lee and Kit Anstruther-Thomson conducted experiments in Rome where Thomson reported feeling physical sensations that seemed to mirror sculptures and artwork they viewed. This reflected the emerging German concept of Einfühlung, or vicarious sensation, which proposed that enjoyment of art came from a feeling of physical complicity with the objects portrayed.

Lee popularized translating Einfühlung into the English word “empathy”. Today empathy refers more to feeling emotional resonance between people rather than people and objects. The ability to intuit and share others’ feelings is seen as important for professions involving social interaction. Schools now teach children emotional literacy and empathy skills.

Neuroscientists in the 1990s discovered “mirror neurons” in monkeys’ brains that fire both when performing and witnessing actions, fueling the idea that we are physiologically primed to share others’ feelings. Some believe this provides a unifying explanation for human behavior, but the exact roles and applications of mirror neurons in humans remain controversial and debated. Overall, the essay traces the progression of empathy from a physiological concept to an emotional and social phenomenon.

The essay explores the concept of euphoria through various examples. It describes the “revolutionary euphoria” felt by protestors during the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011 in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria as they took to the streets chanting against authoritarian regimes. However, it notes that this euphoric mood was fleeting, as reflected in a Tunisian activist’s later comment about the country reverting to a police state after the “few weeks of revolutionary euphoria.” More broadly, the passage defines euphoria as an intoxicating and infectious high that swells the heart and makes one feel alight and connected to the world. It compares the emotion to the breathless early phase of a romantic relationship or an exhilarating night in a strange city. However, it acknowledges that euphoria sometimes carries an undertow of danger or a coming crash back to reality.

Here is a summary of the text:

The passage discusses several emotions - euphoria, excitement, and fear. It traces the evolving meanings and understandings of these emotions over time.

Originally, euphoria referred to a normal feeling of well-being and recovery from illness. But in the 19th century, it took on connotations of excess and pathology. Doctors saw euphoria in dying patients as disordered and a sign of degeneration. This view has lessened today.

Excitement was initially a medical term related to vital spirits in the body. In the 19th century, it emerged as an emotion, understood as pleasure, good spirits, laughing and talking. The discovery of adrenaline in the 1890s solidified the idea that emotions have physiological causes. Excitement became linked to the sensation of an adrenaline rush.

Fear is often seen as the most primal human emotion. The passage does not give a historical overview, but presents fear as something our ancestors might have felt huddled in caves during storms or facing dangerous beasts.

In summary, the passage traces the shifting meanings and understandings of euphoria, excitement and fear over historical time, especially highlighting how discoveries in physiology influenced modern conceptions of emotions having biochemical components or causes.

The feeling of being a fraud is something many people experience at some point in their lives. It reflects a deep-seated worry that one’s achievements or abilities are not truly deserved, and that at any moment their flaws or deficiencies will be exposed.

This feeling can sometimes have its roots in childhood experiences, such as harsh criticism from parents that plants seeds of self-doubt. The writer Franz Kafka experienced this, describing in an unsent letter to his father how his parental criticism made him feel like an imposter in his own accomplishments as an adult.

The fraud feeling stems from comparing one’s perceived inner self to the identity one presents to the world. It reflects anxiety that others will see through this facade to the “real” inadequate self beneath. However, most people have a range of talents as well as limitations, and achieving success does not mean one is truly unworthy of it. Recognizing both strengths and weaknesses as normal parts of being human can help alleviate feelings of being a fraud.

  • Franz Kafka often felt anxious and like a fraud, despite his academic accomplishments. Each new accolade left him feeling compelled to work harder to avoid being exposed as undeserving.

  • In the 1970s, psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes coined the term “imposter phenomenon” to describe this torturous feeling of believing one’s achievements were due to luck or manipulation rather than ability.

  • The imposter phenomenon is particularly common among successful professionals embarking on a new career or field. Feeling like a fraud is unpleasant but can be a sign one is pushing boundaries and growing. High achievers speaking out helps recast it as an inevitable challenge rather than something to buckle under.

  • The key is learning to anticipate and tolerate imposter feelings when they arise, as a signal one has ventured into new territories, rather than a sign of intrinsic inadequacy. It reflects bravery in undertaking new challenges outside one’s comfort zone.

