What is the purpose of our showing emotions? showing our emotions isn't real (well somewhat), they are simulated by the brain because of hormones(in some cases) and they aren't needed and mostly over exaggerated , we can live without showing emotions. Of course showing emotions does help us interact with one another yet sometimes it isn't needed. Where's the philosophy of showing emotion? as I said, showing emotion isn't needed...

My question is:

What is the purpose of showing our emotions and what is the philosophy of it?

To be clear: there is a difference between giving an opinion and showing emotion, you can give your opinion without having to show emotion, for example you can show empathy in your opinion. There is no need to show the "emotion" empathy

  • I personally don't see how it is related to philosophy. Maybe it is more related to something like psychology or biology.
    – Boris
    Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 9:15
  • Relevant: Helmuth Plessner, Laughing and Crying: A Study of the Limits of Human Behaviour, transl. by Marjorie Greene.
    – Philip Klöcking
    Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 9:30
  • Part of the problem with the question is this idea of "the purpose" is very much free-floating; what's your frame of reference? Are you interested in a particular view of the function of humans? What do you think it means for someone or something to have purpose?
    – Paul Ross
    Commented Sep 1, 2018 at 7:00

2 Answers 2


1) Logic is an emotion.

You know when something fits into a logical scheme not by making computations, but by the natural reaction we have to fear inconsistency and to noticeably relax when that fear is put aside. The computations we have learned to use to manipulate our logic really just raise or allay that fear.

In what way is the showing of logic not needed?

So this 'fact' you keep repeating, that there is no purpose in showing emotions, is not an observation or a theoretical result. It is not even consistent with reality. It is just a bias with no reason.

2) Opinions are individual and we live in groups.

It is just as easy to see times when people expressing fear, for instance, makes them more effective in convincing a group of people not to go down some dangerous path. Or to see where expressing anger has led to action on the part of people who would otherwise accept some oppressive system.

It really is less common for genuine emotion to lead people astray than to lead them into correctly coordinated action, despite what our historical traditions would have us believe. We often get the scale wrong, because our population density is not the same as the one in which our means of expression evolved. We are, as a species, given to waste energy on massive emotional excess. Huge parts of our culture, from bars to bad movies to skydiving, exist to cultivate just that, because we find it pleasant to sometimes be in a state more like our ancestors', and then to be released from it. But if we did not choose to make emotional appeals, groups would more consistently make stupid decisions.

3) Rules do not apply themselves

You can give your opinion without showing emotion, but it does not motivate action unless it relies entirely on logic (which is, as noted, an emotion, but even if you put that aside).

Any decision groups of people share that is not proven out in mathematical detail is actually communicated by showing emotions at some level, and not just through the meaning of the words. We subtly communicate all kinds of minor emotional nuances in our choices of wording, in our body language, and in a dozen other ways. If we suppress all that, we are not effective.

In the extreme case (as documented by Antonio Dimasio, q.v.) if we completely lose our emotion-expressing abilities due to neurological problems, we are not even effective at convincing ourselves to agree with our own decisions. People with this limitation can apply rules as well as they need to, but their own behavior remains unaffected by such thinking.

4) Rules, even the rules of rationality, have to come from somewhere

That stuff that is proven out in mathematically detailed reasoning requires persuasive arguments over what is and is not good reasoning. Again, not possible by any means that totally omits emotion. We have to make decisions about the stuff that makes up logic. And we are not going to make those through some logical process, because we have not yet decided what is logical. We have to start by sharing natural evolved instincts, which can only be communicated the form of emotional reactions.


It is to show different levels of your feelings. Otherwise you would be compelled to use more words to convey an idea. Actually it lessens the use of words. In some occasions you can convey your feelings only with emotions.

How would you show that your stomachache is so severe that you need to go to a hospital immediately? And how would you understand the words of the listener or the person you are seeking help to would convey that without emotions? Sometimes, if the helper is not ready to take you to hospital, how would you know gravity of his decision? How would you know that if there is any use in compelling him?

What about kids? How would they convey their feelings? Verbally?

I think you forgot about emojis when you posted this question. Don't they help to make up your expressions for conveying your feelings? Don't we use them for conveying even an idea just opposite we say (or write)?

Living beings in the higher order usually show their emotions. But we don't have the ability to apprehend them correctly. Humans, since we are also in the higher order, also show our emotions.

Empathy is not just for showing your emotions. Your feelings must come out as an action that is something more than emotion. So in the case of empathy your opinion is pretty good. But I would disagree if it were about sympathy. You may be showing empathy towards a person without showing any emotion. But your empathy would only be a sympathy if the other person were unemotional. I mean, his emotion can be the main thing for your empathy towards a person. So if you give more importance to empathy than sympathy, emotion has a key role in it.

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