The Guardian recently published an excellent article by Frans de Waal, What animals can teach us about politics. In the spirit of cognitive productivity, I’d like to relate this to a couple of theories of human nature that lend credence to de Waal’s analysis.
This week-end, I will present at a humanist meeting on “Psychological Hedonism vs. (integrative design-oriented) value pluralism: architecture-based motivation”. Psychological hedonism claims that “only pleasure or pain motivates us.” (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). Psychological hedonism is a form of value monism (meaning one ultimate or intrinsic good). Value pluralism is the view that we have multiple, top-level, possibly incommensurable sources of motivation. Integrative design-oriented psychology is a way of understanding whole mind with methods drawn from AI (including artificial general intelligence) and philosophy. Architecture-based motivation is the idea that the mind produces many top level (intrinsic) motivators; it has motive generators.
We won’t deal much with ethical hedonism here.
I argue against psychological hedonism and in favour of value pluralism.
“Betroffenheit” is a German emotion word. Max Wyman compared it to being gobsmacked. I might add nonplussed. But English and French words only capture part of the meaning of betroffenheit. Crystal Pite, a brilliant Canadian choreographer (Kidd Pivot productions), created an entire dance show that translates betroffenheit in several of the brain’s (verbal and non-verbal) languages. Since seeing this very powerful show a couple of weeks ago, it has frequently come to my mind (a light perturbance); and I’ve discussed it with many people. I had been resisting the urge to blog about it, for lack of time. But reading Brett Terpstra’s blog post, “How’s it going?”, about the grief he is experiencing from losing his dog, Emma, led me to reply to his post with the following.
Continue reading Betroffenheit: The Show and the Emotions
It is Labour Day week-end! This is a time to celebrate great knowledge work. It is also a time to ask “Have we been using the best conceptual tools?” And “how can we build better knowledge?” Let’s keep these questions in the back of our minds as we consider the following
Fifty years ago this year, Herbert A. Simon published “Motivational and emotional controls of cognition”. There, he expressed one of the most important insights about emotion and motivation (and hence perhaps of psychology) of the last century. Continue reading Fifty Years after Herbert Simon’s Landmark Contribution to Emotion Research: “Motivational and Emotional Controls of Cognition” (1967)
At the Vancouver Arts Club on Friday, I attended the emotion-inducing play, Angels in America Part 1: Millennium Approaches. (Its wikipedia page. One of the characters, Louis Ironson, is a Jewish homosexual consumed by anxiety and guilt. Today, I used this character to reflect upon imperfection, the emotions of guilt, and self-directed learning. I wondered in particular how one can use feelings of guilt and fiction/non-fiction to become more effective. This blog post touches briefly on this problem. Continue reading On Using Fiction and Non-Fiction When Feeling Guilty
Yesterday, Drs. Sylwia Hyniewska, Eva Hudlicka and I submitted a paper for the AISB-2017 Symposium on Computational Modelling of Emotion: Theory and Applications. The title of our paper is “Perturbance: Unifying research on emotion, intrusive mentation and other psychological phenomena with AI”. Continue reading Perturbance: Understanding Why Robots Will Have High-Order Emotions Matters to Psychology
The name, CogZest, is a blend of “Cognition” and “Zest”, where “Zest” representing affect. Here, we believe that deep learning is not merely a matter of acquiring dry knowledge. It also means learning to perceive and act upon value in a well informed manner. As such, at CogZest we also read, research and publish about affect.
If you are particularly interested in emotion, we encourage you to consider attending the following challenges and workshops organized by Dr. Sylwia Hyniewska, an expert in affective science in general and perception of emotions from faces in particular. Continue reading Challenge and Workshop in 12th IEEE Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition (FG 2017)
As you might recall, at ISRE-2015 in Geneva, I presented a paper on romantic emotions (“limerence”), in the context of our affect regulation project. The thing about romance is that like other emotions it is a state characterized by a certain loss of control. Control of what? One’s thinking processes. Continue reading The Benefits of Corporate Romance: Left is Right for Me
I believe that we can become better readers, thinkers, and learners as a result of the Trump victory. Continue reading Making Sense of the Political Situation — for One’s Well Being
The U.S. election this evening provides me with a good opportunity to test my understanding of emotion and my emotion regulation practices, as will the future, particularly given the apparent results. Continue reading Experiencing and Analyzing Emotions on a Perturbing Election Night