Notes to use

E-motion means, literally a "moving out" (cute, huh?) Thinking of it as a sort of migration or transference from one place to another...? whereas feeling comes from an old German word meaning "to handle or grope"--to examine or explore by touch. Emotion, following James, following Damasio, is bodily movement; feeling (following James, following Damasio) is the exploration of that bodily movement, being "touched" by it.

Questions for Peter Watson, NYTimes, 12.11.05 What do you think is the single worst idea in history? Without question, ethical monotheism...I do not believe in the inner is more sensible to look out on the world from a zoo than from a monastery. Science, or looking out, is better than contemplation, or looking in....the rise of the novel generally is a great turning in. But I don't think it has given a lot of satisfaction to people. It has not achieved anything collective. It's a lot of little personal turnings that lots of people love to connect with. But these are fugitive, evanescent truths...I don't think [ideas] come out of daydreaming....ideas come from other ideas...I think the interesting thing in life is not having an idea, but realizing it.

Edwards Rothstein, "Connections; Reading Kids' Books Without the Kids" (NYT, 12/05/05): children read the way scientists work: they experiment with different ways of ordering the world, exploring alternate modes of understanding. But in an academic reading of children's books this can be forgotten. An adult may read to ...see what lessons are latent in the text....The risk is that literature ends up becoming univocal....A great children's book, though, does not reflect the world or its reader. It plays within the world. It explores possibilities. It confounds expectations....

In his 1906 lectures on Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking, Wiliam James suggested "a way to evaluate truth claims, not by looking at the truth or falsity of a primary definition but by evaluating the claim in terms of its moral and aesthetic outcome." What are the legs of your idea?

that's why i stopped watching the news...They tell you one thing and then they tell you something else." The nerve! How and why we come to believe what we believe...."I just want to sit back and be told, to be controlled, to be secure..."(NYT, 1/23/06)

They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security. Benjamin Franklin

(add e re: atrocity and Bill and Peter re: proprioception)
The animal self (NYT Magazine, 1/23/06): "How do we even define what an emotion is in an animal? And why do they even have these different temperaments?...1993 paper "personalities of Octopuses"...recognizing ourselves and our ways to be recapitulations of the rest of biology...."let's start by taking what's clearly outside that category and discover what's different about that...what is it that makes them not have it. I couldn't come up with an answer." A Standard that animals do not...reflect upon and argue with their experiences.... behave consisting differently...over time and across situations...doesnŐt' that meet the definition of personality, regardless of the presence or absence of self-awareness?.... temperament is involved as a purely biological, inherited quality, whereas personality is thought of as a "higher order phenomena" that grows out of the interaction of our inherited temperaments and our experiences.... we have to be careful where to draw the line between what's reality and what's analogy"...those who spend any time around animals... have distinct personalities...behaviorism stressed the inherent inscrutability of mental states and perceptions to anyone but the person experiencing them....ultimately outlawing things like intuition, inference and common sense....animal personality...pivot around what might be called deep analogies...biological Buddhism or muscular mythologizing or armed anthropomorphism: a more disciplined and detailed form of idle speculating...why evolution has yielded such a variety of temperaments in animals...that most basic biological array being kept in play in a ..because of the differing, shifting environmental circumstances that group may encounter...the persistence ..of extreme behaviors and the inability of some to modulate that behavior give rise to a more profound question about the nature of personality types in general and how plastic or not they actually are....We human tend to think of our personalities as protean mutable entities that, unlike our physical selves, we can shape to suit shifting circumstances....each of s to some extent locked into a personality type, a consistent way of being without which we would each be...unrecognizable....why do we even have a personality? Why do we have a relatively narrow range of responses as opposed to a full range?....You have to take the environment into account. This is annoying to geneticists....

Freakonomics column of NYT Magazine, 12.11.05: "The Economy of Desire": there may be a causal effect here--that having a relative with AIDS may change not just sexual behavior but also self-reported identity and desire...sexual preference, while perhaps largely predetermined, may also be subject to the forces more typically associated with economics."

On "making up"
(use Easterlin essay)
Want to mention, in this regard, an interesting discussion of the Americanist Working Group @ Haverford in late January, which centered around a discussion of '"Performing Unity": "Latino" Politics and the Pursuit of Visibility,' by Cristina Beltran of the HC Political Science Department. Cristina's argument builds on Rousseau's notion of the public will:

Like the general will, latinidad is understood as a form of mutual recognition grounded in a simultaneous moment of overcoming the tendency toward narrow individualism and partiality....the socially constructed character of political agreement....Rousseau emphasized rigorous civic education...this ability to generalize must be created....the voluntarist aspect of such a project is crucial...the politics of solidarity must be forged, not found...latinidad is an identity produced through public gatherings, mass participation, and sociopolitical interaction, pan-ethic identification is reconceptualized as always historically and discursively constructed....the instablity of the category "Latino"..latinidad emerges as a form of collective identification that is real but fleeing. Like Rousseauian notions of sovereignty, latinidad should be charcterized by contingency--as existing only through its enactment....uncertainty is also possibility.