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True to Our FeelingsWhat Our Emotions Are Really Telling Us$
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Robert C. Solomon

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195368536

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195368536.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 September 2021

Myth Three

Myth Three

The Hydraulic Model

(p.142) 12 Myth Three
True to Our Feelings

Robert C. Solomon

Oxford University Press

The idea that emotions are feelings lends itself to another passive image, that of a psychic fluid filling up the mind or the body. This is referred to as the “hydraulic model.” This chapter challenges this as a misleading metaphor. To say that it is a metaphor, however, is not in itself to condemn it. Good science is filled with metaphors, often provocative, pregnant, and insightful. But this particular metaphor points us in exactly the wrong direction if we are to understand our emotions. Even the illustrious Freud employed it, and it led him to some of his most-often disputed models of the mind.

Keywords:   emotions, hydraulic model, feelings, metaphor, mind

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