There are two sets of “emotions” the understanding of which are most helpful to understanding all perturbant emotions: grief and romantic love. To understand these two requires answering several questions about them. One of the questions is: what causes grief to endure?
Rather than immediately provide you “my” answer to this question (or more precisely a “CogXAff” answer to this question), I will first let you think about it, for reasons discussed in my previous post
As a bit of backing for my claim that grief and romantic love are fruitful emotions to understand, see Perturbance: Unifying Research on Emotion, Intrusive Mentation and Other Psychological Phenomena with AI | Simon Fraser University Summit, which is an article I lead-authored for an AISB workshop on AI models of emotion. That article also provides a clue as to what perturbance is, given that I qualified my question in terms of perturbant emotions. (he concept of perturbance was rebranded by Sloman as tertiary emotion. I am bringing back the term perturbance and updating the concept and theory. The same co-authors and I are writing a new article based on that paper.
The title question of this blog post also requires that one answer the question, “what is grief?” Ian Wright, Aaron Sloman and I provided an answer to this question in Towards a design-based analysis of emotional episodes. Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology, 3(2), 101–126..
Answering such questions provides deep insight into the human mind. (I will later formally announce a new book project that has been simmering in my mind for several years. It is nominally an emotion, though as its subtitle shows, it pivots into the entire mind.)
- 2018-11-05 fixed a typo “on emotions” → “an emotion”.