Here is a summary of the key points about guilt from the passage:

  • Guilt is discussed in the context of Oscar feeling responsible for Felix’s well-being after taking him in during a difficult time, but then throwing him out again due to his irritating behaviors.

  • Felix manipulates Oscar by saying that whatever happens to him now is Oscar’s responsibility and guilt will be “on his head”. This is intended to make Oscar feel guilty for throwing him out.

  • The passage implies guilt arises from feelings of responsibility or blame for negative consequences experienced by others due to one’s own actions or inactions.

  • Felix is trying to induce guilt in Oscar as a means of retaliation or revenge for being thrown out, by suggesting Oscar will be to blame if anything bad happens to Felix now.

  • So guilt here involves negative self-directed feelings of responsibility, blameworthiness or fault for harming others or contributing to their difficulties in some way through one’s own behaviors or decisions.

In summary, the passage uses the scenario between Oscar and Felix to illustrate how guilt can be manipulated by suggesting one is responsible or at fault for bad outcomes experienced by another person they care about, due to their own actions.

  • The passage discusses the concept of guilt, how it has evolved over time, and different perspectives on it.

  • Historically, guilt referred to a fact of responsibility rather than an emotion. It involved earning repayment for transgressions.

  • Sigmund Freud was influential in developing the modern idea of guilt as a distorted emotion one seeks to avoid. He located guilt in the superego and tied it to internalizing parental demands.

  • Alfred Adler saw guilt as a combination of self-accusation and repentance, which inhibits productivity and fulfillment by distracting from being useful.

  • Modern society further medicalized guilt through concepts like “guilt complexes” and treating it as something to disappear rather than manage.

  • For Oscar and Felix in The Odd Couple, an impromptu ceremony provides momentary relief from guilt through symbolic absolution. But realistically, therapy aims to adjust to guilt’s presence rather than eliminate the feeling entirely.

So in summary, the passage traces the evolution of understanding guilt from a fact of responsibility to a psychological burden one seeks to escape, and discusses Freudian and Adlerian perspectives on its nature and impact.

  • Traditionally, “happiness” described a state of feeling blessed by God’s grace and was linked to good fortune rather than something one could actively pursue.

  • In the 18th century, the notion of pursuing happiness as a right emerged, and happiness became a fashionable ambition among elites, prompting critiques.

  • Jeremy Bentham developed Utilitarianism, arguing moral decisions maximize happiness. He cataloged pleasures and pains to calculate net happiness of choices, which was criticized for being overly subjective and amoral.

  • His protégé J.S. Mill had a crisis realizing happiness was more complicated than Bentham allowed. Mill believed happiness cannot be directly pursued but emerges unexpectedly from engaging in meaningful goals and ignoring self-scrutiny.

  • Modern positive psychology prefers terms like “flourishing” over “happiness” to emphasize a meaningful life involves struggles as well as pleasures and is not just feeling good.

  • Reclassifying happiness as an emotion rather than state may make it less anxiety-inducing and restore it to a fleeting feeling among life’s complexities rather than an absolute goal or measure of success.

The passage discusses the concept of homesickness, both historically and psychologically. It notes that homesickness has long been recognized as a debilitating condition for soldiers deployed away from home, citing examples from Homer’s Odyssey, Swiss mercenaries in the 17th century, and Union soldiers in the American Civil War. Some even died from homesickness or its effects. While no longer considered a medical reason for discharge today, military psychologists still recognize how prolonged separation from home can increase risks of depression, anxiety, and other illnesses if morale is not maintained. Connections to home like letters, Skype calls, social media, and franchises selling familiar foods and drinks help provide a sense of comfort and continuity during deployment. The feeling of longing for home, or homesickness, is a deeply human emotion experienced by people of all ages in times of separation from familiar places and people.

Humiliation involves feeling degraded or diminished in the view of others. It makes one want to shrink from sight due to the punishing nature of being the object of contempt. While humility once involved rituals to curb pride and arrogance through acts of penance, humiliation goes beyond this and fuels a desire for retaliation due to its association with degradation. It is considered a serious violation of human rights to deliberately humiliate prisoners. However, calls for checking one’s privilege can be seen as promoting a type of humility in recognizing that success and well-being depend not just on individual efforts but on broader factors like class, gender and luck. While humility was once actively sought through rituals, humiliation is generally an unwelcome and punishing emotion.

