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The Origin of Emotions, Version 1.0 by Mark…

The Origin of Emotions, Version 1.0

by Mark Devon

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Fascinating and unsubstantiated.

This book presents a fascinating, internally consistent, and far-reaching model for the origin and purpose of emotions. It comes close to providing a “theory of everything” for human emotional behavior. The plain black and white cover is consistent with the book’s overall severity and rigidity. A single point of view is presented without discussion or debate. The presentation has nearly the starkness and precision of a mathematical analysis text. Unfortunately there is little or no substantiation for many assertions made throughout the book. It is difficult to separate the premises from the conclusions, the new research from accepted facts, speculation from fact, and nothing is clearly supported by systematic evidence or broad-based scientific research. Some assertions, such as “fear helps you avoid threats” are familiar enough to be readily accepted. However, when the book states that “only men feel jealousy” or “profanity is subtle snarling” are we expected to accept these surprising ideas on faith alone? The “aquatic detour” of humans is used to support many ideas in the book. This poorly accepted theory is substantiated only by a single reference and no discussion.

Unfortunately, the book also lacks an index, bibliography, author biography, and references list. This makes it difficult to study, evaluate, or explore in more depth.

The book can be a valuable stimulus to further dialog and research, but it seems unreliable as a reference. Perhaps this is the nature of pioneering work. ( )
  lbeaumont | Nov 14, 2006 |
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