Preface: Reflections on Emotions
Preface to the special issue ‘Reflections on Emotions’. Many
academic disciplines have offered important explanations of various aspects of
emotion. In the Preface I try to present a wide range of research and stress that
study on emotions had its origins in philosophy.
Emotions in Philosophy. A Short Introduction
In recent decades, there has been a renewed attention to the emotions amongst
scientists of different disciplines: psychology, psychiatry, neurobiology,
cognitive science, computer science, sociology, economics, and many others.
There are many research centers and scientific journals devoted to affective
states already existing. However, studies of emotion have a very long history –
especially in philosophy (anthropology, ethics, aesthetics, epistemology, and
rhetoric). Philosophers first raised many important questions about emotions
and their contribution to the discovery of the nature of emotions is very
important. The aim of the article is the reconstruction of the views on emotions
of particular thinkers in history of philosophy.
Ancient Doctrines of Passions: Plato and Aristotle
The subject of this essay is a discussion of the doctrines of emotions of Plato
and Aristotle. According to both them it is impossible to oust the passions from
the good, i.e. happy life. On the contrary, emotions are an important
component of human excellence. We investigate this question with reference to
Plato’s doctrine of the soul and his concept of a perfect life, and Aristotle’s
ethics, poetics and rhetoric.
What are Emotions? Structure and Function of Emotions
This paper attempts to coin a stipulative definition of “emotions” to determine
their functions. In this sense, “emotion” is a complex phenomenon consisting
of an accurate (reliable) determination of the state of affairs in relation to the
state of the subject and specific “points of adaptation”. Apart from the
cognitive aspect, this phenomenon also includes behavior, physiological
changes and expressions (facial expression, voice, posture), feelings, and
“execution” of emotions in the nervous system. Emotions fulfill informative,
calibrating, identifying, existential, and motivating functions. Emotions capture
the world as either positive or negative, important or unimportant, and are used
to determine and assign weightings (to set up a kind of hierarchy). They
emerge automatically (involuntarily), are difficult (or hardly possible) to
control and are (to some extent) influenced by culture.
R. G. Collingwood’s Views on the Feeling –
Thought Relation and Their Relevance for Current Research
Current research in affectivity is often dominated by perspectives on the
feeling/thinking dichotomy. In the paper first I reconstruct Collingwood’s
position on this point as it is presented in his Religion and Philosophy, The
Principles of Art, and New Leviathan, and then compare it shortly with
Bergson’s view. In total five of Collingwood’s different readings of the
feeling/thought relation are brought to light. Finally, I opt for a view that takes
feeling and thought to be complementary and inseparable, and I try to explain
why and how they are better treated in this way.
About the Benefits of Pleasure-in-Others’-Misfortune.
Aaron Ben-Ze’ev’s Depiction of Emotions
as Adaptive Mechanisms
This paper was inspired by two ideas: (1) the concept of emotions as adaptive
mechanisms, which was suggested by Aaron Ben-Ze’ev, and (2) Robert Solomon’s
criticism of the distinction between “positive” and “negative” emotions which
functions in social sciences. In the context of the above mentioned theoretical
perspectives I consider the infamous emotion of pleasure-in-others’-misfortune in
terms of possible benefits for the experiencing subject. I focus especially on
supposed adaptive quality of pleasure-in-others’-aging.
Procrastination as a Form of Misregulation in
the Context of Affect and Self-Regulation
This article aims in situating procrastination, as a specific form of
affect regulation failure in context of general affect and self-regulation
literature. This will be brought starting with definition of the phenomenon and
its’ various forms and perspectives. Next, giving an insight into affect
regulation literature. In the third step we will focus on elaborating the picture
of procrastination and its’ underlying mechanisms in order to locate it in a
broader domain of affect regulation as a specific form of self-regulatory lapse.
A commentary regarding dealing with procrastination and effective affect
regulation will be provided.
The Godfather: A Translator’s and Writer’s Subconscious
and Conscious Skills in the Process of Evoking Reader’s Emotions
The article is an unyielding argument supporting the thesis that not only a
writer, but also a translator is expected to use their creativity so that nothing is
lost in translation. Amongst various factors that influence the process of
translating a novel the article focuses on two of them: a translator should stick
to the original text with taking the semantic fields differences into account
while s/he should keep the atmosphere of the source language, making as little
changes in the target language as possible. Marking a translator’s existence in a
text is strongly connected with a perlocutionary act. A great example of the
translation that covers both principles is The Godfather, written by Mario Puzo
and translated from English into Polish by Bronisław Zieliński. He translated
only English words into Polish, leaving the target Italian words with no
metamorphosis. The article presents the effect obtained by such an action.
The Tectonics of Love in Leo Tolstoy’s Resurrection
The text analyzes Leo Tolstoy’s Resurrection focusing on the feelings
expressed in the novel. It focuses on: (I) the ways in which the content of the
novel is expressed through artistic means; (II) Tolstoy’s anthropology; (III) the
notion of love presented by Ronald de Sousa in his last book Love. A Very
Short Introduction: the difference between love and mood or emotion; the
classification of love (philia, storge, agape, eros); the distinction between love
and lust; love as a reason-free desire; and the notion of the historicity of love.
Presumptions in Communication
In the first part of this paper I consider the Gricean account of communication, as
structured by the Cooperative Principle and the four maxims. Several authors, including
Jean Goodwin , Fred Kauffeld , Michael Gilbert , Ernie Lepore and Mathew
Stone , among others, argue that the Gricean view of communication fails in as
much as it pretends to offer an account of all such human interactions. As Goodwin and
Kauffeld suggest, a more promising starting point is to consider the variety of
contextually determined presumptions that we make about speakers and that we rely
upon in interpreting utterances. These presumptions are established in various ways, and
are dropped, or defeated, in certain conditions. In order to clarify these aspects we need
to inquiry into the nature of presumptions. I argue that Kauffeld’s , , 
account of presumptions is useful in this context. In the second part of the paper I look at
what this account tells us about how, and in what conditions, presumptions in
communication are rebutted.