  • The passage discusses different emotions and sensations related to food, hunger, and social connections.

  • It describes how the Baining people of Papua New Guinea have a word for hunger (“anaingi” or “aisicki”) that encompasses both a physical rumbling in the belly and a feeling of being abandoned or alone, since food and sharing food is very important for social bonding in their culture.

  • Birdsong is a symbol for hunger in Baining culture and songs, as it represents the sounds of the forest taking over when human voices recede and a person is left alone without company or food. A song excerpt is provided that references this.

  • More broadly, the passage discusses how emotions can drive overeating as a way to defend oneself from demands, seek care/kindness, or cope with stress. Food provides physical comfort and bolsters the self.

  • So in summary, it explores the close link between physical hunger, social/emotional needs, and how food fulfills both for some cultures like the Baining people of Papua New Guinea.

Orists view indignation as an emotion that can play a key role in political life. Unlike anger, which can overpower or alienate, indignation comes with an implied call for a response. It demands engagement rather than disengagement. Examples include Julia Gillard’s famous 2012 speech to the Australian parliament expressing outrage over misogynistic comments by her opponent. While expressing anger, her speech also called for a response. As the footage spread on social media, discussions showed another side of indignation - hints of excitement, triumph, and even glee. Frederick Douglass similarly described feelings of “joy” when first reading the abolitionist newspaper Liberator, which he later edited.

See also related emotions: insulted, feeling; resentment.

Here is a summary of the key points about the Ilongot emotion of liget:

  • Liget refers to an angry energy felt by the Ilongot people of the Philippines. It fuels both human and inanimate objects.

  • Westerners are more used to thinking of anger as negative, but the Ilongot see liget as providing optimism, vitality and motivation. It encourages people to work harder and be more productive.

  • Liget is certainly capable of stirring up arguments and violence, but more often it excites and motivates people. The Ilongot say “if it were not for liget, we’d have no life, we’d never work.”

  • When experiencing the liget of grief following a loss, the Ilongot believe it drives them to carry out headhunting raids on enemy tribes to achieve catharsis and banish the pain of their loss through action and avenging the death.

So in summary, liget is an energizing angry emotion for the Ilongot that both drives human activity and provides relief through actions like headhunting following loss or grief.

Here is a summary of the key points about litost from the passage:

  • Litost is a Czech emotion that is difficult to translate but describes the mixture of shame, resentment and fury one feels when made to feel wretched by another.

  • It involves both a feeling of torment and the desire for revenge against the person who caused one’s misery.

  • Getting revenge through litost is often perversely self-destructive, as the focus is on making the other person feel as miserable as oneself, even at the cost of one’s own destruction.

  • The Czech author Milan Kundera saw litost as a common human emotion but suggested it emerged as a distinct concept in Czech due to Czechoslovakia’s history of oppression.

  • An example given is of resistance graffiti after the 1968 Russian invasion of Prague, showing litost can involve defiance even in defeat by making the oppressor feel one’s misery.

  • In summary, litost is an active, twisting emotion combining shame, resentment and vengeance in a self-destructive way, emerging from Czechoslovakia’s history but seen as a broader human feeling.

The passage discusses the concept of melancholy and its roots in Renaissance-era theories of humorism. According to these theories, the human body contained four elemental humors - blood, choler, phlegm, and black bile (melancholy). Each person had a unique balance of these humors that affected their personality and health.

Melancholy, or black bile, was considered a thick, cold substance. Those with an excess of it tended to be lethargic, solitary, and drawn to sedentary, introspective pursuits like studying. While slow to anger, they were also slow to forgive once offended. Dramatic life events that stirred strong passions were believed to especially impact those with more black bile, potentially leading to the disease of melancholia. Anyone could fall prey, but those already predisposed by their humor balances were most at risk. Love, grief, and other emotions could trigger episodes of melancholy.

The passage ties melancholy to Renaissance artistry and introspection as well as danger, reflecting beliefs at the time that melancholy drove creativity but could become pathological if humoral balances were disrupted. It discusses how the emotion was carefully indulged or “savored” like confectionery by artists and scholars.

