Free Essay

Comparison Essay on Emotion

In: Social Issues

Submitted By goreharpreet
Words 805
Pages 4
What is an emotion? William James and Jean-Paul Sartre present two different arguments regarding what constitutes an emotion. This paper will explore William James’ analysis of emotion as set out in his 1884 essay . It will attempt to discover the main points of his view, and then present Sartre’s rebuttal of this view taken from his essay on emotions . Concluding with an explanation regarding why Sartre’s account is flawed and James’s argument is the stronger of the two, it will use outside examples to demonstrate the various weaknesses and strengths within the two perspectives.

William James analysis of emotion revolves around his theory that an emotion is nothing more than the senses and feelings we experience in our bodies that come about after we perceive something. He says that “ … the bodily changes follow directly the perception of the exciting fact, and that our feeling of the same changes as they occur is the emotion”. He gives several premises to back up this theory.
First of all, that if you were to take away the bodily changes and senses that we associate with an emotion that you would have nothing left of the emotion. He refers to the state of fear and how there would be no emotion left, if the feelings of “… quickened heart-beats nor of shallow breathing…” were taken away. It would simple be a state of being, as opposed to an emotional state. Presenting an emotion with out the bodily changes that are associated with it is, as James states, is “… inconceivable.”
As well, James then states how difficult it is for human beings to re-enact the bodily functions that take place when an emotion is carried out. Although we may “… catch the trick with the voluntary muscles…” the rest of the emotion will not be achieved. James states that the reason for this is that without perceiving something, which triggers this emotion, the emotion will not be felt.
In contrast of this, Jean-Paul Sartre feels that emotions should be looked upon with a “… ‘phenomenological’ view…”. He states that “Emotion is a certain way of apprehending the world.”

While there are a few weaknesses in James’ argument, it is Sartre’s argument whose contains many premises can easily be shown to be false. James felt that emotions were simply the bodily changes and sensorial brain-processes. Sartre’s argument builds on the idea that an emotion is a change or transformation in our perception or view towards the object of the emotion. By this same argument, it follows that to experience any emotion requires an object or perception of an object.
However there are cases where people can experience emotions without even the direct perception of an object. For instance there are some drugs and substances that can induce many different feelings of emotion into a human such as happiness, depression, etc., without requiring the affected person to be conceiving of, or imagining something.
This presents a severe issue with Sartre’s argument but it gives new strength to James account. If emotions are really just the various combinations of our senses, and it is a well known fact that many drugs do indeed enhance or hinder some of our senses, then it should follow that in order to block certain emotions it would simply require a drug preventing some of those senses to stop the ability to experience the emotion. This is seen everyday in clinics around the world: patients experiencing rages of anger are giving behavior-modifying drugs that calm down those senses associated with the emotion of anger and they are no longer able to undergo that emotion while under the strong influence of the drug.
Revisiting Sartre’s argument, regarding emotion he states that “ It is a transformation of the world”, and that “ the origin of emotion is a spontaneous and lived degradation of consciousness in the face of the world.” By these premises, each emotion requires would therefore require you to perceive an object in a way differently than is normal. But it is a common occurrence that people tend to experience mixed and often conflicting emotions when faced with a serious or traumatic situation. James’ argument withstands this test, because it is conceivable that our body could experience a multitude of combinations of senses at the same time, each representing a specific emotion. But it is much harder to imagine that the mind could transform a person’s perception of an object in conflicting ways at the same time.

James’ analysis of emotion is a much stronger argument than Sartre’s. Its truth can be seen in many examples of past and present day. Although the common public definition of what entails an emotion will most certainly change, it is much more likely to fall in line with, or derive from similarities in James’ definition, rather than Sartre’s.

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

The Struggle Against Sweatshops - Rhetorical Analysis

...prominent in our globalized world. Tara J. Radin and Martin Calkins explore this problem in “The Struggle Against Sweatshops: Moving Toward Responsible Global Business” by breaking down their essay into two primary sections. The first describes the difficulties of both external and internal forces in permanently discarding sweatshops while the second division highlights the complexity behind any plausible solution. While the content of this article is of elevated interest, more important for our purpose is the success behind their rhetoric. They utilize the emotions of an audience on an already sensitive topic while simultaneously providing evidence from a variety of environments and sources to point out that their conclusive recommendations are of great value when the urge to change the manner in which we get products finally sets in. In their essay “The Struggle Against Sweatshops: Moving Toward Responsible Global Business”, Radin and Calkins both inform and persuade their audience at an effective level through their credibility, emotion, and logic—ethos, pathos, and logos, respectively—to conclusively come about at more fully understanding the need for reform in global labor markets. I will first define ethos followed by an analysis and illustration of the rhetoric as it is used in the essay. That will then be followed by pathos and logos, both sharing a similar format of define, analyze, and illustrate. Rhetoric is, of course, a powerful tool and a necessary component......

