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By Keith Oatley

Feelings: a short background investigates the historical past of feelings throughout cultures in addition to the evolutionary heritage of feelings and of emotional improvement throughout an individual's existence span. In transparent and obtainable language, Keith Oatley examines key issues equivalent to emotional intelligence, emotion and the mind, and emotional problems. all through, he interweaves 3 topics: the alterations that feelings have gone through from the previous to the current, the level to which we will keep watch over our feelings, and the ways that feelings support us parent the deeper layers of ourselves and our relations.

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Darwin (1872). The expression of the emotions in man and animals. London: Murray, Plate III. 20 EMOTIONS: A BRIEF HISTORY Darwin and His Influence Charles Darwin published his great book on evolution, On the origin of species by means of natural selection, in 1859. Not long after it came out, the wife of the Bishop of Worcester is said to have remarked: ‘‘My dear, descended from the apes! ’’1 The Bishop’s wife had not got it quite right. We are not descended from the creatures we think of as apes – chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and orang-utans – but we do share common ancestors with them.

Darwin knew with certainty that the snake could not reach him through the thick plate glass. ’’ Something else caused his behavior: an ‘‘imagination of a danger which [he] had never . . ’’ Darwin suggested that what controlled his behavior had been installed in the brain long ago: a brain process to make him leap backwards when a snake struck. By degrees our animal ancestors had acquired (by Darwin’s principle of inherited variation), and themselves passed on, traits such as this one. In the distant past, many potential ancestors were born (Darwin’s idea of superabundance).

But the intelligent problemsolving ability of our large brains is – if one understands Darwin aright – derived from sophisticated mechanisms that have enabled our genes to survive and reproduce themselves. Our human abilities and our human world did not come into existence for us, but for our genes. A question with which people in the nineteenth century struggled was whether, if all the motions of all the atoms in the universe were known exactly, rather as the motions of billiard balls can be known exactly, everything that happens is predetermined, leaving no room for free will.

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