The passage discusses the concept of “morbid curiosity” - an inexplicable urge to seek out or observe scenes of pain, suffering, death and decay. While such sights may disgust us, we often find them difficult to ignore.

Various theories attempt to explain this phenomenon. Some argue it stems from modern society shielding us from such realities, making them fascinating. However, examples from ancient literature show it is not new.

Plato wrote of a nobleman overcome by curiosity to stare at executed bodies, against his better judgment. Philosophers since have debated explanations.

One view is that witnessing others’ suffering can be cathartic, providing relief or release of tension afterwards, as theorized by Kant and Aristotle. Another argues it serves an instinctual purpose, helping to foster empathy and social bonds, as proposed by Adam Smith.

In general, the passage explores the persistent yet puzzling human drive to observe disturbing or graphic scenes, and the lack of consensus around explaining its underlying reasons or significance. Different perspectives link it to sanitization, catharsis, instinct, and cultivating human sympathy.

  • The passage discusses theories around morbid curiosity and our instinct to look at gory or disturbing images/situations.

  • Adam Smith argued we have an innate impulse to put ourselves in others’ shoes by imagining their pain, to empathize and strengthen social bonds. Today psychologists see this as an evolved trait.

  • Some psychologists suggest we also look out of a desire to familiarize ourselves with threats and disasters as a form of preparation.

  • Jung believed we are drawn to indulging our “shadow aspects” like murderous rage or desire, and looking at disturbing things gives us a sense of completion and relief. This could explain morbidity fetishes.

  • For many people, morbid curiosity remains a furtive pleasure, and they may feel shame or conflict over their interest due to privacy violations of victims.

  • Sontag argued only medical professionals have a right to view graphic illness/suffering images, while the rest of us are “voyeurs” whether we mean to be or not when indulging our curiosity.

So in summary, it discusses theories from Smith, Jung and modern psychologists around innate instincts and motivations that drive morbid curiosity and our interest in disturbing images or situations.

  • Before the printing press, it was possible for scholars like Lubna of Cordoba in the 10th century to know most of the world’s knowledge through books they studied and copied.

  • After the printing press was invented, many new books began to be published, swamping the market. Writers like Erasmus complained about “these swarms of new books” and worried important ideas would get lost.

  • To cope with the excess of information, people developed techniques like alphabetically organized reference books, “best bits” compilations that quoted from books, and elaborate note-taking and filing systems.

  • Even Samuel Johnson accepted different levels of reading, from intense study to cursory coffeehouse skimming, were needed to avoid being overwhelmed by new publications and the multiplication of writers and books. Managing information overload has always required pragmatic approaches.

This passage discusses the concept of paranoia and how it is viewed and treated in different contexts. While historically paranoia has been associated mainly with mental illnesses like schizophrenia and dementia, some argue it can have meaning beyond just being a symptom of disease.

Psychoanalysts often see paranoia as a way for patients to manage difficult realities they can’t face directly, like loneliness or lack of intimacy. Taking patients’ paranoid thoughts seriously instead of disputing them may help uncover deeper psychological issues and create a gentler treatment experience.

Pioneering medical approaches are embracing a more open attitude toward paranoia. For example, elderly patients experiencing confusion from dementia may express paranoid stories as attempts to make sense of their disorientation, rather than their claims necessarily being false.

More broadly, feelings of paranoia or suspicion may reflect ordinary human tendencies like poor self-image, an innate desire to find connections and meaning, and the ambiguity we all face in an uncertain world. Dismissing paranoia outright may not address its underlying causes or meaning. A more understanding perspective could provide insights into patients’ psychological experiences and needs.

  • Rage refers to a wild, irrational frenzy that comes in paroxysms or bursts. It is less controlled than other emotions like anger or indignation.

  • There has been a proliferation of types of rage identified in recent decades, including road rage, air rage, shopping cart rage, mouse rage (due to technology stress), and wrap rage. The coining of these terms suggests our relationship with uncontrollable fury is complex.

  • A fit of rage involves the eyes bulging, limbs flailing, spitting, shouting, and inability to hide the emotion like others can be concealed. It represents a loss of control.

  • While nicknames for types of rage seem jokey, the fact we have identified so many suggests rage responses are a significant phenomenon in modern society, perhaps reflecting increased stress levels.

