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MAKING SENSE OF FEELING: AN INTERDISCIPLINARY EXPLORATION OF WILLIAM JAMES' THEORY OF EMOTION BY JEREMY AXELRAD A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Social Sciences New College of Florida in partial fulfillment of the requirements for t he degree Bachelor of Arts Under the sponsorship of Dr. Steven Graham Sarasota, Florida March, 2011
ii I gratefully dedicate this thesis to my family, for their deep love and support throughout my entire education, academic or otherwise; I will learn from you and for you for as long as I live, and it would be my honor and great joy to share with you many more ideas and accomplishments large and small. And to Flavia, for her beautiful spirit, grounded ways, and infectious humor, all of which contributed something each day to this work. These relationships are love embodied.
iii Table of Contents Abstract .....iv Introduction ....1 Chapter 1: James' Theory of Emotion in Context What is an emotion?...7 William James' theory of emotion as distinct from Carl Lange's.....9 The whole organism is a sounding board....14 Mental activity is inextricable from bodily activity......16 Behavior is largely habitual and guided by feeling...20 Habits are enacted within personal activity situations..27 Feelings are essential to inhabiting a world of meaning ...31 Chapter 2: Empirical Support for James' View Evidence from Affective Neuroscience...33 Antonio Damasio's Perspective The Obligate Body Relatedness of Emotion ...34 A.D. Craig's Perspective Interoception and Feeling......48 Jaak Panksepp's Perspective Instinctual Affective Systems ......51 Consciousness, Emotion, and the Body Convergent Empirical Evidence for a Unified Understanding of Mind and Body.....55 Conclusion ...63 Bibliography. .......72
1 Introduct ion As a preface to the discussion to follow, please take a moment at this time to notice how you are feeling. Pay a closer, more finely grained attention to your immediate experience what is your general mood, your current state of mind? Perhaps calm and alert, perhaps fatigued or unable to concentrate, distracted by another issue which is occupying your attention. Is time flying by, or dragging slowly onwards? Notice the subtle texture of your emotional background, how it interacts with the pervasive qua lity of your surroundings. How are you carrying your present situation in your body, your posture and muscular tension? Do you feel well or ill? How does your chest feel when you inhale? Though some of these felt contours of living normally exist on the ma rgin of our conscious awareness, so intimately familiar as to evade articulation, bodily feeling is our deepest and most immediate way of knowing reality, knowing our selves, and guiding our living in the world. Right now, for instance, you have a sense of my writing as you react with agreement, cynicism, or in some other way to what you understand me to be saying. Note that this reaction occurs on a tacit, felt level, changing moment by moment as you read, yet containing implicit reference to a much larger context the quality of your day, your mood, your personality. From the moment we wake up in the morning, and even prior, in the dreams which we puzzle over during those first moments of the day, we are feeling beings, experiencing the world as a meaningf ul place for interaction and ceaselessly developing situations either present or virtual. We are aggravated by the traffic jam, entertained by a friend's story, crestfallen upon hearing bad news. We know the objects of our perception by how they make us fe el and how they fit into the larger context of our living whether
2 recognizing a face in a crowd, the meaning of a word, or the danger which seems to haunt a dark alleyway, our world first shows itself to us qualitatively before and beneath any deliberate reflection. More or less discrete things arise from an experiential context which functions as an inextricable background for perception and thought, giving shape to particulars and suffusing each and every thing we encounter with some felt significance. T hroughout each day, we engage in countless interactions with this world of qualities as living beings with personal perspectives, goal directed projects, and a sense of agency, carrying and carried forward by the ever developing flux of our feeling. Each f elt moment arises, unique from the one prior yet immanently familiar, and no sooner does it arrive than it has already passed into our history; our lives are incessantly borne into the indeterminate future, which we elaborate and act upon in an intricate i nterplay of feeling and behavior. This constant sense of participation in life, which gives us hunger for food and for love, the pain of loneliness and the eager excitement of anticipation, is part and parcel of conscious existence. Feeling is the continu ous first person narrative we tell with our living. Even lying down to sleep in a dark room with our eyes closed, in those last moments before awareness slips away, we feel our lives going on in a qualitative and immediate way. All of our experiencing is a n ongoing play of qualities and qualitative changes, at the heart of which is a relationship between ourselves and the world. It is by experiencing these qualities on the level of concrete feeling that our lives have sense and value; feeling is not an occa sional occurrence in conscious life, but an uninterrupted flow of lived meaning, without which we could hardly be said to be ourselves. It is for and by feeling
3 that we live the drama of personal existence. But what exactly is feeling? What are we feeling when we feel, and how does feeling arise from unfelt processes to disclose a perspective on existence that is utterly our own? What is the relationship between feeling and emotions, and how do emotions affect our experiences and interactions within the qua litative world they reveal? How does feeling relate to the living body, and the personality expressed by that body while it lives? These questions, though long grappled with by philosophers and poets, and more recently by scientists, are seldom asked in da ily living, which carries on despite our barely scratching the surface of its complexity. For each one of us, feeling is an unquestionable fact, yet a deeply enigmatic occurrence in nature and our own lives. This thesis is an attempt to explore the aforem entioned questions in such a way that an understanding can be reached with regards to the phenomenon of feeling and its relationship to the phenomena encountered in felt experience. Beginning as felt life begins, with the experience of emotion, I first dis cuss William James' seminal 1884 essay on emotion, in which he argued that the feeling of an emotion is the experience of our bodily activity in the world. James was perpetually inspired by the rich dynamic nature of life as it is lived, and many of his wr itings bear the mark of the close attention he paid to experience, his own and that of others. In situating James' theory of emotion in the larger context of his thought, specifically with regards to experience and the body, I hope to make clear a vision o f feeling which bridges the seeming gulf between mind and body through its intimate involvement with the process of living. A cull of James' Principles of Psychology and later philosophy of Radical Empiricism fleshes out the intricate process by which feel ing arises from the body's
4 living within an environment. I discuss James' understanding of the organism as an interconnected, affective unity, whose whole body is engaged with adaptive behavior in the world. I then introduce his notion of habit as the ever shifting boundary between felt and unfelt activity which spans the realms of reflex action, instinct, and emotion, and extends to the most abstract cognitive operations, yet always reflects the structure of the organism and its tendencies towards self pre servation. In the bodily expression of habits we find the roots of subjective agency and affectivity, and the emergence of consciousness properly so called as a felt amalgam of activity and impingement. The adaptation of the whole organism to its ever evol ving circumstances is shown to be the engine of conscious life, directed by efforts of sustained attention which organize experience into definite yet plastic configurations. It is due to our habitual nature that human experience is first and always an aff ective, embodied affair, structured by our bodily form, dispositions, and capacities, and ceaselessly budding forwards into the future as a unified whole with our active living. James' notion of personal activity situations, developed towards the end of h is life, is introduced early in the thesis as a means to retroactively organize his earlier struggles with seemingly intractable dichotomies such as mind/body, self/world, subject/object, potential/actual. In methodically referring back to "the immediate f lux of life" as he grappled with these issues, James' work culminated in a potentially fruitful yet oft neglected understanding of the relationship between experience and reality. Habits are guided by feeling and enacted in continuously developing lived c ontexts that James called personal activity situations, which shape the form of a whole field of consciousness; each activity situation is a unique, affective, interconnected
5 qualitative gestalt with a dynamic focus fringe structure. Activity situations ar e the loci of the ongoing dialectic between context and novelty, actuality and possibility, and are essential to understanding being and becoming for James. After discussing James' view of how habitual behavior unfolds within interactive situations to giv e rise to consciousness, I turn to his writings on the topic of the body and emotion, each of which played crucial if nascent roles in his philosophy. I show that the essential features of consciousness are structured by the living body in touch with a w orld, and that this formative relation between body and mind is also essential to more abstract cognitive operations such as reasoning and philosophizing. By elucidating just what James had to say about the importance of emotional feeling in inhabiting a w orld of value, I arrive at a vision of the mind as inextricable from the feeling body in the world, thoroughly contingent upon natural history and personal circumstance, yet a purposeful and autonomous creative force. Human experience, in all its complexit y and significance, is a chronicle of the lived body relating to environments which are disclosed on the flesh and blood level of felt meaning. Feeling is essential to life, and life to feeling, and both processes are always situated within a particular wo rld they enact. The second part of my thesis is a discussion of some empirical findings from contemporary affective neuroscience which I offer in support of James' views. I will provide a variety of evidence which shows that James' enjoys considerable emp irical support. The approaches of Antonio Damasio, Jaak Panksepp, and A.D. Craig in the field of affective neuroscience can be all be considered neo Jamesian, and serve to vindicate James' contention that emotional feelings are aspects of partly autonomic, partly voluntary bodily processes which are essential for consciousness, cognition, and the
6 experience of meaning. The contemporary understanding of emotion as an endlessly differentiated whole body response to a lived situation was presaged by James' own approach, which was informed by the evolutionary science, neurology, and empirical psychology of his time. The findings of the aforementioned researchers suggest that James' view of feeling as a continuous and ever changing process of the self sensing hu man body as it relates to a world it enacts is essentially correct. James' theories of emotion, the self, and the relationship between feeling and the world find support in the contemporary study of emotion and consciousness. I discuss Damasio's Somatic Ma rker hypothesis and its relation to the felt fringe of consciousness first detailed by James. I then explore convergent evidence for a homeostatic model of awareness, in which mind and body are understood as inextricable facets of the process of living and relating to an environment. Our body as subjectively experienced is the nexus of lived meanings which connect us to a world that we qualitatively know, in a seamless and dynamic process of reciprocal affectations. Throughout the discussion, I point out th at contemporary understandings of cognition as an aspect of the fundamentally affective organism environment relationship were foretold by James' singular intuition and detailed attention to felt experience. I conclude my thesis with an assertion of the pr imacy of the feeling body in experience a notion which remained implicit throughout much of James' work and has long been misunderstood from his provocative writings on emotion, yet has found support from a number of avenues.
7 Chapter 1: James' Theory of Emotion in Context What is an emotion? In April of 1884, the American psychologist and philosopher William James published his theory of emotion in the journal British journal Mind Borne of introspective observations, James' theory suggested an essenti al continuity between "ordinary perceptive processes" and "the aesthetic sphere of the mind, its longings, its plea sures and pains" (James 1884). The vital point of James' theory is as follows: "if we fancy some strong emotion, and then try to abstract fro m our consciousness of it all the feelings of its characteristic bodily symptoms, we find we have nothing left behind, no mind stuff' out of which the emotion can be constituted," and thus, "a purely disembodied human emotion is a nonentity" (James 1884; 1890). In one of the most well known passages in the history of psychology, James presents his counterintuitive thesis: Our natural way of thinking about [emotion] is that the mental perception of some fact excites the mental affection called the emoti on, and that this latter state of mind gives rise to the bodily expression. My thesis on the contrary is 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. Com mon sense says, we lose our fortune, are sorry and weep; we meet a bear, are frightened and run; we are insulted by a rival, are angry and strike. The hypothesis here to be defended says that this order of sequence is incorrect, that the one mental state i s not immediately induced by the other, that the bodily manifestations must first be interposed between, and that the more rational statement is that we feel sorry because we cry, angry because we strike, afraid because we tremble, and not that we cry, str ike, or tremble, because we are sorry, angry, or fearful, as the case may be (James 1884). James acknowledged that stated in this crude way, the hypothesis was sure to meet with immediate disbelief, and he was correct: the aforementioned incendiary
8 parag raph spawned a century of controversy regarding the role of the body in emotional feeling (Lang 1994; Ellsworth 1994). James was convinced, however, that "neither many nor far fetched considerations are required to mitigate its paradoxical character, and p ossibly to produce conviction of its truth" (1884). He would later apologize for "the slapdash brevity of the language use d" and admit that his own text set a bad example when it said we are frightened because we run He maintained, though, that if one w ould "let the word run' but stand for what it was meant to stand for, namely, for many other movements in us, of which invisible visceral ones seem by far the most essential; [and] discriminate also between the various grades of emotion which we designate by one name, and our theory holds up its head again" (1894). In arguing that emotional feelings are perceptions of the body, sensational processes, James affirmed that Our emotions must always be inwardly what they are, whatever be the physiological grou nd of their apparition. If they are deep, pure, worthy, spiritual facts on any conceivable theory of their physiological source, they remain no less deep, pure, spiritual, and worthy of regard on this present sensational theory. They carry their own inner measure of worth with them; and it is just as logical to use the present theory of the emotions for proving that sensational processes need not be vile and material, as to use their vileness and materiality as a proof that such a theory cannot be true (189 0 p. 453). Though emotional feelings are thoroughly corporeal occurrences, their import and value must neither be denied nor discredited rather, James' theory calls for a reassessment of the role of the body in experience, and new understandings of both terms in the relationship. It will be shown below that he undertakes such a reassessment implicitly throughout his writings, in which the body plays an essential, world structuring role and acts as the ground of meaning, rather than as a simple or dumb phy siological mass. It is through the phenomenon of feeling that life with all its significance, awe, and
9 mystery is revealed to the living, and it is due to their nature as stirrings of the flesh that emotions can touch the very core of our being. James was excited about the possibilities opened by a definitive generative theory of emotion and emotional feeling. If each emotion is the resultant of a sum of elements organic changes and each element is caused by a physiological process of a sort already well known the habitual operations of the living body then scientific inquiry into the emotions and feeling in general could proceed in a coherent way from the study of physiological and psychological processes, As will be shown, this naturalistic and holist ic approach was followed by James throughout his writings. First, however, his theory of emotion will be delineated from that of Carl Lange's, with which it is often conflated. William James' theory of emotion as distinct from Carl Lange's William James wr ote three monographs dealing specifically with emotion, namely, his 1884 article "What is an Emotion?" chapter XXV from The Principles of Psychology on "The Emotions," and an 1894 article responding to several criticisms of his theory, which he titled "The Physical Basis of Emotion." Throughout the rest of his writings, James often made mention of emotion, but it is in these three pieces t hat James outlined his organic theory, which he considered the most fruitful way of conceiving the emotions (1890). In a ll three papers, James sought to demonstrate through appeal to experience as well as experimen tal and clinical evidence that emotion dissociated from all b odily feeling is inconceivable, and further, that "whatever moods, affections, and passions I have ar e in very truth constituted by, and made up of, those bodily changes which we ordinarily call their expression or consequence" (James 1890, p. 103).
