In “Feelings and phenomenal experiences” by Schwarz and Clore, in Social Psychology: Handbook of Basic Principles, they discuss the role of feelings in social behavior. They especially consider “feelings as a source of information.” They profile the literature concerning bodily experiences (e.g. hunger, pain, arousal), emotions (with a referent), moods (lacking a referent), “cognitive experiences” (e.g. surprise, boredom), “fluency” (including “processing fluency,” “perceptual fluency,” and “conceptual fluency,” none of which I have the time or space to explain). Continue reading
[After watching the above video today, I thought about this review I wrote of "The Spell Of The Sensuous" and David Abram's mentioning of language extinction in this book.]
“It is our fall from a simplicity and fullness of life directly experienced, from the sensuous moment of knowing, which leaves a gap that the symbolic can never bridge.”
Language is an “ephemeral perceptual boundary […] established by a common tongue” (256). In The Spell of the Sensuous, David Abram demonstrates how, through the development of the alphabet, this division between the human and non-human worlds amplifies. Abram demonstrates the socio-cultural evolution of the written language replaces experiential communication with and about the natural world with a symbolic representation of it, an abstraction of speech represented in phonetic signs or letters. In oral cultures, speech is tied directly to place, and the breathed word with the air. In Western civilization, the written language is a simulation of and instruction on mouth-sounds. The written language and the characters of the alphabet refer to human speech, rather than depending “upon the larger field of sensuous phenomena” (257). “The letters of the alphabet, each referring to a particular sound or sound-gesture of the human mouth, begin to function as mirrors reflecting us back upon ourselves” (187). The irony is that those illiterates many see as bar-barous seem to have a significantly more cognizant approach to language than the civilized, with our billions of tomes that tell us how to grunt.