  • Overall the passage depicts rage as a wild, frenzied state of irrational fury and loss of control that seems to be occurring more frequently in different contexts today. Coining of terms for specific rages also hints at a lack of straightforwardness in how we relate to and experience uncontrollable anger.

The passage discusses the concept of relief and its relationship to emotions like regret, disappointment, and crying. It explores two types of relief - bodily relief from tension or build-up, and relief from a near miss or avoided negative outcome. Crying can provide relief in both senses. Weeping may discharge built-up tension physically through tears, leaving one feeling lighter or refreshed. It can also be a response to relief from an anxious wait or feared outcome, as part of our ability to imagine alternative realities and compare them. While regret is often seen as pointless looking back, it also reminds us of life’s ambivalence and uncertainties, containing a small germ of hope. Expressing sadness through crying or lamentation was historically seen as a way to dissipate grief, though modern views emphasize moving past negative emotions. Overall relief provides a certain pleasure from the subsiding of pain or distress, whether physical or emotional.

While some are brave enough to directly call out inappropriate behaviors like racism or impoliteness, expressing reproach often comes with risks of hurting feelings or being misunderstood. As a result, many choose subtler forms of disapproval like sighs, looks, or muttering rather than direct confrontation. However, these milder reproaches rarely produce the desired change in behavior or apology. They also run the risk of igniting reproach from the other person. Expressing disapproval of others is a delicate act, as no one appreciates having their faults pointed out, and reproachfulness itself can easily become irritating. There are no guarantees that reproach, whether direct or indirect, will have the intended effect.

This passage discusses the idea of resentment as feeling entitled to judge others. Some key points:

  • Resentment arises from suppressed anger - it’s anger that is forbidden from being openly expressed when one feels hurt, humiliated or frustrated. This buried anger festers over time.

  • Nietzsche characterized resentment (“ressentiment” in French) as a petty, bitter emotion of the weak who are unable to openly express their vengeance against those who contemptuously treat them. Resentment seeks compensation through hidden spite rather than direct action.

  • Nietzsche saw resentment perpetuated by religious teachings of patient suffering on earth and reward in the hereafter. Resentment scars our emotional landscapes with years of fantasizing about unattained revenge.

  • Those who feel resentment harbor a sense of being hard done by and take a perverse pleasure in feeling that way, but do not openly express their true feelings for fear of problem resolution. Resentment gives one a sense of being entitled to silently judge others.

So in summary, the passage discusses resentment as an emotion that arises from suppressed anger and frustration, leaving one feeling entitled to privately judge others through spite and bitterness, rather than directly addressing the source of one’s grievances.

Here is a summary of the key points about road rage:

  • Road rage describes aggressive or dangerous behavior by drivers that commonly includes verbal insults, intentionally dangerous driving like tailgating or cutting other drivers off, and in some extreme cases exiting the vehicle and becoming physically violent.

  • It first emerged as a term in the late 1980s as news outlets began reporting on increasing incidents of violence on roads and highways, especially in the US.

  • Driving can be stressful due to traffic and other drivers, but an important contributing factor may be feeling temporarily disinhibited and anonymous inside one’s vehicle, without direct social contact. This allows paranoid or hostile feelings to emerge more easily.

  • Research has found that subtly cueing a sense of being observed, such as through images of eyes, can promote more considerate and cooperative behavior from people. Similar eye images decorated on vehicles could potentially help reduce road rage by overriding feelings of anonymity.

  • Road rage is related to feelings of insult, indignation, paranoia and fits under the general concept of rage or anger directed aggressively towards others. Maintaining calm and perspective while driving can help avoid road rage situations.

Here is a summary of the key points about self-pity:

  • Self-pity involves feeling sorry for oneself in an indulgent and excessive way over one’s troubles or mistakes. It tends to focus inward on one’s own suffering rather than outward on potential solutions.

  • Self-pity is often seen as an unproductive or unhealthy emotion because it can keep one stuck in a negative mindset without taking action. It can become a habit or excuse to avoid responsibility.

  • However, feeling sorry for oneself occasionally is considered normal and human. Only when it is chronic, exaggerated, or used to deflect blame does it become a problem termed “self-pity.”

