Humanities
Fresno City College Why Are My Emotions Important to Me Article Response

Fresno City College

Question Description

I need support with this Philosophy question so I can learn better.

Instructions: Pick (1) one of the essays from Week 5, Week 6 or Week 7. Write a (2) page, double spaced, Times New Roman, 12 pt font Summary Response. You will have four sections (DO NOT USE EXTRA SPACES)

The four sections of your response are as follows:

Summary: Summarize a concept, an idea, an argument, or position that the author puts forth. (This portion should be about 1//2 page long.

Objection: Create your own detailed objection to the author. Maybe you agree with the author but don’t agree with the reasons the author gives, or maybe you disagree completely with the author and have reasons for why you disagree with the author you will detail them out in this section. This should be ½ page to 1 page double spaced.

Authors Reply: Imagine how the author would respond to you based on the essay you have read by them. What would they say to defend their position? (This is about a paragraph to two paragraphs long.

Evaluation: Who is right and why? (This is a couple of sentences long)

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WHY ARE MY EMOTIONS IMPORTANT.TO ME? What was your latest passion? When did you last get angry, or feel love, or find yourself envious or jealous? What was the significance of that emotion? Was it an unwelcome intrusion into an otherwise calm and enjoyable day? Or did your emotion actually define your day, perhaps even (as with love) define your life for months or years to come? Was this a familiar emotion to you-do you get angry or fall in love often-or did it seem out of character, a strange reaction that does not represent your real personality? Was it annoying and embarrassing, or did it feel right and good, perhaps even refreshing or elevating? What is the significance of your emotions in your life? Are they disruptions or punctuations? Are they just moments of excitement, or do they have some more significant meaning? How are we to understand emotion, and how do our emotions fit into our lives? We often warn one another against emotion, against becoming "emotional." Indeed, becoming emotional is often viewed as a sign of weakness, poor character, or temporary irrationality. "Let's be reasonable" often means "Let's not get carried away by our emotions," and a familiar line in a popular movie counsels us, "Don't get mad, get even." Twenty-five hundred years of emphasis on reason as the subject matter of philosophy and the core of human nature has tended to minimize the importance of emotions in human life. It is true that a person who is all emotion and is never rational is a monster, but a person who is all rationality and without emotion is also a monster, a mere automaton, a walking computer and not a human being. One of the great horror films, Invasion ofthe Body Snatchers, portrays aliens as humanoids without emotion. It is our emotions, as well as our reason, that make us human. Emotions have had a confuse~ pla~e in the history of philosophy. On the one hand, they are acknowledged to be vital, important, and essential to life. Aristotle insisted that the go?d life _consists ~f~aving_the right emotions as well as having reason and doing the nght_ things._ Chn_stian philosophers have long insisted that love and those emotions assoc1~ted with faith are amo~g the most important things in life. On the other hand, philosophers have recognized that the emotions can be dangerous. Ancient philosophers" liken_ed love and anger to madness, and the famed storyteller Aesop insisted th~t emotions s~ould the slaves, not the masters, of reason." Accordingly, the view that emot10ns are important and necessary has always been balanced by the view that emotions are subhuman, our more bestial aspect and the "lowest" part of the soul. In more modern times, both popular and scientific views of emotions have reduced them to primitive physical reactions and have opposed them to reason and intelligence. Thus, Descartes and most of his contemporaries referred to the emotions as "animal spirits," and William James more recently defined emotion in terms of physiological ("visceral") reaction. In such a view, emotions typically emerge as unlearned, instinctual, perhaps even stupid if not destructive, and, in any case, disruptive and intrusive in our otherwise rational lives. Obviously our emotions occupy an ambiguous place in our conception of ourselves. They are not within our direct control, but neither are they alien to us. Our emotions are different from reasoning and thinking as such, but they are clearly affected by our reasoning, and they affect our thinking in turn. Our emotions are in some sense "in the mind," but like perceptions and unlike a pain or a stomachache, they are about people and situations in the world. They obviously involve our bodies, but they also involve thought and awareness. They are essential to being a good person, but they also contribute to selfishness, evil, and insanity. Aristotle long ago recognized that emotions are not just feeling but also perceptions: They involve seeing the world in a certain way. Emotions also involve motives; they urge us to action. His view-augmented by the Stoic philosophers in subsequent generations-was that emotions already include certain aspects of reason; they are learned and can be learned well or badly. They can be smart or foolish, noble or embarrassing. - One particularly ingenious theory of emotion as something more than mere feeling is Book II of David Hume's Treatise ofHuman Nature. A passion, Hume suggested, is a complex mix of impressions (sensations or feelings) and ideas. Pride, for example, involves not just a pleasant feeling but also a set of ideas about one's self. Hume opposed passion and reason, but in an unusual and provocative twist of the usual philosophical championing of reason, he announced that "reason is and ought to be the slave of the passions." Showing a great deal of sympathy for David Hume, contemporary philosopher Annette Baier makes the point that emotions are essential for things that we care about. A very different view of emotions was developed by the French existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre. Emotions, he suggested, are "magical transformations of the world." Like Aristotle, he recognized the