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The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals

af Charles Darwin

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Darwin's work of 1872 still provides the point of departure for research in the theory of emotion and expression. Although he lacked the modern research tool of cybernetics, his basic methods have not been improved upon: the study of infants, of the insane, of paintings and sculpture, of some of the commoner animals; the use of photographs of expression submitted to different judges; and the comparative study of expression among different peoples. This new edition will be warmly welcomed by those behavioral scientists who have recently shown an intense interest in the scientific study of expression. Lay readers, too, will be struck by the freshness and directness of this book, which includes, among other data, Darwin's delightfully objective analysis of his own baby's smiles and pouts.… (mere)
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Reprinted from the authorized edition of D. Appleton and Company.Ex-lib. JCC. ( )
  ME_Dictionary | Mar 20, 2020 |
Somewhere I read an essay by a biologist lamenting the decline of “natural history” – where the practitioner just went described what was going on in the world, without modeling or simulations or equations. The Origin of Species was given as an example – the seminal work of biology, but without any of the rigor that would be expected in modern work, such that it probably wouldn’t be accepted even as a master’s thesis in any university biology program today.


Darwin’s Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals is a similar, if less exalted work. The question Darwin asks seems to be trivial, and his method of answering anecdotal: do all humans and (if appropriate) animals express themselves the same way when they have the same emotions? For example, if “we” (in this case, “we” being Victorian Englishmen) are happy, we smile. But does everybody? Frenchmen? Hottentots? Hindus? Cherokees? Blind people who have never seen a smile? Do babies smile from birth? Do monkeys smile? What about cats, rats, bats and elephants? And what about all the other emotions – rage, fear, love, disgust, etc.? Darwin watched his own children develop and noted when and how they first used facial expressions. He did the same for his neighbors and their children, for domestic animals, and for zoo animals. And he sent out questionnaires to missionaries, Foreign Service employees, and anyone else he could think of who lived abroad. (One of these was an “African chief”, Gaika, who seems to have given thoughtful and insightful answers to Darwin’s questions. I wish I knew more about Gaika; there’s a mention of a “Chief Gaika” being involved in the “Kaffir Wars” but it doesn’t seem likely it’s the same one). Darwin also made use of the relatively new photography technology to show respondents pictures of people in various emotional states, and asking them what emotion was represented. Interestingly, almost all his respondents could tell the difference between a “false” smile and a “true” one, and although not one was able to say how they knew.


This isn’t the last word on the subject, obviously; there’s a lot missing. Darwin goes into great detail on the exact facial muscles involved in expressions, but doesn’t go much of anywhere with the information (for example, he doesn’t investigate if a dog uses the same muscles to snarl that a human does to smile, or even if a dog has “smile muscles”). He doesn’t hit on the importance of diurnal versus nocturnal habitat for expression in animals (i.e., it doesn’t do any good to have elaborate facial expressions if it’s too dark to see them).


However, while not the last word, it is the first (or at least the first consolidation). Darwin finds that certain expressions are universal – everybody smiles, and they start doing it when they are just a few hours old. On the other hand, some gestures are not universal – different cultures have different methods for affirmation and negation – nodding the head for “Yes” and shaking it for “No” is local to Europe; some people shake for “Yes” and nod for “No”, and some don’t even involve the head and face at all, with “Yes” and “No” conveyed entirely by hand gestures and body posture.