10 In the wake of Darwin's 1872 writings on The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals and development s in the field of Physiology, a number of scholars developed scientific theories of emotion focusing on the role of bodily expression. James' seems to have been the first published, most developed, and the most widely known, though he was by no means alone in emphasizing the body's contribution to emotional feeling. Darwin himself acknowledged that "the free expression by outward signs of an emotion intensifies it. On the other hand, the repression, as far as this is possible, of all outward signs softens o ur emotions...even the simulation of an emotion tends to arouse it in our minds (Darwin 1872, p. 366); James would later discuss this phenomenon at length, and was led to conclude that the feeling of an emotion is the perception of its bodily expression oc curring. In support of his theory, James made extensive use of the earlier and contemporary investigations of a number of researchers, citing descriptive literature on emotional physiology from physicians, physiologists, and early clinical psychologists. A year after James' first discussion of emotion was published in Mind, the Danish physiologist Carl Lange independently published his own theory of emotional feeling, focusing on the role of vasomotor phenomena. Lange's theory is often conflated with James' to the point where they are most often discussed singly as the James Lange theory of emotion even by James himself (James 1905 p. 142). Though each author developed and authored his theory without knowing of the other's work, the connection is not wholl y unwarranted; in the Principles, James cited several of Lange's examples of the physiology and physiognomy of grief and fear, and in 1894, he wrote that "Prof. Lange of Copenhagen and the present writer published, independently of each other, the
11 same the ory of emotional consciousness. They affirmed it to be the effect of the organic changes, muscular and visceral, of which the so called expression' of the emotion consists" (James 1894). James agreed with Lange insofar as "the general causes of the emoti ons are indubitably physiological," and "we have absolutely no immediate criterion by which to distinguish between spiritual and corporeal feelings" (1890 p. 443). However, James' theory, in its breadth and especially its context, is importantly distinct f rom Lange's. Below, James' theory will be differentiated from Lange's, so that it might be discussed in relation to his other writings on the topics of the body and feeling. Whereas James described a varied array of bodily responses that give rise to consc ious emotional experience, Lange considered emotion to be a strictly cardiovascular phenomenon, writing: "we owe all the emotional side of our mental life, our joys and sorrows, our happy and unhappy hours, to our vasomotor system" (Lang e 1885 p. 80). Jame s felt that Lange laid f ar too great stress on the vaso motor factor in his explanations, and criticized some of Lange's descriptions of emoti onal expressions, calling them forced and oversimplified, and stressing that ther e are changeable expressions of em otion with quite different feelings. For James, a key aspect of his theory was to demonstrate the variability and intricacy of emotions as bodily occurrences. Consider the following passage: Every one of us has some personal idiosyncrasy of expression, laughing or sobbing differently from his neighbor, or reddening or growing pale where others do not. We should find a like variation in the objects which excite emotion in different persons. Jokes at which one explodes with laughter nauseate another, and s eem blasphemous to a third; and occasions which overwhelm me with fear or bashfulness are just what give you the full sense of ease and power. The internal shadings of emotional feeling, moreover, merge endlessly into each other (1890 p. 448).
12 James insi sted that, far from imposing limiting specificity on feeling and expression, the bodily nature of emotion can account for the uniqueness and diversity of our emotional lives. Indeed, James felt that the first point of his theory was to show that the bodil y accompaniments of emotion are much more far reaching and complic ated than we ordinarily suppose, and that recent advances in physiological science shed light on how infinitely numerous and subtle they truly are In describing various bodily aspects of em otional expression, James cites respiratory, circulatory, and endocrine changes, gestures, alterations in the position and tonus of voluntary and involuntary muscles in the face and throughout the body, posture, tone of voice, constriction and dilation of the pupils, shifts in nervous system activity and subsequent impulses to action, and changes in the functioning of the bladder and bowels, the glands of the mouth, throat, and skin, and the liver and other viscera (James 1884; 1890). He concludes that "th e various permutations and combinations of which these organic activities are susceptible make it abstractly possible that no shade of emotion, however slight, should be without a bodily reverberation as unique, when taken in its totality, as is the mental mood itself" (1890 p. 451), and that there is no limit to the number of possible different emotions which may exist, andthe emotions of different individuals may vary indefinitely both as to their constitution and as to objects which call them forth" ( 1890 p. 454). Thus, any classification of the emotions is seen to be as true and as natural' as any other (1890 p. 454).
13 However, despite rhetorically wondering "who can enumerate all the distinct ingredients of such a complicated feeling as anger ?" (1 890 p. 191), and concluding that "surely, there is no definite affection of anger' in an entitative' sense'' (1894 p. 520), James acknowledge d that the bodily variations are within limits, and the symptoms of the angers an d of the fears of different indi viduals still preserve enough functional resemblance in the midst of their diversity to lead us to call them by identical names (1890 p. 520). Hence, James viewed emotions as habitually functioning processes enacted by the whole body of the behaving organi sm. The experience of these processes as they occur is appropriately complex and just as finely tuned to the exigencies of the situation as is the expression. This connection between habit, experience, and situation in the expressive living body will prove crucial to understanding James' theory in the context of his thought. James' and Lange's theories differed not only in scope, but in aim: Lange's main goal in developing a theory of emotion was to facilitate the description and categorization of the physi ological changes that give rise to emotional feelings. For Lange, the truly scientific problem in the study of emotion was the determination of the emotional reaction of the vasomotor system to various influences, and he explicitly sought to deal with the question of what bodily manifestations acc ompany each of the affections (Lange 1885 p. 80) In contrast, James felt that the merely descriptive literature of the emotions wa s one of the mo st tedious parts of psychology, writing that "as far as "scientific psychology" of the emotions goes...they ["classic works on the subject"] give one nowhere a central point of view, or a deductive or generative principle. They distinguish and refine and specify in infinitum without ever getting on to another logical level (1890
14 p.448). James understood his organic theory of emotion as providing just such a generative principle, which would allow for the study of emotion to explore more profound connections between affective experience and other phenomena. James felt that the trouble w ith the emotions in psychology wa s that they are regarded too much as absolutely individual things, static, uniform entities rather than dynamic, complex processes. He felt that if psychologists were to regard emotions as products of more gen eral causes, as "species" are regarded as pro ducts of heredity and variation the distinguishing and cataloguing of emotional responses would become of subsidiary importance "h aving the goose which lays the golden eggs, the description of each egg already laid is a minor matter" (1890 p. 449). For James, "classification and description are the lowest stage of science" (1890 p. 454), and "the beauty of all truly scientific work is to get to ever deeper levels" (1890 p. 449). While Lange sought to detail the various vasomotor expressions of distinct emotions, James intended the generative principle he had described that emotional feelings are the perceptions of one's own living organism to allow psychological research of emotion to "step from a superficial to a deep order of inquiry" (1890 p. 454). The whole organism is a sounding board James was clear as to what he considered to be the most promising direction of such inquiry, namely, further elaboration of the relationship between mind and body. He wrote: If our hypothesis is true, it makes us realize more deeply than ever how much our mental life is knit up with our corporeal frame, in the strictest sense of the term. Rapture, love, ambition, indignation, and pride, considered as feelings, are fruits of t he same soil with the grossest bodily sensations of pleasure and of pain (1890 p. 467).