Words: 1694 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Dsadad

...Ho 1 Tommy Ho Miss. Ghai ENG3U 5 November 2012 A Generation of Music Sydney J, Harris is the writer who wrote “Blasting Music to Drown out Reality.” According to the essay, he describes modem music is “noise” and annoying. He thinks people use to music to distract people from their problems. In the purposes of this essay is want to tell his audience, what music should be, what are the purposes of music, why do people create and listen to music, and how teenage should respect to the music. However Harris used some skillfully techniques to write a strong, convincing essay, such as his personal anecdotes, diction, and figurative language. First of all, Harris used his personal anecdotes for the main elements of his essay. He saw two sullen, slack-jawed young assistants to do some repair work on the tennis across the road, and they brought a powerful portable radio which kept blasting away for a full afternoon. However, the writer is subjective, he does not prove some objectives elements or other people’s opinion, and he only used his personal experience and emotions to judge and determined that people use music as a way to anesthetized themselves. These shows the arguments are individualistic. In the essay, it said, “It is not in order to hear the music, but in order that the vacuum in their minds may be soothed by the sound, so that silence does not force them into thinking about themselves or experiencing the real world of perception and sensation.”(Harris, P5)...

Words: 659 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Rhetorical Analysis

...LeBlanc 02/07/15 Rhetorical Analysis Outline I. Introduction A. In his new York times essay “where sweatshops are dream” writer Nicholas D. Kristof makes a number of points regarding what he sees as an adverse effect of labor standards compliance on the economic development of low-income countries that we feel require some clarification and comment. B. Purpose of argument: His purpose in this essay is to let people know that sweatshops can help people. C. Audience: Kristof assumes his readers are Americans that are repulsed by the idea of importing products made by barely paid barely legal workers in dangerous factories. II. Thesis: By establishing his credibility, building his case slowly, and appealing to both logic and emotions, Kristof succeeds in writing effective argument . III. Body paragraph 1: pathos A. He appeals to pathos by using words or images designed to move readers and appeal to the readers emotion. B. List examples you might use: “The miasma of toxic stink leaves you gasping, breezes batter you with filth, and even the rats look forlorn.” “Many families actually live in shacks on this smoking garbage.” C. Explanation: why or how is the example you provided effective or not Throughout this short essay, Kristof uses emotionally loaded language and his arguments include vivid descriptions or striking examples intended to appeal to reader’s emotion. IV. Body paragraph 2: ethos A. Topic sentence As a columnist for The Times since......

Words: 578 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Generate a List of Narrative Essay Components

...University Generate a list of narrative essay components “The four components of essays are Expository essay, Descriptive essays, Narrative essays, and Argumentative essays.” (ack Baker Allen Brize) The expository essay is a essay” that requires the student to investigate an idea, evaluate evidence, expound on the idea, and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner. This can be accomplished through comparison and contrast, definition,” (ack Baker Allen Brize) The descriptive essay is a essay” that asks the student to describe something object, person, place, experience, emotion, situation. This encourages the student’s ability to create a written account of a particular experience.” (ack Baker Allen Brize) A narrative essay,” These essays are often anecdotal, experiential, and personal allowing students to express themselves in a creative and, quite often, moving ways.” (ack Baker Allen Brize) Explain what strategies you will use to select a topic for an essay The strategies I would use to select a topic for my essay is I would” first call or write someone from my past an ask them questions that would help me learn more about my past history”, (Composition of everyday life, 2012) I would then “visit my old school or even look for old photos” (Composition of everyday life, 2012) .Lastly I would try to think of things that happen to me on my own that would make a great topic for an essay. The argumentative essay is a essay that requires “the......

