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Hard Feelings: Science’s Struggle to Define Emotions - The Atlantic

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“The only thing certain in the emotion field is that no one agrees on how to define emotion,” Alan Fridlund, an associate professor of psychological and brain sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara,

Well that's frustrating how poorly understood human emotion is.

Science is not always a set of answers to questions, a collection of hard-won facts about how the world works. Sometimes the scientific method spans decades, centuries even, every study a drop in a bucket that might never be filled. It’s hard to know how close emotion researchers are to a solution, or if there even is one. “Philosophically, it’s arguable that ‘experience’ is not anything intrinsically measurable,” Fridlund writes. “This may make it forever off-limits to science.”

It would be kind of nice to think that in this age of answers, there might be a forever question. Not about God or the meaning of life, but just about humans and how we work. Maybe emotions are just the collection of physiology, behavior, and situational context, nothing more. But maybe there’s something more to them than just that—a deeper meaning that emerges from the constellations we create, something transformative and, ultimately, unknowable.

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