15 James' introspective exploration of emotional expression led him to conclude that the changes are so indefinitely numerous and subtle that the entire organism may be called a sounding board which every change of consciousness, however slight, may make reverberate" (1890 p. 450) and that every one of the bodily changes, whatsoever it be, is FELT, acutely or obscurely the moment it occurs our whole cubic capacity is sensibly alive; and each morsel of it contributes its pulsations of feeling, dim or sharp, pleasant, painful, or dubious, to that sense of personality that every one of us unfailingly carries" (1890 p. 451). Thus, James' theory of emotion is first and fore most a theory of the body as it is affectively lived. Moreover, the feeling body is argued to serve a primary role in structuring experience. By tracing this thread of the lived body through a discussion of James' writings on subjectivity, experience, and the consciousness world relation, the importance of his bodily theory of emotion for his philosophical project will be made explicit. Though not typically considered a philosopher of the body, James made frequent and often crucial mention of bodily experie nce and the implications thereof throughout his writings. Trained as a physician and lecturing in anatomy and physiology at Harvard before founding America's first experimental psychology laboratory there in 1875, James' knowledge of physiology clearly inf luenced his theory of the relationship between the bodily and experiential components of emotion Furthermore, the Darwinian emphasis of James' physiological training during this period led him to understand the living body as an active organism with capac ities, interests, and goals in constant reciprocal interaction with an environment, and this conception thoroughly informed his psychology (Lang, 1994). His teaching and research during his time at Harvard
16 culminated in his 1400 page Principles of Psycholo gy, widely regarded as a classic in the field of psychology (Lang, 1994). In the first chapter of the Principles "The Scope of Psychology," James defines psychology as "the science of mental life, both of its phenomena and of their conditions," and, in a further elaboration, wrote "the mind which the psychologist studies is the mind of distinct individuals inhabiting definite portions of a real space and a real time. With any other sort of mind, absolute Intelligence, Mind unattached to a particular body, or Mind not subject to the course of time, the psychologist as such has nothing to do" (1890 p. 183). James thus sought to "[take the] mind in the midst of all its concrete relations" (1890 p. 6) as a natural phenomenon in every case contingent upon a spa tiotemporal body acting and reacting to features of its environment. For James, then, bodily experience and brain activity must take a place amongst the conditions of mental life for which psychologists must account. Mental activity is inextricable from b odily activity The basis of all cognition, James argued, is to be found in the experiences of the body, and in particula r, the brain. He observed that if the nervous connections are cut off between the brain and other parts, the experiences of those other part s are non existent for the mind, and conversely, if the brain is injured, consciousness is abolished or altered, even if every other organ in the body may be ready to play its normal part (1890 p. 4). James considered it a universally admitted fact tha t the brain is the one immediate bodily cond ition of mental operations, and that "every peculiar complication of brain processes must have some peculiar correlate in the soul" (1890 p. 477). James thus posit ed the brain
17 to be an organ which directly subser ves consciousness, and wr ote that "the whole remainder of the book will be more or less of a proof that the postulate was correct" (1890 p. 4). Indeed, James states that the first conclu sion of the principles is that a certain amount of brain physiology mu st be presupp osed or included in any psychological investigations, and that, though the elementary properties of nerve tissue on wh ich the brain functions depend we re far from being satisfactorily made out in his day, brain laws must be seen as a codetermi nant of the result of any psychological principle (1890 p. 4). Since e very sensation corresponds to some cerebral action, and to every brain modification, however small, must correspond a change of equal amount in the feeling which the brain subserves," t he brain must be understood as a crucial element of the feeling body (1890 p. 232). Though emphasizing the importance of the budding field of neuroscience for psychological knowledge, James was far from advocating a variety of cerebral reductionism. He un derstood the brain as thoroughly a part of the living body; never functioning alone, but always situated within countless reciprocal relationships to the rest of the body in the world. The brain is a hub of interconnecting nervous pathways that plays an in dispensable role in mental functioning, yet is inextricably situated within the organism. James pointed out that "the entire nervous system is nothing but a system of paths between a sensory terminus a quo and a muscular, glandular or other terminus ad qu em ," (189 0 p. 108) and that the function of the nervous system is to bring each part into harmonious co operation with every other (1890 p. 12). This cooperation is instantiated in feedback loops between afferent and efferent nervous activity; sensing and
18 acting mutually inform each other and culminate in an ordinarily seamless flow of feeling and behavior. In this way, "mental phenomena are not only conditioned a parte ante by bodily processes; but they lead to them a parte post ...our psychology must there fore take account not only of the conditions antecedent to mental states, but of their resultant consequences as well" (1890 p. 5). James noted that the organism responds as a unified whole to objects and situations within the environment, and that, even when such responses seem minor, they are expressions of the whole interconnected nervous system in action. Every part of the organism is in communication and interaction with every other. He posits that every possible feeling produces ...a movement of the entire organism, and of each and all of its parts ", and that these changes, when felt, cause further movements (1890 p. 372). James observed that what happens overtly when an explosion or a flash of lightning startles us, or when we are tickled, happens l atently with every sensation which we receive. The activity of the nervous system is inseparable from other activities of the organism, since a process set up anywhere in the centres reverberates everywhere, and in some way or other affects the organism t hroughout, making its activities either greater or less (1890 p. 238). Therefore, no mental modification ever occurs which is not accompanied or followed by a bodily change (1890 p. 5). Indeed, James was emphatic on this point, writing that "all mental statesare followed by bodily activity of some sort" (1890 p. 14); examples which he cited include changes in breathing, circulation, general muscular tension, and glandular or other viscer al activity, in addition to the more conspicuous movements of the voluntary musculature Not only certain particular states of mind, then, but "states of mind as such,
19 all states of mind," are motor in their consequences," a claim which James felt should be "set down as one of the fundamental facts of the science with which we are engaged" (1890 p. 14). James pointed out that each human mind's appearance on this earth is conditioned upon the integrity of the body with which it belongs. The world experienced (otherwise called the field of consciousness') comes at all times with our body as its centre, centre of vision, centre of action, centre of interest. Where the body is is here'; when the body acts is now'; what the body touches is this'; all other things are there' and then' and that'. These words of emphasi zed position imply a systematization of things with reference to a focus of action and interest which lies in the body... The body is the storm centre, the origin of coordinates, the constant place of stress in all that experience train. Everything circles round it, and is felt from its point of view. The body is the storm centre, the origin of coordinates, the constant place of stress in [our] experience train. Everything circles round it, and is felt from its point of viewthe world experienced comes at a ll times with our body as its centre, centre of vision, centre of action, centre of interest. (1905 p. 189) And thus, "all minds must...take an intense interest in the bodies to which they are yoked...my own body and what ministers to its needs are thus the primitive object, instinctively determined, of my egoistic interests. Other objects may become interesting derivatively through ass ociation with it" (1890 p. 324); James considered the living body to be the real nucleus of personal identity. For James then, the mind is utterly inextricable from bodily activity, and the feeling, living body plays a central and formative role in all experience. James' introspective analyses of psychological phenomena often led him to conclude that specific mental activi ties were in reality the feeling of subtle or overt bodily activity in the world; "what we call mental activity (effort, attention, for example) is a reflection of feeling some effects of which our body is the seat, muscle tension in the skull and throat, stop breathing or passage, blood flow, etc" (1905 p. 166). I n light of his contention that all consciousness is motor, inextricable from the body in its contex t and consequences
20 we can understand James' claim that "every mind appears yoked to a body throu gh which its manifestations appear" (1890 p. 199). Years later, James would affirm this view in a discussion of religious experience, concluding that "there is not a single one of our states of mind, high or low, healthy or morbid, that has not some organi c process as its condition" (1902 p. 36). The organic processes in question are the many and various habitual behaviors of the body, to be discussed below. Behavior is largely habitual and guided by feeling James' fourth chapter from the Principles bridges his discussion of the nervous system and the mind to a study of habit, which was a recurrent theme in his understanding of living and feeling organisms. Habit is the limen of feeling, the continuously developing play of consciousness and behavior essentia l to human experience. James understood habit to be a widespread phenomenon writing that "the laws of N ature are nothing but the immutable habits which the different elementary sorts of matter follow in their actions and reactions upon each other" in liv ing organisms, however, "habits are more variable than this" (1890 p. 104). Habits are modifications of the body due to previous activity and affect future tendencies toward action, shaping how an organism reacts to experience. James' notion of habit does not just apply to simple physical reactions ; after discussing how habit is the enormous fly wheel of society, its most precious conservative agent, he explains its application to larger issues of personality, temperament, and identity, noting that "you se e the little lines of cleavage running through the character, the tricks of thought, the prejudices, the ways of the shop'" organizing the behaviors of individuals (1890 p. 121). In other writings, he describes general "national characters" of the English Germans, and
21 French, as particular amalgams of habitual gestures, accents, temperaments, etc. whether he is accurate in these sweeping accounts of national habits, it is clear that habit applies to ways of thinking and acting. To some extent, all behav ior is habitual, by merit of the implicit bodily schema which organisms possess as unified wholes. The range of habitual behaviors discussed by James includes processes of life regulation such as respiration and even cellular regeneration, through to more complex instinctual behaviors, as well as personality traits and patterns of thought and reasoning. Indeed, James writes, "all our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits, practical, emotional, and intellectual" ( 1901 p. 8) By better understanding habitual action and its relation to the feeling body, we might develop a clearer picture of how mind, body, and behavior cooperate on a tacit level to organize experience. James begins his discussion by defining plasticity as the possession of a structure weak enough to yield to an influence, but strong enough not to yield all at once (1890 p. 105). Noting that organic matter, especially nervous tissue, is endowed "with a very extraordinary degree of plasticity of this sort", he lays down as his first proposition that the phenomena of habit in living beings are due to the plasticity of the organic materials of which their bodies are composed (1890 p. 105). Though James understood all organic materials as plastic and thus marked by habits of function, his discussion of habit in the Principles focuses mainly on the plasticity of the organic substrate of the nervous system. James admitted that it was not yet possible to define the process of habit formation with much physiological detail, but he affirmed that neural activity can either "deepen old paths or...make new ones" (1890 p. 107). In recognizing the limitations of the
22 neuroscience of his time, James maintained a physiologist's respect for the complexity of bodily processes, writing that ha bitual action is formulated at a molecular level, "down among [the] nerve cells and fibres" (1890 p. 127). For James, habit is "one of the objective manifestations of mind," since when we look at living creatures from an outward point of view, one of the first things that strikes us is that they are bundles of habits" (1890 p. 104). Habitual behavior is connected inextricably with the notion of bodily structure in any material, habits are in the last instance due to the structure of the compound, and eit her outward forces or inward tensions operate dynamically to affect that structure, with each relatively stable phase of equilibrium in such a structure being marked by a new set of habits (1890 p. 105). The change of structure need not involve the outward shape; it may be invisible and molecular. If habits are due to the plasticity of materials to outward agents, we can immediately see to what outward influences the brain matter is plastic, namely, feeling and behaving wit hin an environment Any part of a person may participate actively in a habit. Those parts of the organism that do not participate actively have to be passive during the performance of the habit. In this sense every habit involves the entire organism of the person. James felt that w e are subject to the laws of habit in consequence of the fact that we have bodies, and that the plasticity of our living nervous tissue contributes to the nature of our experience. James writes that our nervous system grows to the modes in which it has been exe rcised just as a sheet of paper or a coat, once creased or folded, tends to fall forever afterward into the same identical folds" (1890 p. 108). In any behavior, habit simplifies the movements required to achieve a given result, makes them more accurate, and diminishes
23 fatigue as well as the conscious attention with which our acts are performed (1890 p. 109). Crucially, James writes, what instigates each new muscular contraction to take place in its appointed habitual order is The sensation occasioned by the muscular contraction just finished such sensations will usually be of the muscles, skin, or joints of the parts moved, but they may also be effects of the movement upon the eye or the ear. Through them, and through them alone, we are made aware whethe r the contraction has or has not occurredthe process, in fact, resembles the passage of a wave of peristaltic' motion down the bowels (1890 p. 109) This makes sense in light of James' discussion of the bodily sounding board, which senses its own activit y. If habitual behavior is guided by bodily sensation, what does this imply about emotion and feeling? As we will see, emotional behaviors are habits of the living body in an environment, and the feelings generated thereby situate the organism within a sub jective world of felt values and affectively salient aspects of a lived situation. As habitual behaviors unfold within a context, they are guided by processes of feeling, to which we are variously attentive habits are sensorimotor feedback loops; actions trigger sensations to which we are usually inattentive but which immediately summon our attention if they go wrong (1890 p. 118). James discussed the absolute need of guiding sensations of some kind for the successful carrying out of a concatenated serie s of movements, which allow us t o know at each mo ment of a mo vement how it is proceeding In discussions of walking, knitting, tool use, and breathing, James shows that we are continuously aware of bodily feelings, and we have, moreover, a feeling of certa in impulses to maintain the equilibrium of various behaviors; movements are called forth and regulated by their associated sensations even when the attention is called away these feelings are generally very faint, but none the less are they necessary. De spite their understated quality, these feelings are a constant presence; a sense of