perception-like nature of emotion, but Sartre added another unusual twist. Emotions are purposive, he argued; they have an end in mind. He believed that we get afraid or angry or resentful in order to accomplish something, usually to escape from or deny an unpleasant situation. Und e_rstanding emotions in general is perhaps not as personally rewarding as unders~anding specific emotions. Anger is a particularly misunderstood emotion. It is often t ought to be irrational and dangerous, even a sin. We often talk about it as if it were a fluid that fills us up and makes us "hot," occasionally "bursting" or "exploding." Robert Solomon suggests a very different way of thinking about anger. Love, by contrast, is an emotion that is almost universally and uncritically praised, but the price of that adulation is that love is an emotion that is rarely scrutinized. In Plato's Symposium, a half dozen of Socrates's friends give speeches on the topic of "love and its virtues." One of those speeches is a fantastic tale of the origins oflove told by the comic playwright Aristophanes. Another (related by Socrates) is a lesson from the muse Diotima. Following Aristophanes, Robert Solomon offers a theory of love understood as a form of shared identity. ARISTOTLE ; QnAnger ARISTOTLE (384- 322 B.C.) wasa biologist as well as a great philosopher and wrote widely on topics in vtr':'ally every ot~er science, from ~stronomy and physics to psychology. Thejo/lowtng e~cerpt IS tak~n from _his book on rhetoric, in which he discusses the uses of emotion m movmg the public to acfton. W E shall define an emotion as that which leads one's condition to become so transformed that his judgment is affected, and which is accompanied by pleasure and pain. Examples of emotions include anger, pity, fear, and the like, as well as the opposites of these. We will need with each of these emotions to investigate three particulars; in investigating anger, for instance, we will ask what the temperament is of angry people, with whom they most often become angry, and at what sort of things. To grasp one or two but not all three of these conditions would make it impossible to induce anger in one's audience. The same is true with the other emotions. So, just as we listed propositions in what we said earlier, let us do this again in analyzing these emotions in the same way. Let anger be defined as a distressed desire for conspicuous vengeance in return for a conspicuous and unjustifiable contempt of one's person or friends. If this indeed defines anger, then the ~ger of the angry person is necessarily always d1rected towards someone in particular, e.g., Cleon, but not towards all of humanity; also of necessity is that this individual has done or intended to do something to him or one of his friends, and that accompanying every outburst of anger is a certain pleasure derived from the hope for revenge. I say "pleasure" because it is pleasant to contemplate achieving one's goals; and no one attempts to achieve what seems to be impossible for himself, so the angry man attempts to achieve what is possible for himself The poet spoke correctly when he said that anger, Much sweeter than dripping honey, Swells in men's hearts. Pleasure follows upon anger for this reason and because the mind is consumed with thoughts of vengeance; like dreams, the visions then conjured up create pleasure. "- Slighting is the implementing of an opinion about what one considers to be worthless; for we think both the good and the bad to be worthy of attention (as well as what is potentially good or bad), but we do not consider whatever is of little or no account to be worthy of attention. There are three forms of slighting-scorn, spite, and insolence. One slights what he scorns, for whatever one thinks to be worthy of nothing he scorns, and he slights what is worthy of nothing. Then one who is spiteful is also scornful, for spite involves the interference in another's wishes, not to achieve anything for oneself, but only to make sure that the other achieves nothing. Since he achieves nothing for himself, he slights the other. It is evident that the other does not intend to harm him; if he did, it would then be a matter of fear, not of slighting. It is evident also that he does not intend to help him to any appreciable degree, for there would then be an attempt at creating a friendship. To act insolently constitutes a form of slighting, for insolence involves doing and saying things that produce shame for the person to whom these things are done or said--so that something else might happen to him (other than what has already happened), but for the other's pleasure. If it were done in retaliation, then this would not be insolence, but sheer vengeance. The insolent person derives pleasure from this because he sees others suffer and thus considers himself quite superior. The young and the rich often derive pleasure from such insolence, for they consider themselves superior when acting insolently. Dishonor is an act of insolence, and the one who dishonors is one who slights, since that which is worthy of nothing--of neither good or bad-has no honor. For this reason the angered Achilles says, He has dishonored me; he has himself taken and keeps my prize. and, I am without honor, as if some foreigner. and shows that he is angered for this very reason. Some think it fitting that they be esteemed by those oflesser birth, ability, nobility, or whatever quality in which one is generally superior to another; for example, the rich man considers himself worthy of esteem from a poor man where wealth is concerned, as does the rhetorician from one who is inarticulate, the ruler from the governed, and even the hopeful ruler from those he hopes to rule. So it is said, The anger of divine kings is mighty, and, But he holds his anger for another day; the cause of their vexation is their superior station, and still others feel anger at those from whom they expect the proper care, for example, from those for whom he-either acting by himself or v ia his agents or friends-has done or is doing willful or willed service. It is now evident from these analyses what the temperament is of angered people, at whom they become angered, and for what r easons They become angry when they are in d. · . . . istress for one m distress des1res something. If som ' eone should in any manner stand in one's way, for instance, if one should directly prevent a thirs man