SOC344 2018 Tut2 – Mossvale

We have long conceived of a separation between mind and body in western society, with supremacy of mind over body. This basic idea that reason should dominate is captured in the classic statement by Descartes ‘cogito ergo sum’, ‘I think, therefore I am’. However, if your thoughts are affected by your bodily feelings, or even your perceptions of how the society around you sees you, then what are you? What are your thoughts? Are they really separate from your body and your feelings? And do we have a better understanding of the relationship between reason and emotion as a society today? Compare Disney’s take on the role of emotions in human action in 1943 and in 2015 (and note that the producers of the 2015 ‘Inside Out’ film considered including ‘logic’ as an emotion, but later decided to drop it). Which of these depictions makes more sense to you?

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Posted in SOC327 - Emotions Bodies and Society, UOW.

9 Comments on SOC344 2018 Tut2 – Mossvale

Sarah Stratton said : Guest Report 4 months ago

I find it interesting to align, in this context, the periods of historical specificity in which the transitions of societal perceptions of bodies and emotions are situated. The Renaissance Era from which the theorising of Descartes emerged, stemmed from a significant period of time in which the minutiae of life and thought were controlled by a strict regime of religiosity and ritual, explicitly employed to curtail independent intellectual development or the employment of rationality as it is now understood. The body was considered a mere vessel, inherently sinful with one’s sense of self embodied within the soul, capable of salvation only through subscription to and practice of proscribed ideals and behaviour. The Renaissance was in part, a return to the intellectual freedom and thought of the Greek Civilisation, in this, Descartes’ similarity to the philosophy of Plato cannot be ignored. The conceptual elevation of the mind as distinct, invaluable and superior as opposed to the body and its functions, inclusive of emotions, has found a historic and sociological continuum in developed societies, its only corruption, the means by which, it has been espoused or articulated. The Enlightenment era and the consequent advent of the capitalist and neoliberal doctrine has furthered the subjective and individualised conceptualisation of the degree of cleavage between the mind and the body however technological advances have, in the contemporaneous moment provisioned what, is, in my view, an understanding, that is almost subversive to the rationale of our social and cultural construction. The advancements made in medical sciences, in fact, in multi -disciplinary arenas of research, have allowed for a broader and more nuanced conceptualisation of the interplay between the mind, body and emotions but yet, we are governed by societal and economically driven mores which in effect, deny their organic manifestation and practice and require a large degree of alienation from the conveyance of our natural state. It is my belief, that there is an intimate connection between the body, mind and certain feelings or emotions that, definitively influence patterns of thought. We are, in essence, actors, whose private and subjective regimes are regulated by the social, cultural and economic realms that dictate acceptable behaviour. Whilst we possess the technological understanding of these processes and a greater recognition of the influence of emotion over the prowess of the mind and henceforth thoughts, the mastery of the latter over the former is still an expectation in the social world in which we operate.

Sarah Stratton said : Guest Report 4 months ago

I find it interesting to align, in this context, the periods of historical specificity in which the transitions of societal perceptions of bodies and emotions are situated. The Renaissance Era from which the theorising of Descartes emerged, stemmed from a significant period of time in which the minutiae of life and thought were controlled by a strict regime of religiosity and ritual, explicitly employed to curtail independent intellectual development or the employment of rationality as it is now understood. The body was considered a mere vessel, inherently sinful with one’s sense of self embodied within the soul, capable of salvation only through subscription to and practice of proscribed ideals and behaviour. The Renaissance was in part, a return to the intellectual freedom and thought of the Greek Civilisation, in this, Descartes’ similarity to the philosophy of Plato cannot be ignored. The conceptual elevation of the mind as distinct, invaluable and superior as opposed to the body and its functions, inclusive of emotions, has found a historic and sociological continuum in developed societies, its only corruption, the means by which, it has been espoused or articulated. The Enlightenment era and the consequent advent of the capitalist and neoliberal doctrine has furthered the subjective and individualised conceptualisation of the degree of cleavage between the mind and the body however technological advances have, in the contemporaneous moment provisioned what, is, in my view, an understanding, that is almost subversive to the rationale of our social and cultural construction. The advancements made in medical sciences, in fact, in multi -disciplinary arenas of research, have allowed for a broader and more nuanced conceptualisation of the interplay between the mind, body and emotions but yet, we are governed by societal and economically driven mores which in effect, deny their organic manifestation and practice and require a large degree of alienation from the conveyance of our natural state. It is my belief, that there is an intimate connection between the body, mind and certain feelings or emotions that, definitively influence patterns of thought. We are, in essence, actors, whose private and subjective regimes are regulated by the social, cultural and economic realms that dictate acceptable behaviour. Whilst we possess the technological understanding of these processes and a greater recognition of the influence of emotion over the prowess of the mind and henceforth thoughts, the mastery of the latter over the former is still an expectation in the social world in which we operate.

