Panksepp: two influences against the study of emotions


According to Jaak Panksepp, in the twentieth century there were two influences that kept the mainstream thinking far from the elaboration of a consistent reflection about the emotional structure of man. The first was behaviorism, which refused to take into account the content of thought since it is not objectively measurable, with the result of promoting the study of behavior and of all the material side of human life. Subsequently, the road towards the understanding of emotional dimension was blocked by the so-called cognitive view of man. This emerged from the metaphor of the mind as a computer, according a privilege to the highest linguistic-rational functions in respect to the underlying emotional roots.