  • Expressing moderate self-sympathy when facing real hardships can provide temporary emotional relief. But excessive self-pity helps no one and solves nothing in the long run. It is better to learn from mistakes and then move past them.

  • Proper perspective, acknowledging both personal and external factors, moderate self-forgiveness, and a renewed focus on the future rather than the past can help one constructively work through feelings of self-pity in a healthy way.

In summary, self-pity in moderation is an understandable reaction but becomes problematic and unproductive when extreme, chronic, or used to avoid responsibility or growth. Maintaining perspective and focusing outward on solutions rather than inward on suffering are keys to overcoming unhelpful bouts of self-pity.

The passage discusses the emotions of shock, shame, and self-pity. It describes how Marvin, an android from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, feels constant self-pity and believes he is misunderstood. Philosopher Max Scheler argued that self-pity requires seeing oneself from another perspective to feel superior over one’s helpless situation. The passage also explains how encouraging small acts of kindness may help people move past prolonged self-pity.

It then examines the emotions of shame and shock. Shame is linked to social condemnation and feeling seen, while guilt is more internal. The passage debates the ideas of “guilt cultures” and “shame cultures” and argues Western cultures also utilize shame as a punishment. It notes how shame and public apologies may be more important in today’s online world. The passage concludes by discussing how recognizing shame can be important for identity formation and understanding one’s complexities. Shock is examined from its origins as a military term to how unexpected traumatic events can have lasting psychic impacts.

Here is a summary of the key points about Thomas Willis and the history of understanding emotions:

  • 17th century anatomist Thomas Willis carefully dissected corpses and argued that the body was animated by nerves and fibers under the skin, not humors as previously thought.

  • He proposed that this nerve network carried “vital spirits” between the brain and body, triggering emotions and bodily responses like eyes opening in terror.

  • Doctors began explaining strong emotions in terms of the condition of a person’s nerves rather than humoral imbalances.

  • Those with delicate or sensitive nerves, like women, artists and the upper classes, were thought to experience emotions more intensely and have superior aesthetic and moral senses.

  • But these sensitive types were also at risk of madness if subjected to shocks like unexpected news or gruesome sights, as seen in Goethe’s “The Sorrows of Young Werther.”

  • Willis’ work established nerves and sensory responses, rather than humors, as the basis for understanding emotions and their effects on the body. This shifted descriptions of emotions in medical texts.

Based on the details provided,

The emotion being described is uncertainty. Uncertainty refers to a lack of certainty, clear knowledge or conviction of something. It involves a sense of doubt, wariness, apprehension or insecurity about an outcome, situation, or choice being made.

Some key aspects of uncertainty mentioned:

  • It is a feeling of doubt, lack of clarity or reassurance about a situation.

  • Technologies like GPS, travel apps and predictive algorithms aim to reduce uncertainty by providing more information and clear answers.

  • However, the passage suggests there may be something lost when everything becomes certain - some sense of exploration, discovery or chance may be reduced.

  • The Tove Jansson quote expresses finding a sense of reassurance in uncertainty itself - embracing the unknown rather than seeking total certainty.

So in summary, the passage is discussing the emotion and experience of uncertainty - a state of doubting or lacking confidence in one’s knowledge or understanding of outcomes, choices and situations. It raises the question of whether uncertainty has value in addition to convenience of absolute certainty.

The emotion of viraha refers to the pain of separation from a divine lover, as expressed in Indian bhakti poetry like the epic Gita Govinda. In bhakti traditions of Hinduism, spiritual devotion is often depicted using the language of human eroticism and love.

The Gita Govinda tells the story of the divine cowherd Krishna and his consort Radha. When Radha discovers Krishna’s infidelity, she hides in the forest in anguish. Her verses recall with sensuality their passionate first union, and long for his return.

Bhakti poetry aims to convey the bhakti concept of striving for intimate spiritual connection with the divine through intensely emotional devotion. Jayadeva’s Gita Govinda would be performed theatrically with song and dance, allowing audiences to experience Radha’s viraha, or the longing of separation from her divine beloved.

  • Viraha refers to the feeling of longing or love experienced during separation from a loved one in Sanskrit and Hindu tradition. It is seen as a spiritual feeling connected to the soul’s quest to reunite with God.

