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Goryunov, M. A. Problems of Studying the Affect after Denial of the Individuality Concept

Published in journal "Psychology and Psychotechnics", 2014-7 in rubric "The range of emotional experience", pages 727-737.

Resume: Over the last fifty years neurosciences, comparative etiology, social studies of religion and institutional economy have significantly extended our views on the motives of human behavior. The ‘side-effect’ consequence of such an extension is a denial, full or partial, from the Enlightenment concept of Self as an independent source of action. Methodology of studying the affect followed, too. Now the ‘strong passion’ is viewed not as a result of tensed internal life that has very little connection with the external environment but a difficult and prolonged response to the environment. Our belief that our emotions are actually hours has turned out to be just an illusion. Figuratively speaking, human is like a canvas used by an artist for creating a painting. The canvas ‘thinks’ that it has something to do with the action and that all paints and images belong to it but this is not quite true. Out of possible variants of word views only modern theology defends the thesis about the reality of consciousness. In the course of research the author applies the rule of deductive and inductive logic, standard analytical procedures and rules of hermeneutics and phenomenology. The author of the article also makes an attempt to summarize conclusions made on the basis of the latest works by Jean-Marie Sheffer, Daniel Dennet and Mansur Olson who touched upon the problems of studying the affect in the humanities. Changes caused by the rapid growth of knowledge about human behavior have led to the radical shift of the perspective. First of all, introspection has lost its popularity. Self-observation and self-analysis of emotions is now quite a low-effective strategy. Secondly, preference is given to the external circumstances since the phenomenon of individuality appears to be rather doubtful. The affect is shown as a complex and prolonged response to the environment and therefore usual observation provides better results in better terms. Thirdly, the last ‘shelter’ of the Enlightenment views on human is the modern ‘non-critical’ theology that views a full denial of the Self theory as something which would mean the final and complete failure of humanistic views on the affect.

Keywords: affect, strong passion, consciousness, progress, science, neuroeconomics, etiology, theology, critics of the world view, individuality.

DOI: 10.7256/2070-8955.2014.7.11879

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