24 the body's condition and attitude is necessary for coherent, effective behavior from the level of life regulation to operations such as reasoning, remembering, and paying a ttention. This process of self sensing, by which the body knows its own living, provides the constant background of sentience and reveals a world of possible actions. The earliest habits which we can be said to have are instincts, which James described as "functional correlatives of structure;" while all habits, being modifications of the body's organic substrate, can be described in this way, James saw instincts as habits that are typically relevant to the survival of the organism and the species which ar e unlearned and towards which a creature shows an innate disposition. James understood instincts to be extensions of life regulatory processes such as breathing, digestion, and metabolism; without these more basic innate behaviors, mating, nesting, migrato ry and predatory instincts could not be carried forth, and without the aforementioned more recognizable instinctual habits, the life of an individual or a species could scarcely continue for long. This ethological and evolutionary emphasis informed James' theories of emotion and consciousness, whose basic unit was the organism living and adapting within its environment. As we will see, this relationship is enacted on an affective, bodily level, and emotional behaviors are complex orchestrations of more basi c life regulatory processes. For James, the nervous system of every living thing is a bundle of predispositions to react in particular yet dynamic ways upon the contact of particular features of the environment. He wrote that "every living creature is in f act a sort of lock, whose wards and springs presuppose special forms of key, which keys however are not born attached to the locks, but are sure to be found in the world nearby as life goes on. And the locks
25 are indifferent to any but their own keys" (18 90 p. 191); if an organism is understood as an interconnected sensitive sounding board for environmental interaction, then instincts are the bauplan or set of blueprints for a creature's affective capacities, the inborn means by which the animal behaves wi thin and knows its world. Further, this world is correlative to the organism's capacities, interests, and behaviors, salient insofar as it affords possibilities or challenges for survival relevant actions. Though James felt that instincts all conform to th e general form of reflexive behavior and that such instincts are contingent upon the structur e of an animal's nervous system; he also wrote that "there is nothing sacramental or eternally fixed in reflex action. Any sort of reflex effect is possible, and reflexes actually vary indefinitely, as we know" (1890 p. 454). Habits, being correlatives of plastic structures, are inherently variable, and even instincts vary from one i ndividual to another of a kind and are modified in the same individual to suit the exigencies of the case (1890 p. 450). James notes that "a nervous tendency to discharge being once there, all sorts of unforeseen things may pull the trigger and let loose the effects" (1890 p. 451). Thus, far from being deterministic and crude, instinctua l behaviors are subtle, diverse, and adaptive. Emotional behaviors, being elaborations of instincts, are even more nuanced. James writes that "instinctive reactions and emotional expressions... shade imperceptibly into each other. Every object that excites an instinct excites an emotion as well" (1890 p. 442) and that "the physiological plan and essence of the two classes of impulseis the same;" (1890 p. 442). Like instincts, emotional behaviors are enacted by the living body without prior instruction, on a tacit, pre reflective, experiential level, but both instincts and emotions and all other habits are modifiable to suit the exigencies of
26 a situation. Both instincts and emotions are bodily reactions upon a stimulus, which, far from being a neutral obj ect, is a sign of some circumstance relevant to the organism for James, a stimulus must always have a meaning. Stimuli which trigger instinctive and emotional behaviors are encountered as affectively salient, because the whole body gears into a reaction t owards an object of perception and this reaction is felt as it occurs. James wrote that for an object to be emphatic means that it produces immediate bodily effects upon the organism alterations of tone and tension, of heart beat and breathing, of vascula r and visceral action (1905 p. 150); we know things by how they affect our body's habitual processes. In this way, the meanings of objects in the world are first and foremost lived on a pre reflective bodily level. This reveals a level of knowing within th e self sensing body. The organism does not perceive neutral" objects upon which it subsequently acts, or that it subsequently appraises rather, the objects it perceives are already valenced by their relation to its bodily form, needs, capacities, histor y, habits, dispositions, values, and projects. The organism is a self organizing unity, and the objects that enter its experience always affect to this circular sustaining; these perturbations of a continuous emotionally valenced process of life regulation are part and parcel of the "objects" we know. Non valenced percepts do not exist it is because percepts are valenced that they arouse emotions. Emotions cannot be seen as a mere coloration of experience, but are immanent within and inextricable from all conscious experiences. Habits are the bridge through behavior between mind and body, and also between unconscious and conscious processes, and so by understanding habit we might better
27 situate feeling and grasp its importance. Habits are processes, not ent ities, and point to the nature of feeling as fundamentally dynamic and ever developing. Most bodily processes tend to habitual form, and in being affected by and adapting to the environments in which they occur, behaving organisms come to know the world as an arena for meaningful action on a tacit bodily level. Living itself is a self regulating series of habits, and feeling always bears reference to its vital substrate. In this way, feelings contain implicit yet direct information about an organism's condi tion and also its context. Our body is a plastic, unified whole, and so is our behavior, our mode of presence in the world; we are always behaving with our whole bodies, and experiencing our behavior in feeling. Habits are enacted within personal activity situations A key to understanding James' notion of the affectively contoured stream of feeling arising from the self sensing habit body is the concept of personal activity situations, which James detailed in his later philosophical works. Human beings have bodies that live in situations, not just in physical space. For example, seeing a person talking on the phone, one can tell from their bodily comportment, tone of voice, gestures and facial expressions, and also from their choice of words how they are fee ling towards the person they're speaking with and the situation in general note that this situational aspect of the body is highly subtle and complex; a person might exhibit anger, sadness, joy, or some other recognizable emotion, but the expression will always be unique to the particular situation of its enactment, and thus bear a reference to some distinct shade or aspect of feeling. A person's fear of commitment is not the same as their fear of a snake, and neither of these fears are static, discrete en tities that are ever expressed and
28 experienced the same way twice. James wrote that "i f one should seek to name each particular [emotion] of which the human heart is the seat, it is plain that the limit to their number would lie in the introspective vocabu lary of the seeker, each race of men having found names for some shade of feeling which other races have left undiscriminated" (1890 p. 485); t his is due to the situational nature of the body and experience, which are neither subjective nor objective, but ongoing processes of complex interaction. Our bodies are attuned to situations, from which objects emerge as affectively meaningful if we abruptly see a dark moving form in the woods, our heart stops beating and we catch our breath instantly and before an y articulate idea of danger can arise. Indeed, while James wrote that objects are the primitive arousers of instinctive reflex movements, he emphasized that they take their place, as experience goes on, as elements in total situations, the other suggestio ns of which may prompt to movements of an entirely different sort. An object's emotional consequences arise from the total situation which it suggests and of which it is a part rather than from its own naked presence. In his nomenclature, it is the total s ituation which is the "object" on which the reaction of the subject is made (1894 p. 152). We live any situation first and foremost with our bodies; the sensations of which can, upon reflection, be labeled either as emotions or qualities of the situation James gives the example of a rotting mass of carrion, and the "disgustingness" which for us is part of the experience. He writes that, though the sun "caresses" and the wind "woos" the carrion as if it were any other object in nature, the spectacle "turns our stomach" by what seems a direct physical operation, and thus does function objectively. He concludes that "we can treat it as physical or as non physical according as we take it in the narrower or
29 in the wider context, and conversely, of course, we mu st treat it as non mental or as mental (1905 p. 150). This ambiguity or co emergence of subjective and objective aspects of a situation has its origins in the body, which is at once a material object and a feeling subject James' theory of emotion drives h ome this point strongly, and in his later writings, the dialectical relationship between subject and object which he observed in the phenomenon of the living body would prove a source of inspiration as well as puzzlement. He writes Our body itself is the p almary instance of the ambiguous. Sometimes I treat my body purely as a part of outer nature. Sometimes, again, I think of it as 'mine,' I sort it with the 'me,' and then certain local changes and determinations in it pass for spiritual happenings. Its breathing is my 'thinking,' its sen sorial adjustments are my 'attention,' its kinesthetic alterations are my works,' its visceral perturbations are my 'emotions.' (1905 p. 153). B eing situational, experience is neither "inside" nor "outside" of an or ganism. Human activities are both bodily and environmental interaction is fundamental, and living organisms cannot continue to exist apart from activity; experiencing is the sentience of this ongoing process. A living organism is a dynamic system, a proce ss, a flow of life. It is a breathing, circulating, ingesting, metabolizing process on the physical level of observation, and an ongoing living and experiencing on the level of felt life the body as a material structure lasts only so long as it is also pr ocessing, and it begins to disintegrate as soon as its life processes cease. The body always lives within an environment, and within situations, and it cannot be separated from its ongoing interaction with the environment. The living organism is an adapti ve, life maintaining system, and thus facts and values are not separate in the body. When we feel "hot" for example, this is not only a sense of the temperature as it now is; it is also simultaneously a sense of the temperature as it ought to be for the bo dy to be comfortable, without requiring any external value
30 judgment or decision to sense the direction of cooler as the body's own right direction. Body and environment together make up a whole interactional process; the body is made of environmental mater ials which are constantly being regenerated, they themselves are alive, and thus every living body contains the environment as a unified whole devoted to living. Interactional information about the environment is therefore implicit in the whole structure o f the body and all of its processes. Our very bodies are interactions, guided by sentience. A sentient body not only is, but also feels its interactions with the environment; this bodily sensed interaction implicitly contains a vast amount of complex info rmation which we perceive on a tacit, pre reflective level as global felt meaning, our sense of a situation. Our bodies react not just to external stimuli, but prefigure and imply what will function as stimuli on the level of felt significance bodily sent ience is intrinsically and intricately meaningful in a dynamic way, unique each moment of experience. Living, or experiencing, is the fundamental conception in James' thought, and whether it is understood physically or mentally, it involves a dynamic adju stment between terms, a process of interaction. Situations are fundamentally dynamic, interactional and irreducible qualitative wholes which imply at least two factors organism and environment each of which is both an independent variable and a function of the other variable. The environment and the organism interact with and develop each other without end; for each action of environment upon an organism affects the organism, whose reaction in turn upon the environment changes the environment, and so on i ndefinitely. In this way, situations are perpetually reconstructed, and this reconstruction is the process of which all known and experienced reality consists.
31 Our behaviors express an experienced world that is neither wholly subjective nor objective, ari sing as it does from the living interface of our bodily sounding boards. Emotional feelings are the body's own perception of how it is living a situation. Arising from the innermost core of our material being, they are the ground and primary mode of our be ing in touch with a world. Feelings are essential to inhabiting a world of meaning We live situations with our habitually behaving bodies on an affective level, and by emotionally enacting situations, we construct and express our reality the world of liv ed through meanings which we experience Affect binds us to things, making them relevant and casting in relief aspects of the world in such a way as to call forth actions and thoughts. Without the worl d structuring orientation that feelings provide, we are disoriented the world would no longer solicit thoughts and actions and would consequently be devoid of value. Indeed, our very sense of reality is constituted by world orienting feelings In a similar introspective exercise to that in which he requested the reader to imagine an emotion stripped of all its bodily manifestations, he later beseeched readers to Conceive yourself, if possible, suddenly stripped of all the emotion with which your world now inspires you, and try to imagine it as it exists pu rely by itself, without your favourable or unfavourable, hopeful or apprehensive comment. It will be almost impossible for you to realize such a condition of negativity and deadness. No one portion of the universe would then have importance beyond anoth er; and the whole collection of things and series of its events would be without significance, character, expression, or perspective. Whatever of value, interest, or meaning our respective worlds may appear endued with are thusgifts of the spectator's m ind. (1902 p. 150) Ultimately, James concluded, it is through the feeling body that any awareness of the world as a significant arena for behavior is possible, Our judgments concerning the worth of things, big or little, depend on the feelings the thing s arouse in us. Where we judge a thing to be precious in consequence of the idea we frame of it, this is only because the idea is itself associated already with a feeling. If we were radically feelingless,
32 and if ideas were the only things our mind coul d entertai n, we should lose all our likes and dislikes at a stroke, and be unable to point to any one situation or experience in life more valuable or significant than any other. ( 1901 p. 1) The experienced world that forms the context of our behavior e merges from interaction between our bodies and various environments, and thus t he practicall y real world for each one of us the effective world of the in dividual is the compound world of physical facts and emotion al values in indistinguishable combinatio n T his open ground of meaning is systematized relative to a center of action and interest in the acting, living body which James called the fons et origo of all reality (James, 1890 p. 925). The lived body is always at the center of this process of rea lity making, and James saw real existence as a relation to our emotional and active life. In this way, each new mind brings its own edition of the universe, which demands its own continuance and channel of expression. These experienced w orlds are constru cts shaped by various interests, concerns and feelings tied to habits, practices, values, and practical dispositions. James emphasized this creative, world making aspect of affect in his vision of a pluralistic and fundamentally indeterminate universe, re vealed on the level of felt life by the original relation of body to world. I ndividuality is founded in feeling; and the recesses of feeling, the darker, blinder strata of character, are the only places in the world in which we catch real fact in the maki ng, and directly perceive how events happen, and how work is actually done (1902 p. 770). Thus, from an examination of James' other writings on the topics of the body, emotion, and consciousness, a unified vision of the mind as fundamentally embodied, af fective, situated, and dynamic emerges. Emotions are the body's own experiencing of inhabiting a world of living values. In the next section, I will discuss contemporary empirical support for this view.