Mia Piasevoli said : Guest Report 4 months ago

When considering Dr Roger Patulny’s lecture on ‘The Mind/Body Split’, it is clear that the constructed debate regarding mind body duality has spanned over centuries. Furthermore, it is apparent that various perceptions and theories exist on the matter– from the historical concepts of Plato and Aristotle, to the contemporary ideas of Barbalet and Turner. When comparing understandings of emotion, reason/logic and the body itself (as well as their interaction together/or lack of), we can examine the differences between two Disney productions; Reason and Emotion (1943) and Inside Out (2015). Disney’s propaganda film Reason and Emotion narrates how the ‘logical reasoning’ and ‘emotional response’ portions of the brain both co-exist, and are employed by the human at different points in time. It is suggested however that reason is further respected than emotion, and should be relied upon more often – otherwise, the pure dependence on emotion (Hitler is offered as an example) will only lead to negative outcomes. Inside Out is comparable to Reason and Emotion (emotion/s being present within the human mind), yet ‘logical reasoning’ has been removed. I disagree with director Pete Doctor and producer Jonas Rivera’s (http://bit.ly/2pnSgL0) reasoning for this, believing it was dropped strictly for the convenience of the film’s plot (allowing the emotions to ‘feel love’ for Riley). My own take on the role of reasoning and emotion corresponds with Barbalet’s ‘Critical’ and ‘Radical’ approach. More so, that emotion and rational processes work together in a continuous loop. (A further intriguing take has been offered by student Lorann McCann, in which the emotions of Inside out employ reasoning and discussion amongst themselves, contributing to the Critical and Radical theories.)

Lorann McCann said : Guest Report 4 months ago

An Inside Out view of Emotion and Reason working together I personally feel that the film Reason and Emotion firstly explores the expectations and stereotypes of people. It gives two examples one of a male and his thoughts and what sometimes is turned into an action and this differentiates an arse and a gentleman. The female example shows the same. I do not feel that these examples are accurately describing or demonstrating the emotional thinking of the mind and mostly shows the lack of reason and respect as the man makes a less than appropriate comment and the woman returns a less than appropriate response. Both actions were not the result of emotional thinking rather than a demonstration of stereotypes. Furthermore, the demonstration of Hitler in this film I believe are a demonstration of one person with mental illness upon which the brain does not have the capacity to mix emotion and reason and therefore does not account for the majority. Although I feel reason and emotion can be subjected to how an individual has been brought up (not factoring in mental illness) I believe the film inside out reflects my belief. Overall the film uses brain anatomy and technology to demonstrate the feelings and emotions of a growing girl who faces problems or experiences in her everyday life, it explores happiness and it explores depression which forms the basis of the protagonist’s personality. I believe that society does play a large role on an individual’s emotions and that reason helps to create someone’s personality or the particular phase that someone may be going through, For example, as a female child with an interest in barbie or princess’s the child may want to dress and be like barbie or princess, as a teenager interests change and emotions are ever changing, make up is fashionable at school and a new side fringe is idealistic because all the girls at school have one or you’ve become self-conscious of how you look so make up hides the imperfections, you wear baggy clothes as to not show off your body. Along with these societal influences your reason changes and this is where I can understand the film Reason and Emotion because as a teenager or an immature adult, reason is a short process and an individual can lash out or get themselves into trouble. The basics of Inside Out with seven main emotions contemplate among each other has created the reason inside the emotion. The film Inside Out has created a basic understanding for adults and children about how the brain works in terms of emotion and the effects of something as small as moving house can have on the brain. The film Reason and Emotion is a very narrow minded explanation and I don’t believe it accurately describes the relationship of a healthy brain nor of reason and emotion. I also understand why the producers would include logic as an emotion because as I said earlier the film uses the contemplating emotions to reason with each other, and logic would be a form of reasoning just as the character sadness attempts to dishearten happiness.

