Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Reasons of the heart/Les raisons du coeur

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In 1840, a group of young people went wheat hoeing in Corsica. Children spread the rumour, that two of them, Cornelia and Antono had been intimate. It was not true, but Cornelia believed that her honour had been compromised. Her brother and uncle asked Antono to marry her. He protested he hadn't even spoken to her, but Cornelia argued nobody would marry her now. He still refused to marry her. He was later killed by Cornelia's brother. That was the start of a vendetta between the two families. Of interest, in vendettas, the avengers leave a lapse of time before the next killing. For example, Antono's brother will wait a year or two before he kills Cornelia's brother. To give time to the brother to fear his death which he knows is coming.

Jon Elster, in Alchemies of the mind, explores the relationship between rationality and the emotion in social behavior. In particular this vendetta, which is a pretty good example, I think...

En 1840, un groupe de jeunes gens en Corse allèrent sarcler le blé ensemble. Des enfants firent courir la rumeur que deux des sarcleurs, Cornelia et Antono, étaient devenus intimes. Ce n'était pas vrai, mais Cornelia estima que son honneur avait été compromis. Son frère et son oncle demandèrent à Antono de l'épouser. Il protesta qu'il ne lui avait même pas parlé, mais Cornelia riposta qu'aucun homme ne voudrait l'épouser. Antono refusa de l'épouser. Il fut tué peu après par le frère de Cornelia. Ce fut le début d'une longue vendetta entre les deux familles.

Jon Elster, dans Alchimies de l'esprit, explore la relation entre la rationalité et les émotions dans le comportement social. En particulier, cette vendetta, qui me parait un bon exemple de rationalité affectée par l'émotion...


Brought to you by - Arabella Hutter

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