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Why are feelings always hidden? 
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Post Why are feelings always hidden?
...emotions are actions or movements, many of them public, visible to others as they occur in the face, in the voice, in specific behaviors. To be sure, some components of the emotion process are not visible to the naked eye but can be made "visible" with the current scientific probes such as hormonal assays and electrophysiological wave patterns. Feelings, on the other hand are always hidden, like all mental images necessarily are, unseen to anyone other than their rightful owner, the most private property of the organism in whose brain they occur. (pg. 28 )

Damasio states that feelings are always hidden, even to the current scientific probes that can be used to detect emotions. This brings up several important questions about feelings.

1. Will feeling be detectable by future scientific probes?

2. If feelings cannot be detected by any objective means, then what are they? Do they have a material or non-material existence?

3. If they have a material existence, then why can they not be detected?

4. If they have a non-material existence, what does that mean for the ability of science to explain them?


Edited by: ecstian at: 1/22/04 11:45 pm

Thu Jan 22, 2004 11:44 pm

Post Re: Why are feelings always hidden?
what intuitive answer does your body come up with??? *Big Smil* I am in a teasing more so don't take offence.

I am very much interested too.

Does it not al ldepend on how he define feelings.

I bought the book but have only read the two pror books.

" Feelings, on the other hand are always hidden, like all mental images necessarily are, unseen to anyone other than their rightful owner, the most private property of the organism in whose brain they occur. (pg. 28 )"
Note 3 on page 309 explains that it has to do with Qualia.

By definition such is subjective. so there! :)

But indirectly we could wild guess but not know the feeling. Latest Security softwre are able to evaluate tremors in the voice and recognised a lot of emotions but feelings being by def subjective is not even fully known to the person haing them. I mean you ypurself are totally at mercy of your subconsicous producing the "interpretation" of what it felt like when you felt it.

Are you with me? You ahve to trust what comes up or begin to question your own capacity to know your own self-reporting.

Maybe not something that is very healthy to do.

So most of us always trust the answers that come up from our subconscious.

"How do you feel Bernt Great, I feel happy and I feel good, why do you ask? Cause IMO you sure look sad!" Tears flow from my eyes, and i looked at pictures taken some days ago and yes I sure look sad indeed.

Hidden is a true word. These feelings was hidden to me but not to peopel around me.

Now maybe what tehy saw was Eotions. Sadness is an emotion or mood.

So I felt good and happy but looked sad and sorry. I had no way of knowing this until they told me. Then I could look at me with their eyes.

So in that sense emotions is shown in facial mimic and heard in voice and body posture? Byut I felt great. My body needing to keep my self-esteem on a sufficiently high level to survive kept it hidden to me.

Do I mess it al lup. Emotions and feelings?

Ok the easy answer is on 309 and the fast answer is Qualia.

Beware of Qualia. Never trust it, it will fool you :)


Fri Jan 23, 2004 12:18 pm

Post Re: Why are feelings always hidden?
Maybe somebody could give us a brief explanation of qualia. Unfortunately, it was relegated to a simple endnote in Damasio's book. I for one have only come across the term in passing and do not have a grasp of what it means. Perhaps there are some good web resources that would discuss the topic. Off to do a google search...


Fri Jan 23, 2004 3:13 pm

Post Re: Why are feelings always hidden?
Qualia is a disaster or what word to use.

By definition it is totally subjective so it is not open for other than indirect reference as personal experience.

Maybe it is more fruitful to keep to the terminology within the book. He only mentioning it in the footnote?

Feelings is hard enough to understand?

Look here at my naive example.

I decided 1953 that i was an Atheist. I was ten years old. I had talked to my Dad about the Boy Scouts demanding us to say things that had to do with God. I didn't want to do it.

I felt something adn it was more likely a feeling then an emotion.

Thje feeling of being "betrayed" by the people of faith. They claimed things about God that was not reasonable.

What is it to feel religious despite feeling betrayed by the Religionists?

Words are tricky. to feel religious seem to have nothing to do with making religious claims of if the explanations of the source of the feeling are true or not.

I feel religious but I am not religious.

to be somethign is to self-identify or be asigned that term by somebody selecting that term or ascribing that term as the cateegory they should be typed to have.

This is not few who are like that.

In Oregon US maybe more than 20% and in US its is 14% and on the rise.

Compare with how many atheists we have. Only 1% of the population while we have 20% in Sweden.

Sun Jan 25, 2004 10:53 am

Post Re: Why are feelings always hidden?
ecstian, Qualia is the plural of the word Quale. Qualia is the philosophical term to describe the subjective experiences of a subject. The classic example is colour. Think about how the colour red appears to you...the actual "redness" of it. Now think about what red actually is...light with a specific wavelength. They appear to be two different thing and it is not at all clear how light of a specific wavelength can create the actual "redness" of an object.
In a similar vein Damasio distinguishes between "emotion" and "feeling". Here "emotion" corresponds to the light of a particular wavelength, and "feeling" corresponds to the qualia of red.

Edited by: CSflim at: 1/31/04 12:35 pm

Sat Jan 31, 2004 12:29 pm

Post Re: Why are feelings always hidden?
It will be possible (farily soon, I would think) to measure feelings, or at least the activity in the brain corresponding to them. Whether that will make society more or less insane, we'll have to wait and see. On the one hand, it could give us a way to end denial. On the other hand, it could become a tool for manipulation if those doing the testing are not subject to it themselves...

Humans evolved in a much smaller social matrix, where intuition could function much more accurately (if you know everyone very well, you will know better when their moods change). Would quasi-telepathy return us to Eden or tear us apart?


Tue Feb 03, 2004 3:32 pm
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