About the Emotion category

What are emotions? What are their somatic and neurological origins? Are they controllable perceptions, and if so, how? Can they be influenced by controlling other perceptions?

Before posting here, one should have first read Bill Powers’ chapter on emotion in Behavior: The control of perception.

This chapter (omitted in the first 1973 edition) proposes that emotions are derived from somatic sensations and interconnections between the behavioral control hierarchy and “a second hierarchy of control … concerned with the sensing and control of quantities derived from sensors and … chemical messengers throughout the body” (B:CP 258-259). “An emotion is the combination of a goal and a feeling. […] one must select a goal, and feel the physiological state, and have the action blocked, before the state would truly be called emotional” (B:CP 256).

Are feelings of pleasure, satisfaction, joy, and happiness considered to be emotional states. If so, it is hard to believe that these states are the result of “having an action blocked” which the previous post and Powers (B:CP, 2005, p, 256) indicate is required “before the state would truly be called emotional.”

If positive emotions such as happiness exist, they seem to be a result of goals/references being achieved rather than being blocked.

In short, it seems as if the Powers chapter on emotions is focused on negative emotions and ignores positive emotions.

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