  • While contrasted with Christianity’s distinction between carnal and spiritual love, even Christian writers have depicted the union with God in erotic terms.

  • Viraha captures the idea of romantic infatuation beyond just the physical, as seen in troubadour poetry and fado music expressing saudade (untranslatable Portuguese word for longing).

  • The full story of Krishna and Radha in the Gita Govinda symbolizes the soul’s journey to find its spiritual home, experiencing viraha when separated from God/love and ecstasy upon reunion. It represents an optimistic religious feeling.

  • The passage discusses the history and meaning of the concept of “worry.” It derives from Old English words meaning to strangle or kill through biting or asphyxiation.

  • In the 17th century, it took on the meaning of a troubled state of mind arising from life’s difficulties and cares. Literary characters were portrayed as worrying excessively about others.

  • In the 19th century, worry was seen as debilitating and damaging to one’s health and productivity. Self-help gurus discouraged fretting over trivial social issues.

  • In the 1890s, the medical concept of “anxiety” emerged, distinguishing pathological anxiety from everyday worry. Anxiety became a regularly diagnosed disorder.

  • Modern self-help literature still promotes reducing worry and achieving a stress-free life, though worry remains a common side effect of adulthood responsibilities according to the passage.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

The passage discusses worry and cautions against always seeing it as problematic. Some level of worrying can be a useful imaginative process that allows one to examine problems from different angles and gain new insights. While catastrophizing the worst outcome is unhelpful, worrying in moderation may provide benefits. Research has found that “worriers” actually experience fewer accidents. There may even be a genetic component to worrying at a lower, more optimal level.

The passage then quotes author F. Scott Fitzgerald’s advice to his daughter about what things are worth worrying about, such as courage, cleanliness and efficiency. Things that are not worth worrying about include dolls, boys, insects, parents, disappointments, satisfactions or the future.

So in summary, the passage discusses how worry in moderation can be a useful mental process, explores potential benefits of worrying, and provides an example of advice on what things are actually worth worrying about versus what is not. It cautions against seeing all worry as problematic and stresses the importance of perspective and balance.

Here is a summary of key points from section 14:

  • Anger was seen in ancient times as a destructive emotion that needed to be controlled through reason. Some later therapists saw limited, justified anger as having potential therapeutic benefits.

  • Anticipation involves looking forward to future events with hope, fear or other emotions.

  • Anxiety became a psychiatric diagnosis in the late 19th century and was associated with neurasthenia and effects of war trauma. Kierkegaard and Auden wrote influentially about anxiety.

  • Apathy involves lacking interest, emotion or concern. It was seen by some Stoics as a virtue but can enable harms like bystander effects in emergencies.

  • L’appel du vide refers to the urge to jump from high places, as recognized by Sartre in existential philosophy.

  • Several other emotions are defined and cultural examples are given, including calm, carefreeness, cheerfulness, claustrophobia, compassion, confidence, contempt, and courage. Historical and psychological perspectives are provided.

Unfortunately I cannot provide a full summary of the cited work (eart by Michael Ann Holly and Keith Moxey) based on the excerpted quotes and references provided, as there is not enough surrounding context or analysis given. The quotes discuss a variety of emotions such as curiosity, delight, despair, disappointment, etc., but on their own they do not constitute a summary. A summarization would require discussing how the work analyzes and explores these emotions in the context of its overarching themes and arguments. I do not have access to the full text, so can only comment on the excerpted quotes provided here without more surrounding analysis and context from the work.

I’m afraid I don’t have enough context about the quoted materials to provide a meaningful summary. Could you please provide more details about what you would like me to summarize?

Here is a summary of the sources provided:

  • “unhealable rift…” - From Edward Said’s reflection on exile and how exile creates an unhealable rupture between an individual and their home.

  • When the sociologist Barbara Ehrenreich was diagnosed… - Discusses Barbara Ehrenreich’s experience with breast cancer and her skepticism towards positive thinking. Also cites a 2004 study on benefit finding among women with breast cancer.

  • The ancients took for granted… - Discusses ancient Greek and Chinese medicine’s differing views on the body and its expressions based on a 1999 work by Shigehisa Kuriyama.

  • “a day of national humiliation.” - Cites Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 proclamation appointing a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer.

