Sartrean cogitations – V

SARTREAN COGITATIONS V : REFLECTIONS ON THE SKETCH FOR A THEORY OF EMOTIONS

(Jean-Paul Sartre, 1962)

The classical theories that investigate the theory of emotions more or less lets us understand emotions within the boundaries of our conscious experience, at least according to the early theories devised by William James. Hence, devising a model wherein the states of consciousness can be divided as physiological and psychological phenomenon.

(i) It is within the very physiological phenomenon that holds the capacity to produce psychosomatic conscious states, as the consciousness is struck by the physiological projections. It is the very extension of the relatedness and associative elements of consciousness that combines the psychic world and the external reality. Hence, this peripheric theory of William James exerts that the physiological disturbances are either directly or indirectly discernible.

The individual can therefore can sum up their conscious states, in objective terms as their systems of behaviour.

(ii) One must recognise and analyse their emotions in a functional order of comprehending emotion via its significance. Gestalt psychologists, like Janet & Wallen would emphasise that the synthetic arrangement of behaviour would evoke elements of the unconscious or consciousness within the realms of psychoanalysis and hence offer a psychoanalytic theory of emotional finality.

However, emotional manifestations are an intrinsic combination of the psychic and behavioural aspects of the human condition. And therefore, negative emotional manifestations like that of anger or fear usually arise from the human sub-conscious and unconscious as a powerful urge towards attaining the symbolic satisfaction for the release of the intentional and insufferable tension.

(iii) Consciousness generated via the symbolic realisations only offers what it deems to offer as a desire. Within the psychoanalytic interpretations, there’s an established notion that the conscious phenomenon is presented with the symbolic realisation of a particular desire which is furthermore repressed by the censor within the different realms and depths of human consciousness.

Yet the desire is not intrinsically connected with the symbolic realisations as the very presence of the symbolic realisation further delicately fabricates the rise of emotions through the physilogical imperatives of human desires.

(iv) The symbolic realisations requires the renunciation of the Cartesian Cogito and conducting the consciousness as a passive and secondary phenomenon. It is the very acknowledgement that consciousness comprises itself into a meaning whilst being unaware of its very constitution of the meaning derived.

However, if the Cartesian Cogito is possible, then the consciousness itself becomes the very fact, the signification as well as the signified.

(v) The conscious fact of the consciousness becomes symbolical of the desire it expresses i.e., of the expressed complex, in Sartrean notions. Hence, the symbolic character is constitutive of the expressed complex of the symbolical.

Therefore, the innate desire for an inner signification is the precursor for the consciousness that makes itself known (or conscious).

(vi) In Sartrean terms, emotional consciousness is the introductory consciousness of the world. We can construct a meaning of this emotional consciousness initially through its non-reflective structure, and upon its very plane it should be noted that it cannot be aware of its own consciousness, hence, it requires the non-positional reflective mode in order to act as the precursor to the consciousness of the external reality.

Therefore, it is the very perception that connects the emotion to its representative signal. It becomes easy to view the action as the non-reflective consciousness of the constructed instrumental world and the emotive anger as the non-reflective consciousness directed towards the cruel essence of the world as action transforms into anger in psychosomatic-emotive consciousness.

(vii) The nature and structure of my writing is always and forever a product of my conscious state of consciousness as opposed to my unconscious state because an activity comprises a succession of particular objects in this probable world. The probable world is only considered probable due to futuristic realities, yet is also deemed certain as the Sartrean potentialities of the world.

Therefore, like Sartre, my writing is always and forever exigently remnant due to the decisive manner I procure my thoughts in my creative headspace. These thoughts are indeed realised potentialities that generate its exigence objectively through the subjective creative art forms.

(viii) There is an inherent distinction between unreflective activity and unconscious activity as they are non-thetically conscious of the self and the very process of being conscious of the same allows for the transcendence and apprehension onto the external reality posing as the qualia of objects. Therefore, in Sartrean notions, intellect here would be the very noetic correlate of the activity undertaken or conceived by the individual.

However, fear as an emotion has a consciousness whose target is the very negation of the external reality by means of what Sartre would call a magical behaviour. This would further allow the annihilation of the emotive-consciousness as a preliminary step towards the annihilation of the objects present in external reality. This emotional catastrophe allows for the exile of responsibility as the magical exaggeration and sufferings of the world excruciate the consciousness.

Therefore, negative conscious emotions like that of fear and sadness are irreducible to this Sartrean constitution of a magical world wherein the objects that are bodies act as instruments of enchantment. In every possible situation, the subject matter might differ and so would the human behaviour, however, in order to trust this Sartrean magical behaviour, one must manifest physical perturbation.

-Sanjana Singh//19.12.2020

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