33 Chapter 2: E mpirical Support for James' View Evidenc e from Affective Neuroscience Within the last twenty years, there has been a resurgence of interest in the neurobiological study of emotion, coincident with an effort to elucidate the organismic processes underlying the phenomenon of consciousness (Johnson 2007). Three researchers in particular Antonio Damasio, A.D. Craig, and Jaak Panksepp have utilized neurobiological, behavioral, and psychological experimental techniques to develop largely compatible models of the genesis of emotional subjectivity ( Th ompson & Stapleton, 2009). In elaborating the positions of each of these researchers, I will argue that James' theory of emotion has found considerable empirical support in contemporary neuroscience. Although they differ on various specific claims, Damas io, a clinical neurologist, Craig, a neuroanatomist, and Panksepp, a neurobiologist, converge with each other as well as with William James on a number of fundamental points. Like James, all three researchers emphasize that subjectively experienced emotion al feelings are perceptions of the state of one's living body, and arise from the bodily processes of life regulation within an environment. This is not to say that all feelings serve some adaptive purpose or will ensure survival for an organism, but rathe r that feeling and living are inextricably intertwined and can only be understood as such (Damasio 1999; Panksepp 1998; Craig 2002). All three situate feeling within an organismic, ecological, and evolutionary perspective, and all three emphasize the essen tial role of the feeling body in the production of a dynamic but stable individual conscious self which relates to a world
34 experienced as meaningful (Damasio 1999; Panksepp 1998; Craig 2002). In presenting their theories, all three researchers have explici tly acknowledged their debts to James' vision of emotion, organism, and consciousness (Damasio 1999; Panksepp 1998; Craig 2002). Antonio Damasio's Perspective The Obligate Body Relatedness of Emotion Grounding his theory of feeling in clinical observatio n, a variety of experiments with clinical and non clinical subjects, and neuroimaging technologies such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET), Antonio Damasio has elaborated upon the essential role of bodily feeling in reasoning and decision making (Damasio 1994) as well as consciousness and subjectivity (Damasio 1999; 2003). Damasio's theory, like James', is evolutionary and ecological; observing that humans have developed an number of interrelated system s geared toward the self regulation of many processes of living within and relating to environments many of which are ubiquitous in some form among life on earth Damasio affirms that the primary task for any organism, which must be accomplished before al l others, is the continuation of its own life and the furtherance of conditions for its processes of living (Damasio 1994, 1999, 2003). Damasio understands emotion with regards to these adaptive instinctual processes, and connects psychological phenomena to physiological changes within the organism. Arguing that "the mind had to be first about the body, or it could not have been" (Damasio 1994, p. xvi), Damasio seeks to show that emotional feelings function as
35 "the bedrock of our minds" (Damasio 2003, p. 3 ). In addition, his somatic marker hypothesis, which will be discussed below, supports James' claim that emotional feelings play a crucial role in reasoning, judgment, and the experience of value calling into question the separation between emotion and co gnition. Damasio makes frequent mention of James' theory of emotion as well as the stream of consciousness, describing both as "essentially correct" (Damasio 1999, p. 288). Indeed, Damasio's description of emotion bears striking similarity to the one Jame s proposed 100 years earlier, which identified emotional feelings with the perception of ongoing changes of "the bodily sounding board." Damasio makes use of Walter Cannon's concept of homeostasis, "the w isdom of the body" (Cannon 1932) to develop a fram ework which supports James' organic theory of emotion Damasio points out that all living organisms are born with devices designed to solve automatically, no proper reasoning requir ed, the basic problems of life finding sources of energy incor porating an d transforming energy, maintaining a chemical balance of the interior c ompatible with the life process, maintaining the organism's structure by repairing its wear and tear, and fending off external agents of disease and physical injury. He writes that "t he single word homeostasis is convenient shorthand for the ensemble of regulations and the re sulting state of regulated life (Damasio 2003, p. 30). Homeostasis, for Damasio, is intimately connected with drives and instincts, which he views as evolutionarily inherited patterns of behavior which serve the purpose of biological regulation
36 Damasio argues that metabolism, basic reflexes, immune responses, pain and pleasure behaviors, and instincts all coordinate emotions, which are complex neural, chemical, an d behavioral responses to various types of stimuli that, either through phylogenetic or ontogenetic development, have positive or negative value for an organism. The aforementioned systems compose a single interconnected system of monitoring and response p rocesses in the body (which includes the brain), developed throughout evolutionary history and geared toward viable functioning in physical, social, m oral, and cultural environments Damasio situates emotions within the intricate ongoing process by which our bodies assess their own states and make adjustments (psychologically, physiologically, or in overt behavior) to maintain the conditions of homeostasis in ever changing environments. Like James, Damasio understands each emotion as a comple x activity of the body; in all emotions, multiple volleys of neural and chemical responses change the internal milieu, the viscera, and the musculoskeletal system for a certain peri od and in a particular pattern f acial expressions, vocalizations, body postures, and spe cific patterns of behavior (running, freezing, courting, or parenting) are thus enacted, and the experiencing of these changes constitutes the feeling of an emotion (Damasio 2003, p. 63). In addition, Damasio argues, emotional changes in the state of the body occur simultaneously with ch anges in cognitive processing; he writes: "the process of emotion leads to the secretion of certain chemical substances in nuclei of the basal forebrain, hypothalamus, and brain stem, and to the subsequent delivery of thos e substances to several other brain regions[causing] significant alterations of brain function" (Damasio
37 1999, p. 282) such as a change from a slow to a fast rate of production of images, or a change from sharply focused to vaguely focused images. Though it is an often overlooked aspect of his theory, James also wrote that one's state of consciousness and mode of thinking "is mediated by bodily changes" (1894 p. 208) an understandable claim considering James' view that "my thinking is first and last and always for the sake of my doing" (1890 p. 333). Further echoing the pragmatic emphasis on activity and function, Damasio also links emotions to behavioral responses, and tendencies as well as res ources for action Thus, emotion is expressed by the whole o rganism changes in body posture, facial expression, prosody, cognitive functioning and preparedness for action result from ongoing neural and chemical processes a ttuned to a perceived situation Damasio concludes that the body is the main stage for emotio ns, either directly or via its representation in somatos ensory structures of the brain (Damasio 1999, p. 288). Damasio distinguishes between three different kinds of emotion, which usually function as interconnected, automatic physiological processes. Wha t he calls "primary emotions" include such emotions as fear, joy, rage, and grief, and are described as relatively invariant modes of response developed throughout evolutionary history; Damasio draws on the work of Darwin (1872) and Ekman (1992) to explain these emotions, which are found in some form throughout all mammals. In addition, humans and a number of other species experience "social" or "secondary emotions" such as shame, guilt, pride, and jealousy, responses that are more open to the influence of culture and personal history.
38 Damasio's taxonomy of emotion also includes a broader, more subtle, continuous yet variable sense of the state of one's body that he terms "background emotion," which includes qualities such as fatigue, energy, excitement, we llness, sickness, tension, relaxation, surging, dragging, stability, instability, balance, imbalance, har mony and discord (Damasio 1999 p. 286). Damasio writes "these feelings are not in the foreground of our mind. Sometimes we become keenly aware of them and attend to them specifically. Sometimes we do not and attend, instead, to other mental contents. In one way or another, however, background feelings help define our mental state and color our lives" ( Damasio 1999 p. 286 ). Similarly, James wrote "our own bodily position, attitude, condition, is one of the things of which some awareness, however inattentive, invariably accompanies the knowledge of whatever else we know" (1890 p. 241). Damasio unde rstands background feelings as a faithful index of momentary para meters of inner organism state, namely the temporal and spatial shape of the operations of the smooth musculature in blood vessels and varied organs, and of the striated muscle of heart and chest, the chemical profile of the milieu close to all those muscle fibers and the presence or absence of a chemical profile signifying either a threat to the integrity of living tissues or con ditions of optimal homeostasis. (Damasio 1999, p. 286). T he research focus on the characteristics of supposed basic emotiona l kinds such as fear or joy has distracted many from the fact that we continuously have emotional feelings which aren't necessarily the feelings of primary or secondary emotions, and it is through the continuous presence of such emotional feelings that we sense the general physical t one of our being. As James suggested, feeling is concomitant with bodily existence, an ongoing perception of one's own li ving body within an environment. Under
39 certain specifiable conditions, Damasio posits, individuals have a q ualitative awareness of their own ongoing emotional responses, and he calls this awareness "feeling." Feelings are the conscious perception of the body's emotional profile, and, like emotions, are endlessly differentiated and individually unique. Damasio d istinguishes between emotion and feeling in a manner similar to James' separation between bodily changes and the feeling of those changes as they occ ur. For Damasio, an emotion is a specifically caused transient change of the organism state, whil e the feel ing of an emotion is the representation of that transient change in organism state in terms of neural patterns and ensuing images (Damas io 1999, p. 282). For Damasio, a feeling is the perception of a certain state of the body along with the perception of a certain mode of thinking and of thoughts with certain themes. Emotions are essentially public states of the body within an environment; they are not necessarily conscious, and feelings are the private, subjective experience of those states. Feelings, fo r Damasio, are the products of a relatively "high level" system, which depends upon and is structured by the life sustaining processes at "lower" levels, such as metabolism, which are largely non conscious, yet enable all conscious experience (Damasio 1999 ). Although most homeostatic processes occur "beneath" the level of conscious awareness, Damasio argues that human life is so complex that an organism's homeostatic flourishing is better served by the addition of conscious experience and reflection on it, a functionalist position also attributable to James, who wrote "the study...of the distribution of consciousness shows it to be exactly such as we might expect in an organ added for the sake of steering a nervous system grown too complex to regulate itself (1890 p. 141).
40 Although feeling typically and significantly accompanies emotional responses, feeling is a consciously experienced bodily process, while the neural, chemical, and behavioral aspects of emotional responses, like other ongoing bodily activ ity, can operate automatically outside of conscious awareness. Feelings, then, consist of perceptions of the body relating to objects in the stream of experience and perceptions of the style and content of one's own thinking "a feeling is the perception o f the body along with the perception of a certain mode of thinking and of thoughts with certain th emes" (Damasio, 2003 p. 86). Damasio writes that the dialectic between feeling and emotion is ongoing the fabric of our minds and of our behavior is woven a round continuous cycles of emotions followed by feelings that become known and beget new emotions, a running polyphony that underscores and punctuates specific thoughts in our minds and actions in our behavior t he crucial role of feeling in Damasio's acco unt of consciousness cannot be understated; indeed, he writes that "consciousness begins as a feeling" (1999 p. 313). For Damasio, every emotional response is part of a process in which there is some appraisal of how a given "emotionally competent stim ulus" stands in relation to the self regulation and potential well being of the organism, based on conscious and non conscious assessments of what given situations afford our organism. "Emotions," says Damasio, "provide a natural means for the brain and mi nd to evaluate the environment within and around the organism, and respond accordingly and adaptively." (2003, p. 54). Damasio defines an emotionally competent stimulus as an object or a situation actually perceived or recalled from memory that interacts with the endogenous
41 functioning of an organism so as to generate the repertoires of internal and external action particular to emotions The process by which Damasio understands such stimuli to be perceived is essentially the same as James' Damasio points out that the brain associates other objects and events that occur in individual experience with those which are innately set to cause emotions, and as a consequence an additional set of emotionally competent stimuli arises. In Damasio's view, although the machinery that produces emotional responses is genetically set, p ast individual experience and current context modulate the evolutionary context to varying degrees In relation both to th e evolutionarily set stimuli and to those stimuli which are acquired a lifetime of experience i s continually remodeling their competence, affecting revising their p ower to trigger emotions Thus, neither evolutionarily innate nor acquired emotional st imuli are immutable their ability to cause emotions is in part a funct ion of how our lives have been lived, and t hey are continuously changing as a function of an individual' s life history Damasio concludes that the emotional competence of a given stimulus depends upon an organism's evolutionary history, personal history, a nd current context and that emotiona l competence varies over time. Similarly, James states that organisms' nervous systems are evolutionarily pre tuned to ecological niches, and that a given organism will perceive and understand only those features of the environment that are salient in relation to potential behaviors. Far from suggesting evolutionary determinism, however, James acknowledged that the same object excites us differently at different times, dependent upon the context of the whole situation, an individual's habits, memory, education, previous experience s and momentary mood. Indeed, for James, the expression and feeling of particular
42 emotions arises from a combination of physiological mechanics on the one hand, and of history on the other'' (18 90b, p. 454). In the same vein, Damasio allows for considerable variation in the type of stimuli that can i nduce an emotion, writing that regardless of the degree of biological presetting of the emotional machinery, development and culture have much to sa y regarding the final product shap ing what constitutes an adeq uate inducer of a given emotion and certain aspects of the expression of emotion. Thus, the acquired dispositions relevant to how certain types of situations have been emotionally responded to develop under the influence of dispositions that are innate, shaping one's unique experience. The particular emotional response of an organism to a perceived object is effected by such dispositions. Damasio writes that all knowledge is embodied in "disposi tional representations," "potential patterns of neuronal activity in an ensemble of neurons (a convergence zone') resulting from the strengthening and weakening of synapses from previous activations (i.e., the state of the synapses connecting the neurons in the ensemble)" (1994 pp. 102 and 104). A dispositional representation is a dormant firing p otentiality which is activated when neurons fire with a particular pattern, at certain rates, for a certain amount of time, and toward a particular target anothe r ensemble of neurons. According to Damasio, dispositional representations constitute the full store of an organism's knowledge, encompassing both innate knowledge, such as that concerning biological regulation and instinct, as well as knowledge acquired b y experience. I nnate knowledge about biological regulation required for survival is based on dispositional representations in the hypothalamus, brain stem, and limbic system and acquired
