Philippe Rochat and Laura Otis | Unsavory Emotions and Their Developmental Roots
Laura Otis and Philippe Rochat discussed unsavory human emotions from literary, physiological, and evolutionary perspectives. Otis will give an overview of her 2012 CMBC course, Cognitive Science and Fiction, and its role in inspiring a new research project on metaphors used to represent self-pity, anger, hate, and refusal to forgive. In descriptions of these emotions, religious, socio-political, and gender assumptions merge, but representations of these emotions also suggest the ways that minds and bodies interact to produce the feelings people experience. Otis offers some preliminary observations about metaphors for these emotions in classical literary and religious texts and in some recent films. Rochat discusses his research on fairness, jealousy, envy, fear of losing, and other human emotions surrounding the concept of possession. He considers, based on his and other developmental observations, the evolutionary roots of these emotions and whether they, along with related feelings such as shame and guilt, are specific to humans.