The overall impression is similar to Origins; a work by a talented and astute observer, a “natural historian” if you will. The criticism of “lack of rigor” might be appropriate in a modern context – there are no equations or models. However, there’s a different kind of rigor here – the rigor of testing the null hypothesis. I imagine before Darwin nobody bothered to ask “Does everybody smile when they are happy? Does everybody weep when they are sad?” because it was expected that the answer would be “Well, of course they do!” Sometimes it takes a complicated mind to ask simple questions. ( )
1 stem setnahkt | Dec 21, 2017 |
What I love about this book, so far, is the author shining through. And the Darwin who shines through is not Darwin the grand Victorian beard. This is Darwin still showing signs of being the young man his father despaired of, Darwin rough and tumbling with his terrier and playfully teasing his hound.
  AlexBrightsmith | Jun 6, 2013 |
Publicado originalmente em 1872, foi o último dos três livros publicados por Darwin que sustentam a teoria da seleção Natural. Neste livro Darwin se dedica a comparar o comportamento de homens e animais fazendo importantes contestações sobre nossas semelhanças e diferenças.
2 stem chuvanafloresta | Feb 27, 2013 |
This reprint of an early use of photography to explore and illustrate theory is an important work in the history of photography. The photographer, Rejlander, one of the most creative workers in the very early history of photography, used himself for some of the illustrations (the bald man in the plate opposite p264). Appropriate that Margaret Mead, herself an innovator in the experimental use of photography to support scientific investigations (see Bateson & Mead, Growth and Culture) should write an introduction to Darwin's earlier work. This book includes some examples from that work, photographed in Bali. Mead's partneter in this work, Gregory Bateson, later publicly disagreed about their methods. Ultimately he was the more seminal thinker. Despite the interesting use of photograph, the speculations of both Darwin and Mead have not stood the test of time. At the end of this version of Darwin's book are pictures of some well known academics of the mid-twentieth century at a conference. Another early application of photographic illustration.
  j-b-colson | Sep 18, 2012 |
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Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Darwin, Charlesprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Beadnell, Charles M.Forordmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Burton, MauriceForordmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Cain, JoeRedaktørmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Carus, J. VictorOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Darwin, FrancisRedaktørmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Ekman, PaulRedaktørmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Lakmaker, FiekeOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Leikola, AntoOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Lorenz, KonradIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Mead, MargaretForordmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Messenger, SharonRedaktørmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Pinker, StevenIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Prodger, PhillipEfterskriftmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Regal, BrianIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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Abraham. Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
Sampson. No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you sir; but I bite my thumb, sir.
Romeo and Juliet.

The Thinker's Library ed., 1934.
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Sir Charles Bell, so illustrious for his discoveries in physiology, may be said not only to have laid the foundations of the anatomy and philosophy of "Expression" as a branch of science, but to have built up a noble structure.

Introduction.
I will begin by giving the three Principles which appear to me to account for most of the expressions and gestures involuntarily used by man and the lower animals under the influences of various emotions and sensations.

Chapter I, General principles of expression.
This is the most complete edition of The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals ever published.

Preface to the Third Edition.
Darwin wrote the Expression of the Emotions before physiologists had discovered the astonishing facts that the innermost moods of the mind - love, hate, fear, rage, etc. - together with their outermost manifestations, the muscular contractions of the limbs and face, are in great measure dependent upon the functioning, in appropriate spheres of action, of "chemical messengers," or hormones, which are despatched from specific "chemical factories" known as endocrine glands.

Foreword, by Charles M. Beadnell, to the Thinker's Library ed., 1934.
The Theory of Evolution, The Descent of Man, and The Struggle for Existence have become almost household words, and the association of Darwin's name with them, however vague, is irrovocably fixed in the minds of most people.

Foreword, by Maurice Burton, to the Thinker's Library ed., 3rd imp., 1948.
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I have endeavoured to show in considerable detail that all the chief expressions exhibited by man are the same throughout the world. This fact is interesting, as it affords a new argument in favour of the several races being descended from a single parent-stock, which must have been almost completely human in structure, and to a large extent in mind, before the period at which the races diverged from each other.
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Darwin's work of 1872 still provides the point of departure for research in the theory of emotion and expression. Although he lacked the modern research tool of cybernetics, his basic methods have not been improved upon: the study of infants, of the insane, of paintings and sculpture, of some of the commoner animals; the use of photographs of expression submitted to different judges; and the comparative study of expression among different peoples. This new edition will be warmly welcomed by those behavioral scientists who have recently shown an intense interest in the scientific study of expression. Lay readers, too, will be struck by the freshness and directness of this book, which includes, among other data, Darwin's delightfully objective analysis of his own baby's smiles and pouts.

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