43 knowledge is organized in higher order cortices and grey matter nucle i beneath the level of the cortex. Damasio views dispositional representations as establishing for the organis m a set of preferences or criteria, biases, or values which need not be conscious. Evolutionarily inherited predispositions set the parameters f or what is altered and developed through learning and cultural experience. Though dispositional representations are activated largely unconsciously, some dispositional representations can be recall ed and used for movemen t, reason, planning, creativity, and some contain records of rules and strategies with which organisms operate on those images. The acquisition of new knowledge is achieved by continuous modification of such dispositional representations. Two notions explored by James, namely neural plastici ty and apperception, predate Damasio's concept of the embodiment of knowledge within neural dispositions by well over a century. Hebb's law, that "neurons that fire together, wire together" is now an empirically validated postulate of contemporary neurosci ence. (Hebb 1 949; LeDoux 2002; Merzenich 1998 ). These embodied habitual modes of behavior and perception organize further perceptual experience through the process of apperception, by which new experience is assimilated into and transformed by an individua l's past experience s to form a new whole It is through acquired and innate dispositions and an individual's history of interaction that certain objects can arouse emotional reactions. Damasio concurs, arguing that the pervasiveness of emotion in our deve lopment and subsequently in our everyday experience connects virtually every object or situation in our experience, by virtue of conditioning, to the fundamental values of homeostatic regulation: reward and punishment; pleasure or pain; approach or withdra wal; personal advantage or
44 disadvantage, and, inevitably, good (in the sense of survival) or evil (in the sense of death)" (1999 p. 58). Certain features of the world, when apperceived, automatically generate bodily changes, the feelings of which implicitl y and explicitly structure further behavior simply put, organisms will avoid those things associate pain, and approach those associated with pleasure. The inherited dispositions of an organism ensure that certain bodily feelings are pre tuned to certain c ues which guide development Thus, Damasio's view regarding the genesis of emotionally competent stimuli is basically the same as that of James' innate emotional dispositions develop and diversify with an organis m's experience. Damasio observes that all objects can get some emotional attachment as they develop and interact, organisms gain factual and emotional experience with different objects and situations in the environment and thus have an opportunity to associate many objects and situations which wo uld have been emotionally neutral with the objects and situations that are naturally prescribed to cause emotions. In humans, the range of stimuli that can potentia lly induce emotions is infinite some level of emoting is the obligate accompaniment of thi nking about ones elf or about one's surroundings; virtually every image, actually perceived or recalled, is accompanied by some reaction from the apparatus of emotion L ike James, Damasio understands all behavior, thought, and perception to be related to em otion, writing "you simply cannot escape the affectation of your organism, motor and emotional most of all, that is part and parcel of having a mind" (Damasio 1999 p. 148). Ultimately, most if not all objects and situations in the world evoke some emotion strong or weak. The world comes in shades of good' or bad'. The perceived
45 environment is understood in terms of an organism's evolutionary and personal history and concerns those objects and situations to which an organism is emotionally responsive re flects the relationship between the organism and its environment. Indeed, James views emotional responses and their subsequent feelings as world constituting. It is emotional relationships, James felt, that imbue experience with meaning. Thus, as James ar gued, emotions are bodily processes that result from an organism's appraisal of the meaning of their situation and consequent changes in body state, which often initiate actions directed towards that environment. This dimension of felt appraisal is essenti al to the recent understanding of emotions as both cognitive and bodily, which James elaborated in his writing. Following this thread over a hundred years later, Damasio explores the means by which feelings modify our comprehensive understandings of object s and situations b y dint of juxtaposition, body images give to other images a quality of goodness or badness, of pleasure or pain, valencing objects we encounter in the world Damasio thus considers bodily feelings to be essential to perceptual meaning. I n addition, and bearing further similarity to James' view, Damasio understands the feeling body as essential to the processes of rational deliberation and decision making. Damasio's somatic marker hypothesis proposes that the ventromedial sector of the fro ntal lobes is a crucial element in a neural system linking bodily feelings with executive control, mental time travel, and soc ial and personal behavior Damasio introduces the concept of somatic markers as a special instance of feelings generated from seco ndary emotions. Those emotions and feelings have been connected, by learning, to predicted future outcomes of certain scenarios. From his extensive work with patients
46 to damage in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, Damasio notes that all subjects with les ions in this region manifest the same two consequences extensively diminished expression and feeling of secondary emotions, and the inability to decide, plan, and reason effectively in personal and social sett ings. They lack the ability to assign differe n t values to different options, and thus even simple choices, such as which day to book a doctor' s appointment, are problematic On the basis of clinical cases such as these as well as neuroanatomical e vidence, Damasio suggests that selective reduction of e motion is at least as prejudicial for rationality as excessive emotion Damasio envisions somatic markers as influenc ing the processes of response to stimuli at multiple levels of operatio n, some of which are experienced consciously and some of which occ ur non consciously The marker signals a rise in bioregulatory processes as acquired dispositional representations stored non topographically in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex According to Damasio, the critical neural system for the acquisition of soma tic marker signaling is in the prefrontal cortices, where it is in good part coextensive with the system c ritical for secondary emotions. T he prefrontal cortices receive signals from all the sensory regions in which the images constituting our thoughts are formed, including the somatosensory cortices in which past and current body states are represented continuously, and they also receive signals from several bioregulatory sectors of the human brain; the entire prefrontal reg ion thus seems to be dedicated t o categorizing contingencies in the perspective of personal relevance using affective feelings as the basis for the production of scenarios of future outcome required in making predictio ns and planning
47 Damasio understands somatic markers as guides for d ecision making a nd the thought process when a negative somatic marker is juxtaposed to a particular future outcome the c ombination functions as an warning or alarm, and when a positive somatic marker is juxtaposed, it becomes a sign of incentive As somat ic markers shape response sets in these ways, individuals utilize rational decision making capacities with the smaller set of remaining options somatic markers assist the process of conscious d eliberation by highlighting some other options (either dangero us or favorable) and eliminating them rapidly from subsequent consideration. Being dispositional representations, somatic markers are a cquired by experience, under the control of an internal preference system and under the influence of an external set of c ircumstances which include not only entities and events with which the organism must interact, but also social conventions and ethical rules This acknowledgment of the impact of bodily feeling on thought was articulated by James, who wrote "I am aware of a constant play of furtherances and hindrances in my thinking, of checks and releases, tendencies which run with desire, and tendencies which run the other way....whenever my introspective glance succeeds in turning round quickly enough to catch one of th ese manifestations of spontaneity in the act, all it can ever feel distinctly is some bodily process." (1890 p. 300). A similar framework to Damasio's somatic marker hypothesis was proposed by Nauta (1971) who argued that the frontal lobes integrate adapti ve behavior utilizing interoceptive feedback representing the homeostatic state of the body, on the basis of the strong reciprocal anatomical connections of the frontal lobes with sensory processing regions an d the limbic system. He understood the behavio r al effects of frontal lobe
48 destruction as the consequence of an "interoceptive agnosia an impairment of the subject's ability to integrate certain information from his internal milieu with the environmental reports provided by ne ocortical processing mech anisms. Nauta's account, predating the somatic marker hypothesis by over 20 years, arrived at similar conclusions about the role of bodily feelings in reasoning, foresight, and personality. A.D. Craig's Perspective Interoception and Feeling Providing furt her support for the somatic marker hypothesis, Craig emphasizes that the interoceptive re representations in the right anterior insula provide a substantive neural basis for mental interoceptive predictions of the consequences of emotional behaviors based on prior experiences. The anterior insula densely connected with the prefrontal cortex, stores representations of past interoceptive emotional experiences Like Damasio, Craig uses a working definition of interoception as the perception of the internal h omeostatic state o f all tissues and organs of the body, including skin, muscle, and viscera (Craig 2002, 2003; Saper 2002), and a sensory accompaniment to the autonomic and behavioral processes involved with homeostasis (2002). Similar to Damasio and James Craig understands emotional feelings as the sensory representation of the physiological condition of the body, and provides extensive support for this concept from neuroimaging studies in humans and other species. Indeed, Craig writes that his research confirms "the idea that human emotions are basedon feelings from the body, which is the essence of the James Lange theory of emotion" ( Craig 2002). Cr aig concurs with the idea that emotional behaviors evolved as a means of producing goal directed actions that fulfill homeostatic and social needs and
49 that our capacity for subjective feelings, the aware ness of our emotional behaviors, enabled an enormous enhancement in the efficiency and complexity o f emotional communication; contemporary evolutionary neuroa natomy confirms James' conviction that feeling guides behavior and serves an adaptive function for organisms living within environments. Craig focuses his study of human self sensation on the insula a cortical region within the lateral sulcus that is inti mately interconnected with the amygdala, hypothalamus and periaqueductal gray region, and cingulate and orbitofrontal cortices, regions involved with the generation of emotional responses His research suggests that the insula is involved with incorporatin g interoceptive signals of body state with signals from the somatosensory cortices in both hemispheres along with their association cortices The ensuing cross signaling provides a composite and continuous map of the body both the less variant aspects of the musculoskeletal system and the ever changing body state as it narrowly chan ges in maintaining homeostasis ( Craig 2002). Initially seeking to explore the neurophysiology of "homeostatic emotions," (which he considers "essentially the same as Damasio's notion of background feelings" (2010)) Craig's study of the sensations of temperature, pain, itch, tickle, sensual touch, muscular sensation, visceral sensation, vasomotor flush, hunger, thirst, and air hunger has led him to conclude that all feelings of the state of the body are correlated with activation of the right anterior insula ( Craig 2002), indicating that feelings, homeostasis, and interoception are indeed tightly linked, and that all feelings are perceptions of bodily changes within an environmen t.
50 A large number of imaging studies regarding a diverse range of feelings have shown the involvement of the insular cortices in interoception and homeostasis. Such studies include the feelings of "classical" emotions such as joy, rage, fear, and grief, (D eichert et al. 2005; Rainville et al. 2006) as well as feelings of temperature, pain, itch, disgust, sexual arousal, sensations related to respiration and exercise, craving (Craig 2002), addiction to smoking cigarettes (Naqvi et al. 2007), orgasm (Ortigue et al. 2007), the highs associated with drugs such as ecstasy and morphine (Petrovic et al. 2002), agency (Karnath et al. 2005), empathy (Singer et al 2004), social exclusion (Craig 2002), self recognition (Reis & Marino 2001), perceptual recognition (Plor an et al. 2007), sculptural beauty (Di Dio et al. 2007), a state of union with god' (Riba et al. 2006), rhythm and music perception ( Platel et al. 1997) time perception (Craig 2002), expectation (Sarinopoulos et al. 2006), metacognitive feelings such as the tip of the tongue phenomenon, feelings of familiarity (Shafto et al. 2007), and feeling of knowing (Kikyo, Ohki & Miyashita 2002), intuition (Allman et al. 2005), error awareness (Klein et al. 2007), uncertainty, attention (Koch & Tsuchiya 2007), goal directed behavior (Rolls 1999), cognitive and perceptual choices (Thielscher & Pessoa 2007), and intention to act (Brass & Haggard 2007) The aforementioned studies emphasize that this region thoroughly relates to the sensing and regulation of the state o f the whole bod y and that all feelings are perceptions of the homeostatic activity of the body in interaction with an environment (Craig 2002). Craig writes, in fundamental agreement with Damasio and James, "in this view, emotions are not simply occasiona l events, but rather are ongoing and continuous" (2006).
51 Jaak Panksepp's Perspective Instinctual Affective Systems P roviding a complementary perspective on the issue of emotional kinds is the neurobiologist Jaak Panksepp, who, for over thirty years, has conducted research on human and animal models investigating the roots of primary or prototypic affect. He has concluded that in deep subcortical regions of the mammalian brain, there exist a variety of genetically prescribed circuits, highly interactive w ith the visceral and skeletal muscular systems, that mediate basic (instinctual) emotional behaviors ( 1998 p. 2 ). Panksepp defines emotions as intrinsic psychoneural processes that are especially influential in controlling the vigor and patterning of acti ons in the dynamic flow of intense behavioral interchanges between animals, as well as with certain objects during circumstances that are es pecially important for survival (1998 p. 48). He understands the characteristic affective fe eling of each emotion as being especially important in encoding the intrinsic values of these interactions, depending on whether they are likely to promote or hinder survival (in both the immediate personal and the l onger term reproductive sense), and acknowledges the impact of a ffect on cognition ; these affective functions are especially important in encoding new information, retrieving information on subsequent occasions, and perhaps also in allowing animals to generalize about new events rapidly and efficiently Echoing James' description of the relationship between instinct and emotion, as well as Damasio's functional view, Panksepp notes that "all mammals, indeed all organisms, come into the world with a variety of abilities that do not require previous learning, but which pro vide immediate opportunities for learning to occur. The influence
52 of these systems varies as a function of the life span in each species" (1998 p. 25). Similarly, James acknowledged that "many instincts ripen at a certain age and then fade away" (1890 p. 3 98). In Panksepp's view, like James', emotional a bilities initially emerge from instinctual operating systems of the brain, which allow animals to begin gathering food, information, and other resources needed to sustain life. Ultimately, in accord with Ja mes, Damasio, and Craig, Panksepp argues that affective feelings help animals to better identify events in the world that are either biologically useful or harmful and to generate adaptive responses to many life challenging circumsta nces. T hese systems pro mpt organis ms to undertake new activities and provid e internal values for life choices in the form of positive and negative feelings Panksepp argues that affect is a central organizing process for sentience, with a primary function of instinctual emotiona l systems being to impose coherence on both neuropsychological and bodily functions. Panksepp' s refers to the primary process instinctual beh aviors as "ancestral voices of the genes" ( Panksepp 1998 p. 26 ); such unconditioned instinctual responses are share d by all mammals. He considers feelings to be instinctual tools for living, and that the circuits that generate the instinctual behaviors are the same ones that generate the feelings in this way, the dynamically reciprocal connection between bodily behavi ors and subjective experience finds further support Panksepp's ethological approach emphasizes emotional behaviors, rather than Damasio and Craig's focus on interoception however, James understood behaviors as crucial components of emotions as well (188 4; 1890; 1894). For Panksepp, primary emotions are action orient ed responses arising from distinct emotional operating systems that are concentrated in sub neocortic al, limbic regions of the brain (Panksepp, 2005).
