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Emotions create knowledge and societal foundations while simultaneously reacting to the societal forces that define us. This chapter will discuss the function of emotions in individuals using the above proposed definition supported by evidence from the fields of philosophy, biology, and psychoanalysis. A short summary of the different fields and their work on emotion will be analyzed to extract a concise definition of emotion. As mentioned, emotions are subjective communicative devices constructed and enforced in a reactionary sense.

A structure made up of knowledge constructs and constrains the behavior of the agent in that structure (26). It defines appropriate and acceptable behavior within a given social context defined by knowledge. In behaving well, agents are reinforcing the very structure constraining them. Conversely, bad behavior is anything outside that structure of 38 ● The Power of Emotion in Politics, Philosophy, and Ideology acceptability. In sociology, theorists call this the structure-agent problem. In trying to locate causality scholars try to determine which side of the structure-agent issue is the one causing movement.

If the brain responds well to a certain external factor, like chocolate or an attractive person, then, the body will react in kind, as an appetitive stimulus. Neurons in the brainstem release hormones that correspond with positive or negative feelings, creating the feeling based on memory. In other words, appetitive images that once arose pleasures inherently and automatically reinforce pleasure through practice; these are then stored in the memory for later use (Lang and Davis 2006, 16). Given the presence of aversive neural stimulus, the brain will focus attention on the issue and develop solutions in terms of potential action.

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A Guide To Improving Your Spoken English by BBC World Service

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