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Nathaniel Branden

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Nathaneil Branden often spoke and wrote about intergrating some "positive psychological ideals (read emotions )" into Objevtivist actions,theory and thought. Was he right or wrong-What do you think?.

Where did he say this and can you support equating that term with emotions?  Just trying to get a baseline here because i am interested in the question...

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  • 1 month later...

Nathaniel Branden said a lot of things after the break, and yes a person with incorrect thinking could use emotions as a starting point to thinking and integrate them heavily, but this is not Objectivism, and leads to a very unhealthy mind.  Thought precedes emotion, and before the break, Nathaniel Branden in The Psychology of Self-Esteem, his Basic Principles of Objectivism lecture series, and Barbara Branden's Princples of Efficient Thinking elucidate this principle. 

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Historical point: The Psychology of Self-Esteem came out in 1969, after the break, although most of the material had by then run in The Objectivist or in Branden's NBI lectures.

Biological point: dogs and babies have emotions without having had thoughts. What do you mean when you say that thought precedes emotion? Certain complex, acquired emotions do, but not all emotions.

Edited by Reidy
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Historical point: The Psychology of Self-Esteem came out in 1969, after the break, although most of the material had by then run in The Objectivist or in Branden's NBI lectures.

Yup, written before the break and published after.

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Biological point: dogs and babies have emotions without having had thoughts. What do you mean when you say that thought precedes emotion? Certain complex, acquired emotions do, but not all emotions.

Neither dogs nor babies have the faculty of reason, which is understood when speaking about the philosophy of Objectivism (the nature of man).  My response is in context to the original post, "integrating some positive psychological ideals, emotions, into Objectivist actions, theory, and thought."  The phrase I used, thought precedes emotion, is in context to my previous sentence:  "... but this is not Objectivism, and leads to a very unhealthy mind."  Then, "Thought precedes emotion <is Objectivism>,.."  has an elliptical, but the intent is implied.

Still holding the context about integrating emotions "into Objectivist actions, theory, and thought", emotions are a result of prior thought.  Values and premises are incepted by thought, and these can cause emotions as an effect.  Integrating values and premises into one's thinking integrates them into the subconscious, to which emotions can then happen without conscious thought, but are result of prior thinking.

The principle of thought precedes emotion holds for conscious thought as well, as a standard of Objectivism.

 

Edited by KorbenDallas
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When I used the phrase "integrating emotions", it was based off of the original post and not my own.  I don't use the phrase "integrating emotions" as I consider it to be an arbitrary.  Emotions are effects--psychosomatic effects that are experienced in the body, fundamentally as pleasure/pain.  There isn't any way to integrate something that comes into existence then goes out of existence.  The causes of emotions are integrated, but not the emotions themselves.  Emotions can be conceptualized (love, hate, anxiety, fear, etc.) and then thought of as effects to causes--and this is a distinction of emotions-as-experience and emotions-as-concepts.

I'm not sure what the original poster was saying, it seems to be ambiguous in terms, or maybe equivocating.  As Reasoner has said, it would be nice to have more context to this.

Edited by KorbenDallas
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"Neither dogs nor babies have the faculty of reason . . ."

Small point about your wording. Babies can't reason due to lacking sufficient information - they haven't had time and experience to really grasp what would be necessary to do reasoning. Their brains may still be in the process of some noteworthy development, but as far as the term "faculty of reason" is generally used in Objectivism, babies do have it.

 

Babies definitely have some kind of thoughts too, and dogs I think too, they're just probably not very well formed and precise with lots of concepts involved.

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On 12/16/2015 at 0:51 PM, KorbenDallas said:

The principle of thought precedes emotion holds for conscious thought as well, as a standard of Objectivism.

More accurately, emotions are caused by an evaluation, not strictly caused by thinking in the full conceptual sense. How are you justifying it then? To be sure, thoughts cause emotions, but that doesn't mean thoughts are the only cause. Depends how strictly you define thought.

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Small point about your wording. Babies can't reason due to lacking sufficient information ... but as far as the term "faculty of reason" is generally used in Objectivism, babies do have it.

Thanks, I see the error.  I approached it from performing the action, yet the potentiality is still there as an attribute.