53 Panksepp's typology for prototype emotion s, "the grade A blue ribbon emotions' that we appear to share strongly with all mammals" ( Panksepp 2005 p. 30 ) includes seven major primary behavio ral states broken down into an o rganismic defense c luster fear and rage, a s ocial c onnection c luster lus t, play/joy, care/nurturance and panic/grief and a generalized "seeking" system which drives organisms out into the environment to find essential bi ological and emotional supplies The basic emotional systems serve adaptive functions that emerged during evolutionary history they help organize and integrate physiological, behavioral, and psychological changes in the organism to yield various forms of action readiness coordinating specific cognitive and behavioral tendencies in response to archetypal sur vival problems: freezing and flight (for fear ), separation distress vocalizations (for grief ), fighting and biting (for rage ), rough and tumble play (for play ), male and female sexuality, dominance, and appetitive approach and other anticipatory behaviors (for seeking ). The e motional behavioral circuits g enerate various affective experiences (Panksepp 2000). All seven of the instinctual emotional systems investigated by Panksepp were acknowledged by James in his chapter on instinct from The Principles, di scussing "fear," "anger," "the sexual impulse," "play," "parental love, "sadness," and "curiosity" as instinctual behaviors of humans and other animals, as well as numerous other instincts such as "rivalry" and "appropr iation or acquisitiveness" (1890 ). Panksepp acknowledges that humans can also experience sec ondary, cognitive type emotions such as guilt, shame, embarrassment, jealousy, hate, and contempt, as well
54 as pride and loyalty (1998 p. 301), which are also be linked critically to the more primitiv e affective substrates discussed earlier (Panksepp 1998 p. 301) In a manner similar to the emergence of secondary emotions for Damasio, Pankse pp suggests that such emotions emerge largely from social labeling processes, whereby we experience slightly diff ering patterns of primitive feelings in various social contexts and come to accept them as distinct entities reflect ing newly evolved neural functions that have developed within the higher a reas of the human brain. In addition to the primary instinctual e motions and their cognitive refinemen ts, Panksepp acknowledges that there are many more affective feelings, such as hunger, thirst, tiredness, illness, surprise, disgust, and others The aforementioned theorists all propose different taxonomies of which a ffective responses are to be considered emotions, but all three theorists agree that there are no clear determinants for is and is not an emotion (Panksepp 1998; Damasio 1999; Craig 2002). Following James' explicitly pluralistic understanding of bodily fee ling, it is important to acknowledge that emotional responses and feelings cannot be divorced from other organismic processes. In concurrence with James' view, a living organism is always undergoing some state that can be described as "emotional" in contem porary neuroscientific parlance. Damasio, Craig, and Panksepp's respective theories, like James', all argue that emotion and living are dynamically interwoven, and that "emotions bear witness to the life within our minds" (Damasio 2003, p. 140), and "feeli ngs are the computational currency of awareness" (Craig 2002), and "the primitives of consciousness" (1999 p. 314).
55 Damasio, Panksepp, and Craig, like James, consider bodily feeling to exist on a spectrum which includes the most subtle autonomic changes a s well as the most deliberate acts of abstract symbolic cognition; advances in neuroscientific imaging technology validate James' claim that bodily feeling is an ongoing perceptual process by which individuals evaluate situations and understand, both momen t to moment and over the course of our lives, the meanings of experience. Feelings are the means by which organisms are most primordially in touch with their world, make sense of it, and are able to function within it. Indeed, contemporary empirical resear ch into the neurobiology of feeling indicates that the body's self sensing capacities are essential to conscious experience. Consciousness, Emotion, and the Body Convergent Empirical Evidence for a Unified Understanding of Mind and Body In Damasio's book, The feeling of what happens: Body, emotion and the making of consciousness (1999), he sets out a theory of consciousness based on emotion, feeling, and the living body in the world. Making clear that he is not attempting to solve the problem of how brain mechanisms generate qualitative conscious experience, Damasio rather seeks to explore the neurobiological mea ns by which organisms generate "a sense of self in the act of knowing," a simultaneous awareness of person and world (1999 p. 19). Damasi o understa nds consciousness as a revelation of existence an inner sense that conforms to the fundamental properties William James outlined for it: it is selective, it is continuous, it pertains to objects other than itself, and it is personal These qualities, Dama sio believes, can be accounted for by the dynamics of homeostasis and interoception, which also generate emotions and feelings.
56 According to Damasio, the nervous system provides a number of continuously updated neural map s of the body being affected by th e world with which it interacts. This neural map constitutes a proto self that provides a reference point for cognitive and conscious capacities, which are ena bled by as well as anchored to the processes of life preservation The proto self is a dynamic re presentation of the body and its current state that is constantly updated as the organism maintains homeostasis in an ever changing environment. The proto self, which is unconscious, serves as a referent for ongoing neural and biochemical activity (1999 p. 100). T he proto self is an interconnected and temporarily coherent collection of neural patterns which represent the state of the organism The proto self provides the implicit background for self awareness and suffuses all subjective experience with some degree of bodily feeling. The mapping of the proto self necessarily requires inputs generated by brainstem nuclei, the hypothalamus and the somatosensory cortices, c hanges to the proto self may be caused either by internal body brain changes or by external influences impinging upon the person. In either case, these changes generate a second order map, the contents of which are the experience of the body brain system being changed by an object that is known. Changes generate pulses of core consciousness, or global emotional moments, the contents of which are our fundamentally non verbal awareness of the body brain system in its state of dynam ic equilibrium. Damasio argues that emotions and core consciousness require, in par t, the same neural substrates, incl uding the ensemble of structures which support the proto self, the structures which both regulate and represe nt the body's internal states. Core consciousness is not the proto self it is the representation of changes
57 in the proto self, the difference betw een the proto self in one state and a subsequent one. T hese changes occur in a ceaseless flux, each followin g the other in rapid succession, generated in pulselike fashion, for each content of which we are to be conscious Core consciousness is primary an d non verbal, consisting of the felt images of the body and sensory images of the environment, and is a necessary precondition for extended consciousness. It is an immediate, automatic awareness of one s embodied state in the moment by moment flow of being in the world, generated as stimuli impinge upon the body brain system. As James wrote, "w hatever the content of the bodily ego may be, it is habitually felt with everything else by us humans, and must form a liaison between all the things of which we beco me successively aware (1890 p. 242) The core self is the lived character that we are reflexively conscious of being, which is constructed moment to moment. This core self is structured by an affective sense of phenomenal selfhood and thus constitutes a m inimal form of subjectivity. Primary feeling needs to be seen as a large scale feature of the homeodynamic life regulation processes brought forth by the nervous system within the body within the world. C ore consciousness focuses and enhances attention and working memory favors the establishment of memories is indispensable for the normal operations of language and en larges the scope of the intelligent manipulations of planning, p roblem solving, and creativity. Core consciousness is the most fundamental sense of our individual organism in the act of knowing. Pulses of core consciousness are immediate awaren ess of our embodied situation which activate other neural circuits, calling out language and memories which thoroughly imbue these embodied sensory eve nts with meaning.
58 Damasio distinguishes between core consciousness and extended consciousness though the consciousness we experience usually consists of both forms working together. The core self can momentarily extend its own scope by relating itself to stable self beliefs and narratives contained within long term memory. The extended self, built from autobiographical memory, consists of the enduring self images, self beliefs, and self narratives of an individual, encompassing both remembered past and ho ped for future selves. The extended self is a means by which the transient core self can achieve a sense of stability and enact a person's longer term goals and projects. B ehind extended consciousness, at each and every moment, lies t he pulse of core consc iousness. Extended consciousness is symbolic, representational, narrativized and discursive; it is both reliant upon and constructed through memory and symbols. It uses the uniquely human capacity for memory, representation and meta representation, to gene rate webs of meaning and understanding within which to locate the ever present flux of information supplied by core consciousness. The higher and frontal cortices, temporal areas and hippocampus are therefore important in the generation and successful cont inuation of basic extended consciousness functions such as language, memory encoding and recall. Thus, in extended consciousness, stimuli first registered in core consciousness very rapidly gain their full human meaning and significance, black marks on a white background become words on paper that carry a particular instruction or idea, such as the one you are contemplating as you read this. This happens seamlessly as changes in the body brain system are processed each generates a new pulse of core consci ousness which produces, in networks of spreading neural activation, a richly detailed, meaningful and fully human understanding of whatever has just occurred. Extended consciousness,
59 then, requires extensive memory resources and the capacity for symbolic r epresentation in order to produce the distinctively human capacity for reflection, questioning, analysis, understanding and meaning. Extended consciousness is secondary to, and parasitic upon, core consciousness. Feelings are the experience of bodily chan ges by a stable but dynamic self. For Damasio, "the apparent self emerges as the feeling of a feeling" (Damasio 1999, p. 31). Damasio writes about the relationships between feeling states and the body, including consciousness as "a special kind of feeling, to be sure, but a feeling nonetheless" (Damasio 1999, p 312). Indeed, consciousness emerges when the primordial story the story of an object causally changing the state of the body is told in the universal nonverbal vocabulary of bodily signals. Damasi o thus links emotions and consciousness: emotion consists of an emotion state (functional aspects, including emotional response) as well as feelings (the conscious experience of the emotion), and consciousness consists of level (e.g. coma, vegetative state and wakefulness) and content (what it is we are conscious of). Not only is consciousness important to aspects of emotion but structures that are important for emotion, such as brainstem nuclei and midline cortices, overlap with structures that regulate th e level of consciousness. Subjectivity exists as a first person experience, only as an ongoing feeling rooted in the representation of the body. Craig has also developed a theory of subjectivity and consciousness rooted in feelings and the self sensing bo dy. According to Cr aig, it is in the insula where convergent information is processed to produce an emotionally relevant context for sensory experience ; a posterior to anterior progression of re representations in the human insula provides a foundation for the sequential integration of the homeostatic condition of
60 the body with the sensory environment, with internal autonomic state, with motivational conditions and finally with social conditions. This progression culminates in the most recently evolved reg ions of the anterior insula, situated at its junction with the frontal operculum and orbitofrontal cortex (Craig 2002). He refers to this unified meta representation as "a global emotional moment," and suggests that the basis for awareness is an ordered se t of representations of all feelings at each immediate moment extending across a finite period of time, the integration of salience across all relevant conditions at each moment, determined by its significance for the maintenance and advancement of the ind ividual and the species At the most fundamental level, this means homeostasis the maintenance of the health and integrity of the physical body In Craig's view, the neural basis for awareness is the neural representation of the physiological condition of the body, and the homeostatic neural construct for a feeling from the body is the foundation for the encoding of all feelings the integration of salience across all of these factors generates an image of the sentient self in the present moment An anatomi cal repetition of this fundamental unit generate s a set of repeated metarepresentations of global emotional moments that extends across a finite period of time, and this anatomical structure provides the basis for the continuity of subjective emotional awa reness in a finite present storage buffers for individual global emotional moments must be present to enable comparisons of pa st, present and future feelings, instantiating a reflexive observer
61 The anticipatory global emotional moments are influenced by stored representations of expectations that are based on acquired internal models of one's own and others' behavior. In Craig's model, all stimuli, incentives, intentions, appraisals and cognitions that have salience are represented by feelings, a crucial neuropsychological construct composed of nested s ets of integrative associations, elaborated on an interoceptive template and thus all feelings are inextricably related to the living body Panksepp has also developed a theory of the S.E.L.F. (simple ego type life form), experienced as primary process affective consciousness which situates emotional feelings at the core of our beings; the neural mechanisms that generate such states constitute an essential foundation process for the evolution of more ratio nal forms of consciousness. Panksepp argues that affective states arise from the intrinsic n eurodynamics of primitive self cent e red emotional and motivational systems in subcortical regions of the brain. He understands the self as a neural entity which ari ses from various biological value coding systems / emotional circuits which converge and interact with coherent brainstem representations of the living body and nearby a ttentional/waking systems of the brain. One key brain area where such interactions occur is found within centromedial diencephalic midbrain areas such as the periventricular and periaqueductal gray (PAG) and nearby tectal and tegmental zones (Panksepp 2006) Thus, Damasio, Craig, and Panksepp have each developed convergent views of emotion as evolutionarily adaptive and arising from the life regulatory processes of the entire organism. Their studies of emotional experience and feeling led each of the three researchers to compatible theories of consciousness and subjectivity centered on the liv ing, self sensing body. T hese findings support the view that interoceptive
62 representations of body's physiological condition provides a basis for the subjective awareness of all experience, and that consciousness is inextricable from and dependent upon aff ective feelings. Feelings are the experience of habitual behaviors which allow organisms to know and guide their living within environments, which are known insofar as they emerge from affectively lived situations. James' view of f eeling stands confirmed b y contemporary empirical research in neurobiology.