  • “all the cruel and brutal things…” - Quote from a biography of Kofi Annan on the Maya Angelou public radio site describing Annan witnessing humiliations as a child.

  • “nuclear bomb of the emotions” - Quote from a 2006 work describing humiliation as a nuclear bomb-level emotion.

  • “many of those who are humiliated are not humble…” - Quote from a 1136-1153 work by Bernard of Clairvaux on humiliation and humility.

  • “love of continuity…” - Definition of inhabitiveness from an 1838 work on phrenology citing the love of continuity.

Hope this helps summarize the key sources provided! Let me know if you need any clarification or have additional questions.

Here is a summary of the quote:

The quote, attributed to Gore Vidal in reference to a quote by Gerard Irvine, suggests that it is not enough to merely succeed - others must fail as well. It implies that true success is only realized when one not only achieves their own goals or ambitions, but does so at the expense of others failing to achieve theirs. The quote advocates for a “zero-sum” view of success where one can only rise by causing others to fall. It promotes the idea that one’s success is defined in comparison to and relative to the failure of others.

Here is a summary of the sources provided:

  • The origins of the “smile revolution” in 18th century Paris are discussed in Colin Jones’s book from 2014.

  • Diderot and d’Alembert’s 1751-1772 encyclopedia described a “secret joy.”

  • Lucretius wrote in his work from around 60 BC that “it is sweet to perceive the troubles of others without harm to oneself.”

  • Iris Murdoch’s 1961 novel A Severed Head describes emotions as a “glow of excitement and pleasure.”

  • Marvin the Paranoid Android is a character from Douglas Adams’s 1979 book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, who exhibits self-pity.

  • Max Scheler wrote in 1992 about self-pity involving regarding oneself “as if he were someone else.”

  • Plutarch in the early 2nd century AD called shame “one of the greatest shaking cracks that our soul can receive.”

  • Jean-Paul Sartre described shame as an “internal hemorrhage” in his 1966 book.

  • A line from John Milton’s 1674 poem Paradise Lost expresses the experience of shame.

  • Ruth Benedict’s 1946 book discussed different conceptions of shame in Japanese culture versus the West.

  • Several additional sources from the 15th-17th centuries and 2000s discuss experiences and perspectives related to shame.

  • Examples are given of how shock has been described and analyzed from the early 20th century onward, including by Charles Darwin, William Shakespeare, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

  • Jane Austen’s 1815 novel Emma depicts smugness or self-satisfaction in characters.

  • An anthropological study from 1988 discusses the role of song in the culture of the Pacific island of Ifaluk.

  • Charles Darwin and others have analyzed the physiological responses involved in surprise.

  • Aristotle observed the effects of new technologies that could lead to technostress.

  • Authors like Stephen King and others throughout history have depicted the nature and experiences of terror.

  • Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Eugene Onegin characterized the Russian emotion of toska as “a longing with nothing to long for.”

  • Examples from literature depict experiences of triumph.

  • The experience of uncertainty is discussed in relation to works like Tove Jansson’s 1958 book.

  • Philosophers and authors through history have analyzed concepts like revenge, embarrassment, separation, vulnerability, wanderlust, altruism, and wonder.

  • Literary examples show depictions of worry and the related experience of żal.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

  • The household of Charles Darwin, who was investigating emotions, was not entirely supportive of his research. His fiancée Emma Wedgwood expressed concern that he would overanalyze her emotions and use them to form theories.

  • There is academic debate around the idea of basic universal emotions. While some emotions may be expressed and felt similarly across cultures, saying something is very similar is not the same as saying it is identical in every way.

  • Facial expressions have been found to influence felt emotions in experiments. One study found that Botox injections which prevented frowning also lessened feelings of anger. However, the causal link between facial expressions and emotions is still unclear.

  • Official portraits of American presidents began including small smiles starting in the 1940s, with Ronald Reagan known for his full toothy grin in portraits from the 1990s.

  • Some languages have emotion-specific words not directly translatable to English. For example, the Ifaluk language uses one word to express feelings of both kindness and gratitude.

  • Throughout history, drugs have been used to intentionally influence emotions and moods, such as opium being used in the 18th century to produce feelings of “euphory” and increased libido.

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