Words: 281 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Personal Responsibility

...responsibility do just fine in life, personal responsibility will lead to my success in and beyond school because it gives me the confidence to succeed, and will lead to a better life for my family and me. Now as to my approach for this paper I am writing this essay according to The Descriptive Essay (2011), "The descriptive essay is a genre of essay that asks the student to describe an object, person, place, experience, emotion, situation, etc. This genre encourages the student’s ability to create a written account of a particular experience. What is more, this genre allows for a great deal of artistic freedom (the goal of which is to paint an image that is vivid and moving in the mind of the reader).” (para. 1). I believe the goals of this essay lend themselves better to a descriptive essay than they do an expository essay. According to "The Expository Essay" (2011), "The expository essay is a genre of essay that requires the student to investigate an idea, evaluate evidence, expound on the idea, and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner. This can be accomplished through comparison and contrast, definition, example, the analysis of cause and effect, etc.” (para. 1). So instead of writing my essay and having to support my personal views, views that have been shaped by my experiences in life, with someone else’s work, I will express my views and how they affect my morals and ethics when it comes to personal responsibility....

Words: 306 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Compare Contrast

...Compare and contrast essays are effective in all areas for my life. Comparing two items that are similar can be positive, however contrasting these items may not be the best way to write about them. Comparing two items that are very different would not be the best way to write about them. Comparing thru contrast would be a much better essay. The idea of writing any essay is to interest the reader to the point where they do not want to stop reading the paper. It is important to capture the reader’s attention, and to keep their interest until the end of the story, or essay. Comparing two ideas that are similar and comparing their similarities could be detailed on how you could change something about the subjects to be able to show their differences. Letting the reader make their own conclusions after giving them the information will help to get the reader involved. subjects. The situations in which these are most effective are professional reflections. Professional comparisons are usually backed by professional primary sources. Those are primary sources can give factual information about both viewpoints in the essay. Personal reflections in a compare and contrast essay is slightly more ineffective as usually personal emotions can get in the way of being objective. If you take one side of a two viewpoint subject, you would find the essay favor the side you have taken. Professional compare and contrast essays are coming from multiple viewpoints. These viewpoints are......

Words: 294 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Pigs in Jerseys

...Jacob Smith October 14th, 2013 English 111.140 Pigs in Jerseys? The two essays “The Roar of the Crowd” by David P. Barash and “Champion of the World” by Maya Angelou are vastly different in their opinion of the importance of sports, and the how that it effects the world around us. These essays depict the emotional power that sports have on people. While reading the essay “The Roar of the Crowd” you cannot help but picture an avid sports fan throwing down the essay with bitter disgust, because the arguments that it presents. Comparing sports fans that “root, root, root” for their favorite team to that of the activity of “pigs in the mud”. Even if you are an extreme sports lover and paint your face and pay top dollar just to be a few more inches closer from your favorite team of player, you cannot help but to read this article and understand where Barash is getting these opinions. Such as when Barash points out that we get a sense of identity when we throw on the home team’s jersey and join the sports frenzy. He also disuses the way that children are exceptionally prone to the delusion of latching on to idol like that of a star athlete and pouring there entire life into a person that can hit or throw a ball freakishly good rather than that of a brilliant mind like Einstein(Barash 363). Barash’s Main argument is that we have completely engulfed ourselves into these sports, played between a bunch of “spoiled millionaire players” (Barash 362). While forgetting things......

Words: 954 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Modes

... |Tips | |Rhetorical mode |Explain when or why each |Explain what organizational method works |Provide two tips for writing | | |rhetorical mode is used. |best with each rhetorical mode. |in each rhetorical mode. | |Narration |The purpose of narrative writing |A strong narrative essay, containing |--Phrases and words related to| | |is an extensive form or |details of the setting, characters, and |the human senses attract the | | |storytelling. It can either be |situations relevant to the conflict of the|audience’s attention. | | |factual or fictional; it depends |story to engage the audience. It gives the| | | |on the purpose of the author, such|audience a vivid illustration of what is |--Minor characters help | | |as biographies or memoirs. |occurring. An essay of this nature is |support main characters or add| | | |structured in chronological order |details to plots and | | | |beginning with the plot, characters, |conflicts. | | | |conflict, and then theme. ...