63 Conclusion Feeling is the bedrock and medium of human experience, the ever present lived narrative by which we navigate and interact with our world and qualitatively relate to people, things, ideas and o ther experiences. At once the most intimate core of ourselves and the revelation of existence, it is in the ways that things and situations affect our ongoing stream of feeling that we understand the deepest truths of what they mean to our lives and how we are living with them. What are we feeling when we feel? Most broadly, we are sensing our body's own living in the world; every part of the body is involved with living and thus with feeling, but it is specifically the physiological condition of the intern al milieu, the viscera, the musculoskeletal system, and the pattern and rhythm of our nervous system's activity which give rise to an affectively contoured perception of lived duration. Each pulse of experience flows seamlessly from past towards future in an ever developing interrelated aggregate, becoming increasingly articulated as our bodies bring forth further living within an environment. Without this intricate interplay of bodily activity and bodily self sensing, neither life nor feeling is expressed by physicochemical processes. Feeling and living are inextricably interwoven. Life, tenuous autonomous process that i t is, relates to the world in a dialectic of needful freedom; living beings affirm their own identities in differentiating themselves from their surroundings, but neither experiencing organism nor world of experience can exist without the other. Living is self perpetuation, and with the process of enacting identity emerges a world of relational values, contingent upon the ever changing situa tions in which life finds itself and fringed
64 with a living context. Where there is life, there is experiential meaning, a perspective on being which seems to transcend the implicitly formative domain of the corporeal. Experience, the nonverbal story the bo dy tells with its living, bears inextricable reference to the holistic development of the organism in its structure and forms of growth each part implies the next in an interconnected, self organizing matrix. Feeling advances with behavior; behaving and f eeling are parallel aspects of the composite process of living situations, and feeling provides a subjective perspective and concern to the continuous activity of instantiating oneself as an autonomous living organism. As a first person commentary on vital existence, feeling is an expression of the parameters and potentials of life, and always ultimately refers back to bodily behavior in the world whether it is the most basic processes of life regulation or the solution of a mathematical proof. Feeling or ients attention, selecting possibilities for behavior in environments which we know by the ubiquitous light of our own needs, values, projects and capacities we experience a world that is the correlative to ourselves, a complex construction expressed with the palette of qualities of organism environment interaction. Feeling is thus indispensable for survival, directing the entire apparatus of behavior which includes cognition towards living and adapting. Structured by the organism environment relationshi p, ordinary experience often entails agency, a sense of affecting and being affected by the world that is the instance of novelty in personal situations. Action and impact are always relative to one another and the context of their occurrence; subject and object are never wholly separated in experience. Since the body is first and foremost interaction with an environment, all experiencing is being in touch with a world, objects
65 standing out as salient figures against the felt ground of affective bodily mean ing which is implicit in every perception and behavior. Our bodily self sensing is seamlessly coordinated with habitual activity within an environment of incarnate significance, a behavioral space which is our most basic reality, related directly to the bo dy. We know objects as parts of whole personal activity situations, usually taking certain affective feelings as signs in an interplay of lived meaning. We don't just see, hear, taste, touch and smell discrete objects in space, but check to see if the food is cooked, or look for someone to talk with at a party; we listen sympathetically to another, hearing the weariness in their voice, and thoughtlessly pick at a bowl of mixed nuts while carrying on a conversation. We smell the coming of fall, and listen in rapture to a beautiful piece of music. Our thinking and evaluating is done with our bodies, a theater consisting primarily of virtually experienced situations, insights, or clarifications of the specious remembered present felt with a fringed context of b odily relation. Our felt sense of self arises with each passing thought as we pick and choose what our next action will be within personal activity situations. In the same manner that "weather" is a complex self regulating dynamic between temperature, wind velocity, humidity, barometric pressure, and other environmental factors, "emotion" is a sweeping term used to describe the co ordination of a variety of interrelated physiological, behavioral, and psychological processes which are continuously active as an organism lives within an environment. Though weather is always present, we tend to discern and classify only its particularly intense manifestations blizzards, hurricanes, tornados, etc. which nevertheless arise and dissipate within a wholly intercon nected system as it develops through time. Similarly,
66 the prototypical human emotions are characteristic phases of our living bodies; "an emotion" typically displays an onset, developmental phase, climax, and subsidence, each moment of which is unique, con textual, and indeterminate. These episodes are temporary coherences of partially distinguishable elements which interact in plastic habitual forms they come and go, but we are never without some affective tone in conscious experience. This is not coincide ntal; both consciousness and emotion emerge from the ceaselessly active and self sensing processes by which our living body regenerates, regulates, and adapts itself to novelty within an environment. Though much of this activity is unfelt and involuntary, including parts of the responses we consider emotional, the whole realm of feeling is predicated on our vital relation to the world. Consciousness, the continuous yet ever changing first person experience of affectively salient things, people, and events w ithin a context, is a lived emotional narrative which we tell to ourselves on a bodily level with each passing moment. It is only as living, feeling bodies that we can affectively interact with particular aspects of our surroundings and know them as signif icant. Our whole organism is involved in emotional expression, and thus emotional behavior and experience is inseparable from perception, cognition, and our sense of time and of self. Emotions direct our attention, affectively frame our situation, and emb ody our deepest values and beliefs about reality. Our biological structure and self organizing physiological dynamics provide the foundation for conscious experience, which is to varying degrees egoic, spatiotemporally situated, and directed towards affect ively salient objects. Feeling emerges as a simple but seamless duration of situated bodily awareness, which a subject immediately and intimately feels as a conflux of actual and potential
67 movements, perceptions, and Our living body is the source of our sp atiotemporal conscious experience of a world of felt relational values. Perceiving, reasoning, socializing, and all other behaviors occur in lived personal activity situations, which are organized by and inextricable from the felt capacities, needs, values and goals of the autonomous organism in the world. Affective feeling, from the basic and everpresent sense of being alive in a situation to the subtlest metacognitive feeling which guides our solution of a math equation, is a disclosure of how we are far ing in the world. Emotions enact a world of meaning on a tacit bodily level. The primary sense of self is the experience of involvement in the world from a particular vantage point with some degree of coherence and continuity, and begins on the propriocep tive and interoceptive level; every moment of our conscious experience bears implicit, immanent reference to the shape, position, and condition of our living body, dynamically co emergent with a world relative to the shape, position, and condition of our l iving body. This is a direct outgrowth of our bodily organization, the regenerative, self regulative, and adaptive processes of the autonomous living systems which we are. As we go on living within an environment, we experience constant change of our body relative to that environment. The experienced self is not a static entity, but a complex dynamic process of instantiating identity within an environment and across time. Attention arises in the context of affective situations, the immediate backdrop of sig nificance which constrains and regulates our behavior, including thought. The relationship between emotion and feeling begins with the living body inhabiting an environment; the felt phase of emotional activity is merely the sensed crest of a larger unfel t process es of life regulation, but emotional feelings are the originary
68 means by which we become aware of our involvement and adaptability within situations on a visceral level, the embodiment of value in covert or overt behavior which first throws into r elief the world as a place for or against us. Emotions are rejoinders in the flesh to the impingements of circumstance upon our self instantiation they set the trajectory of living and thus delineate how we encounter the world as significant on a pre refl ective level. Though much of emotional response occurs beneath the threshold of sentience, emotional feelings are the emergence of lived experience in nature, and we are never without some affective tone in ordinary experience. Emotions shape the rhythm a nd texture of experience, directing attention and suffusing each moment of awareness with motivations and priorities, beliefs, and a sense of agentic involvement they confer the sense of life being lived. The deep bodily origins of emotivity lend an unden iable credence to the meanings of our affective feelings and undergird our very sense of reality, vitality, and the standing of one with regards to the other. Emotions are not things our bodies do some of the time, but part and parcel of the continuous bod ily process of living and knowing our living; no matter the level of complexity our feeling may reach, our understanding of ourselves and our world will always crucially rely on the sense of life conveyed by emotivity. Emotional responses of our dynamic ha bit body generate a lived duration of affective states of various degrees and types of arousal that help guide organisms in life sustaining activities hence the intimate tie between emotion, motivation, and feeling. Emotions and feeling require, in part, the same physiological substrates, and are both direct accompaniments of behavior, enabling us to consider appropriate courses of action for immediate and long term goals. Feeling, like the unfelt substrate of life
69 regulatory processes from which it emerg es, is aimed at the survival of the organism and the sensing of the body. Basic aspects of emotivity are necessary for the phenomenon of feeling, namely homeostatic regulation of the state of one's own body. The experience of self and world dynamically co emerge, each bearing inextricable reference to the other Emotions are both subjective and objective at the same time; the inner experiential quality of an emotion cannot be separated from its intentional object; the entire situation has a qualitative and thoroughly affective feel, since emotions are always processes of organism environment interaction. It is only with hindsight tha t we can abstract the emotion of fear from the bear that caused it and the context in which it was encountered. Emotions are f alsely seen as private with the notion of personal consciousness, in reality, like experience, they are both in us and in the world simultaneously, one of the most pervasive ways that we are continually in touch with our environment. A ffect is so constant and pervasive in consciousness that it is difficult to separate emotion as a structure from consciousness itself. T he most fundamental contents of consciousness and the ones that provide it with its essential organization and directedness are affective ex periences consciousness is ordered and colored by affect and evaluation unique to each experiencing organism. emotion is the aspect of behavior that is subjectively felt and may be an aspect of all behavior. emotivity may be said to precede the perception of objects, events, and people that arise in our stream of feeling, influencing the perceptual process and filtering or otherwise modifying activity of particular sensorimotor systems and shaping our experience of the world. Affect, from basic drives upw ards to the most subtle textures of personality, influences perception in a state of joy we perceiv e the world through rose
70 colore d glasses, and in distress things ap pear dull, gloomy, or hopeless; in anger we have a greater tendency to perceive frustrat ing obstacles and barrie r s, and when disgust ed, what we perceive tends to be distasteful and ugly. Further, a ffect conditions our organism and affects memory, the very core of our autobiographies The simple sense of being in living relation to a world is the dawn of feeling, but the subtlest nuances of logical argument, social engagement, and creative expression still fundamentally refer to and are reliant upon our capacity for experiencing. The whole of sentient reality, from the faintest sensibility to t he highest reaches of abstract thought is a tapestry woven of the primordial signs of body states, enmeshed with our behavior, memory, and sense of self in a complex dynamic which is unmistakable yet largely ineffable. This resistance to discursive formul ation has long been viewed as an impediment to undertaking a systematic study of feeling, yet an inspiration to artists, poets, and explorers of felt life, who accept that the vagueness of experience is a matter of its creative ambiguity and inexhaustible potential, rather than an indication of inconsequentiality or hopeless inscrutability. In developing a theory of emotion which highlights the wisdom, variability, and crucial importance of the body, and then placing emotion at the center of his writings o n conscious experience, reasoning, and inhabiting a world of value, James laid the ground for a psychology of the feeling body grounded in empirical research from the natural sciences as well as first person experience. His understanding of the human mind, based on the laboratory psychology, evolutionary biology, and physiological science of his time, finds strong support from contemporary neurobiologists, aided by enhanced imaging technologies and experimental techniques. However, much work still needs to be
71 carried out in the field of introspective research, life as it is lived from within, which provided the bulk of James' insights into the human condition. James' approach speaks to the possibility of an investigation of the innermost nature of feeling di rectly inspired by lived experience itself. T hough most theoretical approaches to understanding meaning emphasize the conceptual and propositional logical structures or sociocultural interaction which extend the reach of feeling in breadth and depth, we ca n at any time refer to the knowledge embedded within our concrete flow of feeling to sense our way of being in a situation. Every meaning has a lived, bodily referent, an incarnate significance. There is a basic level of human understanding which develops with and is expressed by bodily experience, and it is the explication and carrying forward of our living in the phenomenon of feeling that makes possible the full drama of the human condition. First, last, and always, it is by feeling that we live our live s.
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