from drinking (or even if it is done ind: reedy, he will appear to be doing the same thing), or if someone opposes, fails to assist, or in some other way annoys a distressed person, he will become angry at any of those individuals. For this reason the sick, the poor, those at war, the lover, and anyone with an unsatisfied desire, are prone to anger and irascibility, particularly against those who make light of their present distress. Examples include the ill person angry at those making light of his illness, the poor man angry at those making light of his poverty, the warrior angry at those making light of his strug· gle, the lover at those making light of his love and so forth, for each person is predisposed towards his own kind of anger caused by his own sort of distress. He will also anger if he should happen to receive the opposite of what he expected, for the unexpected creates a greater bitterness just as it can create the greater joy if one attains his desires contrary to his expecta· tions. From these observations the hours, pen· ods, moods, and ages most conducive to anger become apparent, as do the places and occa· sions; and the more intense or numerous these conditions are, the more conducive to anger they become. We have now seen what sort of temperament belongs to people predisposed to anger. T~ey become angry at those who laugh, scoff, and ieer at them-all acts of insolence-and at those · d omg t h em harm in manners w h"1ch re present b . not e a~ attitude of insolence. This harm can for either retaliatory or beneficial to the doers, . f" Jenee. t h en 1t would not seem to be an act o mso ali n They also become angry at those who !11 gr to hear, t hem or scorn matters they take great1Y 'th zealous philosophers and those concerned WI _ their appearance, to cite just two of rnan\eX:d pies, anger at those who scorn philosop Jy. h ecnve t ose who scorn their appearance, resp ·f the 1 Such anger becomes increasingly severe individuals suspect that this ability or angere d ality does not belong or appear to belong to qu for they do not mind the ridicule when thern, . . h b. . . feel thorough1y superior m t ose a ilit1es or th ities at which others scoff. Anger is also diqu d at their friends more often than at others recte . ' . e better treatment 1s expected from them, sine and also at those who normally give honor to take thought of them, but then cease to act in this way; the angry individuals here assume they are being scorned, for otherwise they would be treated in the same way as usual. They also become angry at those who fail to repay or inadequately repay acts of kindness and at inferiors who work against them, for any such people appear to have a scornful attitude; in the latter example the angered individuals are opposed by those who consider them inferior and in the former they have offered kindness to those who consider them inferior. They especially anger at those of no account who slight them, since we suggested that an anger resulting from a slight was directed towards those who have no right to slight another, and it is one's inferiors who have no right to do so.' They also become angry at their friends who fail to speak well of them or who fail to treat t~em well, or especially when they do the oppos'.te, or when they do not understand their needs Gust as Antiphon's Plexippus failed to underSlan~ Meleager's needs). It is a sign of contempt ~o fail to perceive the needs of a friend, since we a]o not forget those who are on our mind. One angers at those who celebrate or act quite c_eerfuUy in his misfortunes· either action is a s1gn of · or slight. One ' also feels anger a . enmity ga1nst th ose who show no concern for the pains . t they have given him, which explains why one becomes angry with messengers who bring bad news. One also feels anger at those who listen to talk about him or ogle at his weaknesses, for it is as if they are slighters or enemies; friends would sympathize, since everyone is pained to focus on his own weaknesses. In addition, one angers at those who slight him in the presence of five classes of people-those who envy him, those he admires, those by whom he wishes to be admired, those whom he respects, and those who respect him. When people slight him in the presence of these, they incite him to an even greater anger. One also feels anger at those who slight those whom it would be a disgrace not to defend--parents, children, wives, subordinates-or to those who do not return a favor (since such a slight is an impropriety), or to those who pretend not to know about a matter he feels to be of importance, since this is an act of scorn. And one feels anger toward those beneficent to others, but not to him as well, for it is again an act of scorn to deem everyone else worthy of treatment he is not deemed worthy to receive. Forgetfulness, even of something so insignificant as a name, also produces anger, since forgetfulness as well seems to be a sign of slight and since forgetfulness derives from neglect, which is a slight. We have now established simultaneously at whom one becomes angry, the temperament of the angry person, and the causes for his anger. It is clear that in his speech the orator must create in his audience a temperament suitable for anger and establish his adversaries as those to be held liable for what makes his audience anger and as the sort of men at whom they should be angry. ...
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Final Answer

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Outline for: Reading Response
Summary
Gives the main idea of the author about the importance of emotions in the essay and his
conclusions
Objection
Talks about my point of view concerning the essay together with my recommendations to
the author concerning the essay
Author’s Reply
Outlines the response of the author concerning my point of view on his written essay
Evaluation
This is the conclusion of the essay where the right point of view about the argument is
given
References
Citations are done using APA formatting guidelines


Running Head: READING RESPONSE

1

Why Are My Emotions Important to Me?
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READING RESPONSE

2

Why Are My Emotions Important to Me?
Summary
The author of the essay has majored in his discussion on the importance of emotions in
the lif...

Cornell University

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