As you plan or go for your next walk, we encourage you to listen to our Walkcast with Jordi Vallverdu as he presents An Ethic of Emotions.
The following excerpt is from Jordi Vallverdu’s book of the same title on Amazon:
Why do we feel? Which is the meaning of emotions? Ethic stems from us, and inexorably leads to others. The ethical is inevitably plural. The social constitutes a double process: it stems from the nature of each individual to become a complex entity that is based on the existence of each of its parts. It is an organized whole that is dependent on its basic elements.
For this reason we look inward to project outward. Ethics is the observation of the sum of ethical actions.
The ethical is something else.
My ethical reflection is grounded in the present of life. There are no questions, and no answers, only full experiences.
Emotions exist in us before conscious knowledge of the same. It is a prior stage of connection with the world that escapes the cognitive, that is, the epistemic.
When we are born, we act in an automatic manner (crying) in order to attract, through emotion, the attention of our parents. No one taught us to cry when we were cold or hot, hungry or unwell, but this was the first language with which we entered the meaning of the human. Our first language was and is emotional, after which language settled in with time.
Emotions are the universal human grammar.
I speak of my emotions and intuitions, expressing them under the linguistic meanings that we seem to share. I speak of what I can, in as much as I can. I believe in the sincerity of every letter, perhaps not in its precision.
Do I take pleasure on obscurity, indeterminacy, conceptual confusion? Throughout history, this has been a tactic of hundreds of intellectuals, prophets and charlatans to forge a semblance of intellectual authority.
My text is, in itself, a failure.
It shouldn’t be necessary to write about any of this.
Consciousness is the source of maximum pain and confusion. And I don’t mean consciousness of feeling, from a cognitive standpoint, but rather the need for models of the world, mediated by words and concepts.
Besides, if ethics is action, and action flowing without conceptual obstacles, we don’t need a theory of ethics. A theory of action is a contradiction in terms, because we conceive action as an act.
If the ethical is realized in what can be experienced, ethics is realized in lived interaction. This essay rejoices in its own incoherence, because its objective is valid in that it transcends the very ideas of “objective”, “validity”, “coherence” and “idea”.
We finally abandon words, in order to return to them, having changed.
Thinking is unethical.