by Dylan Evans
Are our emotions ruled by our biological makeup or are they learned behaviors? Evans reveals how scientists have shifted between these two waves of thought. They now generally believe that certain basic emotions-joy, distress, fear, anger, surprise, and disgust-are innate and universal. However, there are culturally specific emotions that constitute learned behavior, such as the frenzied state of the Gururumba men of New Guinea in their ritual of "being a wild pig," the author says. But what about love? Is it just a literary invention? Evans characterizes love within a third category of higher cognitive emotions defined by both universality and cultural variation. This remarkably compact text also explores the link between our emotions and survival, technological short cuts to emotions, the influence of emotions over thought, and the potential for machines to have feelings.
OUP, 2001, 204 p., b&w; photos/illus., hardcover
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Copyright 2001, Science Service