Searching for emotional truth

PsyBlog has posted the first of a new series entitled ‘Emotional Truth: The Search Starts Here’ that will examine how much control we have over emotions and how they link to our thoughts and experiences.

Many people would say their emotions only come when they will and not when they want. So how do thoughts and emotions interact in everyday life and in therapeutic processes like cognitive behavioural therapy? Do we really have any control over our emotions or are they things that just happen to us?

The first part looks at the work of the philosopher Robert Solomon who attempts to unpick ‘common sense’ psychology to show that our everyday understanding of emotions poorly describes how they affect our thoughts and behaviour.

Further parts in the series will analyse some of the latest findings from emotion science that are helping us make sense of our chaotic feelings.

Link to Part 1 of ‘Emotional Truth: The Search Starts Here’ from PsyBlog.

2 thoughts on “Searching for emotional truth”

  1. There is a certain kind of logic to emotions. While some of this logic is particular to the individual, much of it is, I think, universal. While an elucidation of this logic, its sequences and why and wherefores, would serve us, I have yet to find a book that does it.
    There are pieces here and there about it, usually regarding pathology. They discuss, for instance, how we tend to feel guilty about this or that when tragedy befalls us even though we have nothing to do with it… but I have never seen a collection of chains of emotional reasoning in the form of syllogisms or the like.
    I think having many of these “emotional syllogisms” down on paper with analysis would be helpful. They could, perhaps, help us form a sort of model of emotional math. That is, they would present a system of rules and perhaps some of what is opaque about our natures may become transparent as a result.
    A work like that could help us navigate the labyrinth of emotions and even provide us with fundamental patterns, so that we could not only navigate but have more agency. That is, we could transform the pathways of the living labyrinth to lead us to where we want to go. We could also gain more wisdom in know when, perhaps, it is best to take a more passive role and simply walk through the paths as presented to us.
    Do you know of anyone who has wrote a book like this?

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