RE: What Meaning Means (was: RE: presentation)

From: Chris Lofting (
Date: Sat 17 Jun 2006 - 12:34:34 GMT

  • Next message: Chris Lofting: "RE: What Meaning Means (was: RE: presentation)"

    Hi John,

    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: [] On Behalf
    > Of John Wilkins
    > Sent: Saturday, 17 June 2006 10:05 PM
    > To:
    > Subject: Re: What Meaning Means (was: RE: presentation)
    > It's very arguable whether emotions are genetically determined. Some
    > emotive responses are, but the actual emotions are socially mediated.

    Sort of, IMHO you are missing some detailed analysis. The HARD CODING of the fight/flight dichotomy is well researched with the resulting self-referencing of that dichotomy eliciting the full spectrum of 'hard coded' emotions in generic form of:

    Anger Love (sexual) Acceptance Surprise Anticipation Rejection Grief Fear

    Analysis of the derivation of categories from fight/flight show that flight/fight to be a particular expression of a life form dealing with context - to REPLACE or to COEXIST with that context.

    The REPLACE focus comes out of differentiating and links to positive feedback bias. The PAIRS formed in the self-referencing give us, for example, anger/love sharing the same space, they both communicate dealings with context replacement - be it by eradication or replication (drown out the opposition with copies of self).

    These fight/flight emotions are spread across other neuron-dependent life forms but are best refined in us, such that, with further self-referencing, finer distinctions are possible (and so from generic 'anger' comes self-respect, competitiveness, singlemindedness etc where the genetics interacts with nurture)

    With the birth of a human child (and to some degree with primate infants) a sense of self develops manifesting itself at about 24 months. WITH this development come emotions dependent on that sense of self for expression
    (e.g. the emotion of embarrassment). I think it is THIS area that you associate with culturally-determined emotions in that interactions with context will 'guide' development of self and so those emotions dependent upon that sense of self.

    Since the derived emotions come out of the genetically-determined emotions
    (as in are refinements of the genetics, with 'unique' forms of expression mapped to the unique sense of self), given a genetically-determined emotional stimulus it can 'seed' or 'stimulate' the expression of a more developed, self-oriented, emotion.

    For refs to the 'hard coded' element, together with my analysis of categories derived from dichotomisations, see


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