Feelings and our Struggle to Make Sense of the World


Feelings are suffused with meaning.

They are basic to human experience and conduct in a way that logical reflection is not.


Preoccupation with “cognition” only scratches the surface when it comes to understanding ourselves. Our mental operations are ultimately rooted in bodily activity.

We act on feelings (as animals do) often without reflection.

Our struggle to make sense of the world has its roots far, far deeper than the abstract manipulation of language based on thought.

Our use of language sets us apart from other animals but we often attribute our linguistic constructions, an independent reality that they don’t have.

We feel and act and react with our bodies. Mental operations are rooted in bodily activity and do not constitute a detached, non-physical sphere where reason can operate untainted by our fleshly interests.

Susanne Langer’s three-volume Mind: an Essay on Human Feeling
http://amzn.to/SIVZds does about as much as anything could to show how our struggle to make sense of the world, our concern with symbolization, religious observance and artistic expression.