C-133. Ruled by emotions

Emotions pose many problems: the behavioral problem (I:Pbeh) of self-control for the individual step taker and for step takers working together (I:Psit,VI: control need/ control capability >1); the control problem for those wielding authority; the observer’s (and other actors’) minding problem of reading emotions (App. IV; C-8); the assistance problem of responding to needed help and/or support (App. I) … and, to be sure, minding’s procedural problem (0:S-P; App. VII) posed by “emotion” as a concept (merely, and too simply, comprising expressed body states: C-124).

But emotions also contribute to an important behavioral solution. With respect to the behavioral problem, they are very consequential. (Consider those who are “lonely.” For them a community and/or a “love” – with or without union [i.e., lacking a basis in functionality] can feel good.) But emotions are not consequential enough. How then? And why not?

Consider the R-transform (C-111) and the “V/R” ratio (C-122). They have us look to the independence of (C-108) and then at the interdependency of Valuation and Realization. In Realized behavior, there would be continuing evaluation of process as well as of product (C-16: process consequentiality), the values from which would be registered … and would, in turn, help give direction to future behavior.

This is what emotions contribute to. Body states can index (see memory) and may direct steps taken. They did this in CEM-history (App. XI, App. XVI) before humans even came to talk about “learning from experience.” They do it even now, in addition to whatever guidance knowledge and learning (XI) provide … and in lieu of our having fully developed Realization (capabilities, technologies) to meet needed functionality.

However, emotions are less and less useful for this functioning as steps have become more molecular, more compound and more complex, with more design features in consequence of compositional capability. Nevertheless, emotions continue to play a significant role (e.g., escalating anger) … due in part, at least, because we do not Grasp the behavioral problem well enough, not for its origins in the Nature of Things (III) and not for the indicated development policies.

“Emotion” if viewed as a theoretical construct (C-85), not as a concept, does help us to Grasp, in turn, the behavioral implications of the R-Transform: Develop!!!. The same needed functionality is to be seen. (What evolution started, development needs to continue.) This self-minding need – in lieu of an all-encompassing “instinct” factor -- was there for the first multi-step takers among behavioral entities. It is still there. It will be there until the body x step consequentiality of CEM-history’s materiality vanishes.

Behavior needs governing. Rather crudely, but impressively, emotions help. But stops for emotions are difficult (VIII). And possibility may be forfeit (“Emotion trumps cognition”). So the problems of emotions remain. But they may be more amenable to solution, given the R-transform minding resource.

About the riskiest thing we may do in trying to improve governing is to over-emphasize Valuation relative to Realization (C-122: V/R>1 ). Which we have largely done (C-97). We have instituted experiential collations of “good” and “bad” behaviors (e.g., statutes, norms), which we are supposed to apply to this or that situational problem. This rather than developing a governing system applicable to enhanced Realization (C-16), that improves on emotions, a system to cope with the behavioral problem of self-governing. This imbalance needs correction (XI). (Once corrected, a more productive interdependency can be Realized [C-71].)

Emotions respond to more than one’s own steps. Steps by other behavioral entities along with differences and changes in circumstances (e.g., bodily hurts and ills) – make situational problems relevant (I:Psit). But we should not be handicapped by giving these concerns more attention than our enduring behavioral problem … especially when what we do about the latter profoundly impacts what we are able to do about the former.

Minding functionality needs more from us. More development. Building on the need for compositional capability and the exercise of that capability*, with the assists of cognition and communication (App. III) together with community, to produce solutions to our problems – situational and behavioral.

* Composition (“compose” is an R-word: App. XX; C-107) provides the leverage that is evident in the contingent, emergent and material aspects of CEM-history (the continuing story of consequentiality, following from the Nature of Things). Cognition and communication have given composition the strength to challenge circumstance as a source of change (II).

(c) 2015 R.F. Carter