Evolution of emotion - WikipediaThe study of the evolution of emotions dates back to the 19th century. Evolution and natural selection has been applied to the study of human communication , mainly by Charles Darwin in his work, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. He proposed that much like other traits found in animals, emotions also evolved and were adapted over time. According to modern evolutionary theory, different emotions evolved at different times. Primal emotions, such as fear, are associated with ancient parts of the brain and presumably evolved among our premammal ancestors. Filial emotions, such as a human mother's love for her offspring, seem to have evolved among early mammals. Social emotions, such as guilt and pride, evolved among social primates.
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See previous books of the month November Charles Darwin The expression of the emotions in man and animals L ondon: Sp Coll Dougan 3 has seen an explosion of articles celebrating two hundred years since the birth of Charles Darwin November's book of the month focuses on The expression of the emotions in man and animals , the final text in his "great evolutionary cycle of writing". Yet, it has been long neglected by academics and the general public alike and today remains one of Darwin's less recognised titles. Title page of the Expression The Expression was an original and, for many contemporaries, a controversial book. It formed the final part of a series that had started with On the Origin of Species and had controversially peaked the previous year with the Descent of Man. The former, published in , laid out Darwin's theory of descent with modification through natural selection in animals and plants: the notion that randomly occurring variation within a population, if conferring a breeding or survival advantage, tends to be preserved, leading over time to divergence. The Descent , in which he extended the theory to humans, appeared more than a decade later in , its publication delayed by a reticent Darwin.
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Initially intended to be a chapter in The Descent of Man , it was published separately in and concerns the biological aspects of emotional life. In this book, Darwin explores the animal origins of such human characteristics as the lifting of the eyebrows in moments of surprise and the mental confusion which typically accompanies blushing. A German translation of The Expression appeared in ; Dutch and French versions followed in and A second edition of the book, with only minor alterations, was published in Since its first publication, The Expression has never been out of print, but it has also been described as Darwin's "forgotten masterpiece". Before Darwin, human emotional life had posed problems to the western philosophical categories of mind and body. In contrast, Darwin's biological approach links emotions to their origins in animal behaviour, and allows cultural factors only an auxiliary role in the shaping of expression.