Monday, April 20, 2015

Emotions: Awareness of Hormones

As an exercise to understand ourselves better, the formula is: we ask ourselves what else is a subjective experience. We can then ask ourselves what piece of the universe is that experience simply an awareness of.

This blog post will cover the subjective experience of feelings. But what a horribly ambiguous term. How are we supposed to know what property of the universe “feelings” represent, unless we delve into some specific feelings? There are physical sensations as well as emotional sensations, although they really are the same thing. Physical sensations may include hunger and lust. But lust could also be considered emotional. Emotional sensations include anger, sadness, joy, anxiety, fear. But anger could be also considered physical. If you really think about it, each of these can be considered either physical or emotional, and that’s because there’s no functional difference as a sense. Chemicals flowing through time yields feelings.

Dopamine levels over time cause feelings of joy. Cortisol levels over time cause feelings of anxiety. Which brings us to our sixth sense: feelings are an awareness of our hormone levels over time.

In my post about consciousness, I discussed the senses as awareness of different properties of the universe, such as photons. If we think about emotions, they are really nothing more than a subjective experience based on hormone levels, and as such are simply awareness of hormones.

Our list now looks like the following:

SenseAwareness of...
SoundEnergy Waves
TouchNuclear Force
TasteChemical Structure
SmellChemical Structure
EmotionsHormone Levels

This was the first attempt to categorize a new experience within our definition of a sense, and it seems to fit well. That leads us to ask: which other subjective experiences could fit into this model? What other properties of the universe are we aware of?

No comments:

Post a Comment