Question:

What does 'appeal to emotion' mean?

Answer:

When you are appealling to someones emotion it means that you are doing something to stir their feelings and get an emotional response from them.

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Concepts
Limbic system

The limbic system (or paleomammalian brain) is a complex set of brain structures that lies on both sides of the thalamus, right under the cerebrum. It is not a separate system, but a collection of structures from the telencephalon, diencephalon, and mesencephalon.
The limbic system includes the olfactory bulbs, hippocampus, amygdala, anterior thalamic nuclei, fornix, column of fornix, mamillary body, Septum pellucidum, habenular commisure, cingulate gyrus, parahippocampal gyrus, limbic cortex, and limbic midbrain areas.
It supports a variety of functions, including emotion, behavior, motivation, long-term memory, and olfaction. It appears to be primarily responsible for our emotional life, and has a great deal to do with the formation of memories.

Some neuroscientists, including Joseph LeDoux, have suggested that the concept of a functionally unified limbic system should be abandoned as obsolete because it is grounded mainly in historical concepts of brain anatomy that are no longer accepted as accurate.

Appeal to emotion or argumentum ad passiones is a logical fallacy which uses the manipulation of the recipient's emotions, rather than valid logic, to win an argument. The appeal to emotion fallacy uses emotions as the basis of an argument's position without factual evidence that logically supports the major ideas endorsed by the elicitor of the argument. Also, this kind of thinking may be evident in one who lets emotions and/or other subjective considerations influence one's reasoning process. This kind of appeal to emotion is a type of red herring and encompasses several logical fallacies, including:

Instead of facts, persuasive language is used to develop the foundation of an appeal to emotion-based argument. Thus, the validity of the premises that establish such an argument does not prove to be verifiable.

Feeling
Cognitive science

Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary scientific study of the mind and its processes. It examines what cognition is, what it does and how it works. It includes research on intelligence and behavior, especially focusing on how information is represented, processed, and transformed (in faculties such as perception, language, memory, reasoning, and emotion) within nervous systems (human or other animal) and machines (e.g. computers). Cognitive science consists of multiple research disciplines, including psychology, artificial intelligence, philosophy, neuroscience, linguistics, and anthropology. It spans many levels of analysis, from low-level learning and decision mechanisms to high-level logic and planning; from neural circuitry to modular brain organization. The fundamental concept of cognitive science is "that thinking can best be understood in terms of representational structures in the mind and computational procedures that operate on those structures."

A central tenet of cognitive science is that a complete understanding of the mind/brain cannot be attained by studying only a single level. An example would be the problem of remembering a phone number and recalling it later. One approach to understanding this process would be to study behavior through direct observation. A person could be presented with a phone number, asked to recall it after some delay. Then the accuracy of the response could be measured. Another approach would be to study the firings of individual neurons while a person is trying to remember the phone number. Neither of these experiments on its own would fully explain how the process of remembering a phone number works. Even if the technology to map out every neuron in the brain in real-time were available, and it were known when each neuron was firing, it would still be impossible to know how a particular firing of neurons translates into the observed behavior. Thus an understanding of how these two levels relate to each other is needed. The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience says “the new sciences of the mind need to enlarge their horizon to encompass both lived human experience and the possibilities for transformation inherent in human experience.” This can be provided by a functional level account of the process. Studying a particular phenomenon from multiple levels creates a better understanding of the processes that occur in the brain to give rise to a particular behavior. Marr gave a famous description of three levels of analysis:

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