Words: 1000 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Hume: Philosophy and Moral Ethics

...Quiz #1 Questions 1. Give full and logical descriptions of the philosophy. Biography is optional. 2. Give any comparison you consider interesting. Pro/Con Philosophers 3. Your personal opinion about this philosophy. David Hume 1 Biography 1711 – 1776 Scottish Philosopher Self-Proclaimed Agnostic Did not believe we could answer the question, “Does God exist?” Exiled and moved to France Leading thinker in European enlightenment Wrote treaties on ethics, knowledge, religion, and human nature. Was called, “Good David”, remarkably kind and humorous, or the Scottish Skeptic Essay, “Of Self-Love” Essay, “Moral Distinction not Derived from Reason” All action is motivated by selfishness, or “self-love”. This claim in psychological egoism is at odds with our regular experiences with people In which we act with “such affections as love, friendship, compassion, and gratitude”. Reducing things down to one cause may work in natural sciences, but it is unnecessary and inaccurate in the human sciences. In “Moral Distinctions not Derived from Reason”, argues that morality is not based solely on pure rationality, but on our “sentiments,” Sentiments – Our feelings of acceptance or disapproval. Thus, moral thinking is also moral *feeling* Supported by examining cases of moral “turpitude” 1. Incest 2. Murder 3. Ingratitude “To [even] the most careless observer, there appear to be such......

Words: 391 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Dynamic Nominalism

...influence individuals to adopt characteristics and thus fit in to the new classification. This differs from inert nominalism and realism as this label may not always be the same one used for the individual, as social change gives birth to new opportunities, individuals may move categories. This essay is going to explore Hacking’s term dynamic nominalism through the illustration of some of the issues in the emo society. The concept of dynamic nominalism claims that in giving a name to a category a new opportunity is created for human types to adopt. New types of people start to exist that in some respects did not before. We can see this through the emergence of the emo society. The term emo is short for emotional it was first used as a description for a genre of music named emotional hardcore, with lyrics full of sad and depressed emotions. As the music became more popular adolescents found a sense of belonging within the music, (Gorce 2005) and a new possibility that allowed their emotions to be expressed emerged. As dynamic nominalism explains “new slots were created in which to fit”. (Hacking 2002:100) The emo society was custom made to fit the youth who wanted to express their emotion. The emo society and the emo person were born in unison, in the same way that dynamic nominalism states “a kind of person came into being at the same time as the kind itself was invented”(Hacking 2002:106) The emo person was created and roles, behaviours and mannerisms were adopted to work......

Words: 835 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

What

...CHAP TER Rhetorical Modes 1. NARRATION L E A R N I N G O B J E C T I V E S 10 1. Identify the purpose and structure of narrative writing. 2. Recognize how to write a narrative essay. Rhetorical modes simply mean the ways in which we can effectively communicate through language. This chapter covers nine common rhetorical modes. As you read about these nine modes, keep in mind that the rhetorical mode a writer chooses depends on his or her purpose for writing. Sometimes writers incorporate a variety of modes in one essay. In covering the nine rhetorical modes, this chapter also emphasizes these as a set of tools that will allow you greater flexibility and effectiveness in communicating with your audience and expressing your ideas. rhetorical modes The ways in which we effectively communicate through language. 1.1 The Purpose of Narrative Writing Narration means the art of storytelling, and the purpose of narrative writing is to tell stories. Any time you tell a story to a friend or family member about an event or incident in your day, you engage in a form of narration. In addition, a narrative can be factual or fictional. A factual story is one that is based on, and tries to be faithful to, actual events as they unfolded in real life. A fictional story is a made-up, or imagined, story; the writer of a fictional story can create characters and events as he or she sees fit. However, the big distinction between factual and fictional narratives is based on a writer’s......

Words: 14947 - Pages: 60

Premium Essay

Human Sexuality

...Seminar One Theories Comparison Essay Tammy J. Stratton Abnormal Psychology 311 Mike Taylor Baker Online Theories Comparison Essay The behavioral model is about the concept of learning. “The behavioral perspective is identified with the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov (1849-1958), the, the discoverer of the conditioned reflex, and the American psychologist John B. Watson (1878–1958), the father of behaviorism”( Rathus, et al., 2006, p.52). Therefore, the way individuals learn can end up having a psychological problem. Individuals who are raised in a harsh, abused, or lack of praise for good behavior can manipulate a person’s behavior. The cognitive model describes the state an individual motion or behavior is in. Aaron T. Beck and Albert Ellis are the founding fathers for the cognitive model. An individual cognitive function is the process of knowing or perceiving in how an individual deals with information. The comparison between the behavioral and cognitive model are similar by the way of learning and how the information is processed. However, the behavioral model can be different depending on the way a person is raised. Therefore, a child raised in a loving environment, praised for good behavior can lead to have normal behavior and normal cognitive functions. In conclusion, the individual is able to process or perceive information better. The contrast is when a child raised in an abusive home, lack of praise and lack of loving parents, the child’s......

