10 February 2012

from Lawrence, Sunday PhiloMadrid meeting: The saturation of feelings. + News

Don't forget the visit to the British cemetery on Sunday.
Dear Friends,
I look forward to meeting you again on Sunday. In the meantime I was tasked to interpret the title
for this Sunday's meeting. The title that was voted for was: The saturation of feelings.
However, your chair person and proposer suggested that the idea behind the title was something like:
"Maybe "Feelings after too much of a good thing" ...." We can interpret this in terms of an overload
of positive emotions. A more vulgar interpretation might be familiarity breeds contempt, even if
this expression is mostly used for people we know. But then again, the Chair and Proposer do suggest
that this Saturation applies equally well to relationships.
An equally valid alternative is to use something from economics, and suggest the Law of diminishing
returns. This might work very well for strawberry ice cream or chocolate cakes, but do we really
believe that there is an inbuilt mechanism that diminishes our lover towards our beloved? Not if one
is romantic would one accept this idea, and close to St Valentines' Day, I would suggest that this
idea might easily be the equivalent of heresy in the philosophy of love and relationships.
Nor would the diminishing returns interpretation apply comfortably to knowledge. Are we to say that
there is an inbuilt mechanism toward the positive feelings we have for acquiring new knowledge? We
might be tired and need a rest, but this does not mean that we enjoy knowledge less as we accumulate
it in our lifetime.
We can move on to physics and interpret the idea of saturation as being to fill a given space (real
or metaphorically) with more of a thing than the capacity of the volume of a given space. Thus, we
cannot put more than a pint of beer in a pint glass and if we tried not only do we fill the glass to
the brim, but create an overflow to the theoretical point that we might get soaked or even drown in
beer. But given that emotions and feelings are physical and even things that belong to the brain,
maybe there is a physical limit to emotions; maybe the brain does have a physical limit, after which
an emotion or feeling might physically reach its physical limits and capacity. Maybe, but this will
imply that there is a built in mechanism that implies our love towards someone is doomed to
destruction: a way out it to ration our love so that we never reach saturation levels, but then
again can we accept that our love should be measured and rationed? Certainly not so close to the
14th Of February! Unless, of course you happen to be a romantic mathematician and apply the
Banach–Tarski paradox to the topic.
Does this mean, therefore, that there are physical limits to what we can emotionally and positively
experience in our lives. It is one thing to fill our belly with chocolate cakes and another to enjoy
say the beauty of a work of art or of a work of literature.
Maybe, it is not that feelings get saturated, but rather, and here we have two options, some
feelings become overwhelmed or drowned out by other emotional feelings. For example, our positive
feelings for a person are overwhelmed by the stress cause at work. The other alternative is that we
have very little control on what emotions to experience and feelings to feel. Thus, when we're hit
with positive feelings about something we enjoy that feeling until we are hit by some other feeling
that would neutralise or destroy our previous feeling. And since we are more temporally conscious of
the loss of one positive feeling rather than the destruction of the positive feeling by some yet
unknown causal feeling or some other cause that has not yet reached our conscious self.
In conclusion, maybe the title of our topic: The saturation of feelings is just as valid and just as
controversial as any other title I might come up with. So maybe we should start from the beginning
and see where we arrive.
See you Sunday

regular messages from friends below
Meet 6:30pm
Centro Segoviano
Alburquerque, 14
28010 Madrid
Metro: Bilbao
In the meantime Ignacio has reminded me to let you know about the new arrangements for the Thursday
Thursday's Open Tertulia in English
Important Notice: From December 1st, the Tertulia will take place at O'Donnells (ex-Moore's) Irish
Pub, c/ Barceló 1 (metro Tribunal)
----------From Luisa: - Please not you will have to let her know in advance if you wish to attend,
Data of language exchange,
Location: Café Comercial
Address: Glorieta de Bilbao, 7
Website location:
Dates: on Saturday
Time: from 12:30 to 14:45
Price: 2.50 € (exchange organizing, hiring the top of the cafeteria and coffee, tea, soda, wine or
beer are included).
Luisa - email to confirm please alvarez_luisa@hotmail.com
-------------- Visits to the British Cemetry in Madrid from David Butler---
Por el presente mensaje hago saber las fechas de las visitas comentadas, programadas para los
próximos meses : si hay alguien que quiera hacer una visita con su correspondiente grupo en
cualquier otra fecha, sírvasa avisarme para llegar a un acuerdo mutuo de fecha.
I am starting up the guided tours of the Cemetery again : if anyone wishes to make up a group
independent of the groups I set up, I will be most happy to take them round - all they need do is
state their preferred dates and we will work out a schedule.
Redacto el presente mensaje tanto en español como en inglés con el objeto de comunicaros que sigo
con el programa de visitas comentadas, sábados por la mañana, al Cementerio Británico.
Las visitas empiezan a las 11 horas en la entrada del Cementerio Británico, calle del Comandante
Fontanes 7, distrito de Carabanchel
*sábado, 11 de febrero, cuando daré las explicaciones en español
*sábado, 25 de febrero, cuando daré las explicaciones en inglés
*sábado, 10 de marzo, cuando daré las explicaciones en español.
Lo dejo a su elección cuál día acuda y no hay necesidad de avisar.
Tomen nota de nuestra página web < www.britishcemeterymadrid.com > que contiene información
de la historia del Cementerio y el mapa de su ubicación.
I am writing this in both Spanish and in English to tell you that I am continuing Saturday morning
guided visits to the British Cemetery.
We meet at 11 o'clock at the Cemetery entrance in Calle del Comandante Fontanes 7 in Carabanchel
* the visit on Saturday 11 February will be in Spanish
* the visit on Saturday 25 February will be in English
* the visit on Saturday 10 March will be in Spanish.
The choice of date is left to you and there is no need to inform me in advance of the visit whether
you are coming.
Do take note of our website < www.britishcemeterymadrid.com > where you will find details of the
Cemetery's history and a map with its location.
David Butler
Short url: http://tinyurl.com/visit-british-cemetery

from Lawrence, Sunday PhiloMadrid meeting: The saturation of feelings. + News

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