 

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More accurately, emotions are caused by an evaluation, not strictly caused by thinking in the full conceptual sense. How are you justifying it then? To be sure, thoughts cause emotions, but that doesn't mean thoughts are the only cause. Depends how strictly you define thought.

Check out the paragraph before the sentence "The principle of thought precedes emotion holds for conscious thought as well, as a standard of Objectivism," which was: "..emotions are a result of prior thought.  Values and premises are incepted by thought, and these can cause emotions as an effect.  Integrating values and premises into one's thinking integrates them into the subconscious, to which emotions can then happen without conscious thought, but are result of prior thinking."  So the principle of thought precedes emotion still holds.  I do want to clarify that there are a great many ways to incorrectly experience emotion, first that comes to mind is social metaphysics, but that would be off-principle and not what I'm speaking of here.

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2 hours ago, KorbenDallas said:

I do want to clarify that there are a great many ways to incorrectly experience emotion, first that comes to mind is social metaphysics, but that would be off-principle and not what I'm speaking of here.

Yes, but you seem to be saying -all- emotions are a result of thinking in the conceptual way, and that there are "correct" ways to experience an emotion. The only "wrong" part is if you evaluated wrong, but you'd need to recognize the emotion first to find out your evaluation. Evaluations are right or wrong, so what you should say is that emotions themselves are not where the whole cognitive process gets its start when developing. Sometimes, evaluations will be non-conceptual, and this is perfectly fine, it just means not all thoughts are conceptual. This is important, if you want to know how to establish a healthy emotional state, then you need to be precise about what a thought is.

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I already said that emotions themselves are not where the whole cognitive process gets its start by saying they are effects from antecedental causes--causes that are based from a person's values and premises.  And to address the last statement, thought is the process of identifying that which exists.

Other than that, I'm not saying that in all cases it takes active conceptualization to have an emotion, which was something I described earlier when I wrote about integrating values and premises and the subconscious.  Edit:  Also, saying "..it just means not all thoughts are conceptual" would be better stated as, "not all mental activity is conceptual."

Edited by KorbenDallas
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1 hour ago, KorbenDallas said:

I already said that emotions themselves are not where the whole cognitive process gets its start by saying they are effects from antecedental causes

Right, and that's all you can say. I just can't tell if you're making a normative claim that emotion -ought- to only be caused by prior thoughts, or if it's a descriptive claim. I don't think it's possible to say where emotions should come from, they're important to getting a sense of what's going on especially to reveal possible errors.

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2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Right, and that's all you can say. I just can't tell if you're making a normative claim that emotion -ought- to only be caused by prior thoughts, or if it's a descriptive claim. I don't think it's possible to say where emotions should come from, they're important to getting a sense of what's going on especially to reveal possible errors.

Huh?  You said, "I just can't tell if you're making a normative claim that emotion -ought- to only be caused by prior thoughts, or if it's a descriptive claim."  I think you need to read VOS again to answer your own question.  You said, "I don't think it's possible to say where emotions should come from."  VOS can help you here, too.  The Romantic Manifesto.  The Psychology of Self-Esteem.  etc.  (.. your statement is false, it _is_ possible to say where emotions should come from: Reason.  In fact, that is one of the main integrations of Objectivism.)

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7 hours ago, KorbenDallas said:

 

your statement is false, it _is_ possible to say where emotions should come from: Reason.  In fact, that is one of the main integrations of Objectivism.

I'm talking about you, though. My thought there was if you had a bad or wrong evaluation, it is good to have emotions. The ethical implication of emotion being caused by thinking loosely defined isn't that there are wrong or right emotions, it's that you should respond to or understand the emotion.

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4 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I'm talking about you, though. My thought there was if you had a bad or wrong evaluation, it is good to have emotions. The ethical implication of emotion being caused by thinking loosely defined isn't that there are wrong or right emotions, it's that you should respond to or understand the emotion.

Oh, I certainly missed your empathy through your polemical approach, then.  (Your committing yet again another straw man fallacy in the above.)  It's clear you don't understand some of the Objectivist principles I have been speaking of.

Thinking was not loosely defined, it was defined precisely and being used on principle.  The problem here is you do not understand the hierarchy between the subconscious, thinking, and emotions, which I have touched on, using Objectivist principles, and from readily available texts, but you have rejected those--rejected them then acknowledged the context of conscious mental activity, thinking, and emotions.