Abbie Rowley said : Guest Report 4 months ago

When it comes to the film “Reason and Emotions” I am forced to believe that they are two separate ideas that control what happens. When it comes to emotions I do believe that we are born with basic emotions such as the ones displayed in the film “Inside Out”, but we get a deeper understanding of our emotions as we go through experiences in life. Our emotions are not the same as when we were children they have developed and I think that when we start adding reason into the equation we are able to soften those emotions and keep them under control. I do not believe that they are separate Ideas as I believe they go hand and hand with one another so the film “Inside Out”, makes more sense to me as there is no separate idea of reason. As we grow up our emotions and reason mature together. #mvale

Holly Lambert said : Guest Report 4 months ago

SOC344 Tut 2- Moss Vale Reason is often referred to as being an opposite characteristic to emotion. The original meaning for emotion originates from the ‘Latin word to move’ (Johnson, 2005). An emotional response is often due to an illogical reaction. This is often stimulated and provoked causing the body to respond to the behaviour. The film ‘Reason and Emotions’ (1943) portrays to the viewer how reason is in opposition to reason. The cartoon style illuminates how emotion is disconnected from reason, thereby presenting an insightful interaction between body and mind. In contrast the film ‘Inside Out’ (2015), approaches the representation of an emotional response in a fresh and vibrant approach. These emotions that are conveyed include Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust. These are depicted in that of an intended purpose, by where the main character Riley uses her inner development for reasoning through the visual account of special memories displayed. I think that both the body and mind interconnect successfully. From my thinking and reflection, emotions come first with reason developing later in response to environmental stimulated consequences.

Annalise Stevenson said : Guest Report 4 months ago

It is true that there is a longstanding distinction between reason and emotion. In past culture and literature, reason and the mind have held a pure dominance over the impulses of emotion. This is evident through Disney’s 1943 short film, ‘Reason and Emotion’, they do this directing the fear of the war, at the conflicts that emotion can cause when it overpowers reason. It successfully presents what Barbalet outlines as the conventional approach to emotions. Intertwined with the movement of mind over body, this depiction eliminates any possible complexity to the emotions. With the discoveries in neuroscience regarding brains functions, emotion can no longer be regarded as a singular entity. In 2015, Disney released ‘Inside Out’, this is representational of the current approaches to emotions. The emotions form goals, and Riley uses her reason developed from core memories to achieve them through socially acceptable actions. The result of a core memory that is mixed with two or more emotions, explains the growing complexity of emotions with age. This is synonymous with the spectrum of emotions that is formed from our understanding of the radical approach described by Barbalet. What is most interesting is the factor that the environment around us can influence our emotions in particular degrees, which produces skewed perceptions of reality. Could this be a possible approach to understanding humans who have a deeper sensitivity to the world? The reflections of stigma and discredit from the people around them, could be impacting the perceptions of reality in a negative way. Perhaps there is nothing wrong with the individual, maybe it is the environment that they are in that affects their sensitivities.

zeljka o'malley said : Guest Report 4 months ago

The 1943 film ‘reason & emotions’ takes a conventional approach, where emotion is in opposition to reason (Barbalet 1998). The cartoon separates emotion and reason, body and mind. It leads the viewer to believe emotion is weakness and having reason is strength. The ‘inside out’ film takes on the radical approach. The intention of the film is to persuade us to accept our emotions, instead of controlling them. The films show a shift in understanding the relationship between reason & emotion. This is due to society changing through education & knowledge & the popular idea of the current time. The radical approach sits well with me. I cannot imagine a separation between mind/body, reason & emotion. As I see it, a child isn’t born thinking rationally, he/she feels emotions first & develops reason through environmental influences. The body exists as a whole; the physical, mental & emotional support each other, which is a continuous process (Barbalet 1998).

Jake Baker said : Guest Report 4 months ago

Reason, or logic, is often depicted as being the opposite of emotion. Emotion is usually seen as being an irrational reaction to a stimulus whereas reason is usually seen as being the rational reaction to a stimulus arrived at after careful consideration of the implications of said stimulus. This is clearly shown in the 1943 clip, which argues that emotion has "gotten the better of" the German population, whereas the ideal American lets reason take the drivers seat. Aside from being an oversimplification of the events which led to the war, this piece of propaganda implies that the Germans let their emotions rule their decisions, as if emotions and reason are functions which can be switched on or off at will. This is not the case in the modern clip which shows an array of emotions working together inside the mind of the people in the clip. The producers' decision to leave reason out of the modern movie may well be indicative of the prevailing thought that emotion and reason are at odds with each other. The reality is more complicated than a straightforward struggle between emotion and reason, with our emotions having a direct impact on reason and vice versa. This relationship between the two could be seen clearly in the TedX talk, with emotion having an effect on our perception of reality.

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