Words: 659 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

"The Battle of the Ants" Analysis

...so resolutely” (575). Thoreau uses hyperbole early in his essay to reinforce its anti-war theme as he describes the fighting ants to be in the middle of war. However, he implies that this war is miniscule by reminding the reader of its setting: a wood-yard. Thoreau goes on to describe an even smaller battle he witnesses between two ants, again, amid the chips, giving more scope to the idea that war is irrelevant compared to the broader schemes of the world. “I watched a couple that were fast locked in each other’s embraces, in a little sunny valley amid the chips, now at noonday prepared to fight till the sun went down, or life went out… They fought with more pertinacity than bulldogs” (575). Thoreau also manages to include more nuances in this passage, one being a comparison between the ants and bulldogs, in turn, a comparison between human war and the persistent determination of animals, which obviously do not have the extensive mental capacity that humans do. Thoreau is suggesting that war is dehumanizing and utterly pointless because humans are capable of reasoning and higher-level thinking. He also anthropomorphizes the emotions and motivations of the ant war when he says “[i]t was evident that their battle-cry was ‘Conquer or die.’” He is alluding to human war and the rhetoric and propaganda that are associated with it. As the essay continues, Thoreau manages to make war seem even more insignificant in comparison to the rest of the world by focusing on a single ant.......

Words: 1097 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Rental Heart Essay

...Kirsten Logan “The Rental Heart” Essay Love is hard, especially when we live in a world with so many millions of people, different, every single human being, so unique and away from other human beings on the earth. We live in a world were hatred, war and racism has dominated for years. And we keep asking ourselves, why? Why do we still need love? Why can’t we live without it, and sometimes can’t live with it? What does it mean for us, when our hearts tell us to fell something for other humans? Its questions we keep asking ourselves because we don’t know how to handle love, how to control it, how to balance between our bad and good emotions and in the end we don’t know what real love is, before getting heart, maybe a few times. Love, emotions, a broken heart that never ends feeling empty, it’s basically what the story is about in the novel “the Rental Heart”. The short story presents a protagonist as neuter story teller. We don’t really know anything about this person, which sex the teller has, looks, anything from the outside besides the tellers thoughts and the chronological story that tells about the various attempts at love. The narrator introduces us to many different types of persons “she” had a relationship with. but that isn’t the focus we have in the novel, it is really about the questions we have on the persons’ sex’. The narrator keeps switching sex on “her” lovers, and sometimes we wonder if “she” switches “her” own sex. for example the narrators switching......

Words: 768 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Language Analysis Essay

...Language Analysis Essay Not all workers are equal The editorial, ‘Not all workers are equal’ featured in the Age on 15 August 2012 focuses on the issue that workers in Pakistan work in conditions that are not safe and can lead to extreme dangers . The editorial is accompanied by a photo that focuses on two sad women who appear to be in mourning, this evidently support the writing piece displayed after the death of all the people in Pakistan due to the poor work conditions. The writer contends that Australians should care about this problem and acknowledge that what is happening over in Pakistan would be illegal over here. The writer uses a sad and authoritative tone to enhance the emotions that are intended to get across to the audience, this is revealed a lot throughout the text from words such as “appalling” and “disturbing:. The writer opens strongly by capturing the reader’s guilt, using comparison and appeal to relate our comfortable lives to the unfortunate lives and events in Third World Countries around the world. The writer focused on the appeal of guilt to endure the audience and alarm them about those people whose lives have been torn apart and then focusing on the harmful lives of workers in Pakistan. From getting the attention of the readers at this point, the writer then goes on to use facts and figures to back up and support their point. ‘Of the estimated 500 people said to be in the three-storey concrete building at the time, at least 264 died.’ This......

Words: 571 - Pages: 3