Existence exists, man is man, and man has a subconscious, he thinks, and has emotions.  It's up to you if you want to understand relationship of all of that--or not--it's your choice.  But arguing about it here by dropping that context does not drop it out of reality.  They exist, and it's up to you if you want to learn them.  That is all.

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59 minutes ago, KorbenDallas said:

Thinking was not loosely defined, it was defined precisely and being used on principle.  The problem here is you do not understand the hierarchy between the subconscious, thinking, and emotions, which I have touched on, using Objectivist principles, and from readily available texts, but you have rejected those

Okay... I'll still say you are defining -thought- too strictly, as I said already. You've said a lot so it's hard to sort out all the parts that seem off, and what you mean to say.

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On 12/18/2015 at 3:48 PM, Eiuol said:

Okay... I'll still say you are defining -thought- too strictly, as I said already. You've said a lot so it's hard to sort out all the parts that seem off, and what you mean to say.

I used Rand's definition of thought, as conveyed by Barbara Branden when Barbara was with Rand.  There aren't any parts that are off, they only seem off to you for the reasons I've stated already.

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I don't remember where I heard it, it was a story about Ayn Rand saying she rarely had an emotion that she couldn't figure out its source in a short time.  The more abstract the subject the longer it might take. 

Leonard Peikoff remarked that Ayn Rand could respond emotionally to broad abstractions which is very rare. 

When exactly in her life did she organize words into the phrases that resonate so concisely, integrating a process of reasoning with a process of investigating emotional responses. 

I still wonder why the title of this thread is Nathaniel Branden.

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56 minutes ago, KorbenDallas said:

I used Rand's definition of thought, as conveyed by Barbara Branden when Barbara was with Rand.  There aren't any parts that are off, they only seem off to you for the reasons I've stated already.

I'm saying that if we talk about thought broadly, that'd be an easier way to talk about how emotions are a consequence of evaluations. But anyway, I was trying to clarify exactly my idea, and also explaining how you can't say where emotions -should- come from. By nature, our emotions come out of evaluations, regardless of their evaluation's truth, which needs to happen if we're to recognize the status of our premises. It would be improper to just wave away "bad" emotions you "shouldn't" have. Sometimes, the premises are non-conceptual, so it's a bit more complicated than treating all emotions as caused by only thought defined as reasoning. In other words, there are a some borderline cases for some emotions, maybe for something like panic.

Yes, it's bad if emotions come out of, say, social metaphysics, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't have the emotion or repress it.

Tenderly, I'll re-title it, just don't know what to call it yet.

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16 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I'm saying that if we talk about thought broadly, that'd be an easier way to talk about how emotions are a consequence of evaluations. But anyway, I was trying to clarify exactly my idea, and also explaining how you can't say where emotions -should- come from. By nature, our emotions come out of evaluations, regardless of their evaluation's truth, which needs to happen if we're to recognize the status of our premises. It would be improper to just wave away "bad" emotions you "shouldn't" have. Sometimes, the premises are non-conceptual, so it's a bit more complicated than treating all emotions as caused by only thought defined as reasoning. In other words, there are a some borderline cases for some emotions, maybe for something like panic.

Yes, it's bad if emotions come out of, say, social metaphysics, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't have the emotion or repress it.

Tenderly, I'll re-title it, just don't know what to call it yet.

This does nothing to break what I've said (which _is_ Objectivism), all you've accomplished here is to put all of your misunderstandings in one place.  Check YOUR premises.  Though you have TWO correct statements in there, how you arrived at them is wrong.  I am finished here.

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My emotional response to the name Nathaniel Branden is an empathy of loss, betrayal, confusion. 

Is it a breach of privacy to speak of Ayn Rand's personal life?  Her antagonists have no problem dredging it up.  What is the most enlightened response to them? 

The process by which a strong attraction transforms into a strong repulsion is a subject that has profound implications for any human...   The loss of intimacy.  The disarray of friendships and business arrangements.  The long term repercussions. 

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I'd like to throw in my two cents, but I'm a little unclear on exactly what is being disputed here. What are the alternatives? What as opposed to what else? I did read everything, but some of the objections and counters being made were kind of vague and I'm not sure what statements they were made in reference to.

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