In Hobbes’ Leviathan, he describes the workings of the mind and in particular what philosophers of the time described as the passions, or what we today call emotions. Indeed Hobbes was an early adopter the word emotion, relating it directly to his idea that nature, and in particular humans, are merely matter in permanent motion. Thus emotions are motions which are all related to each other and in constant mutation. Together they constitute the parts of a whole.
I like to see the emotions as a spectrum and just as with the electromagnetic spectrum, it is impossible for it to exist with any single colour missing. Hobbes likewise explains that the whole is a person. He then extends this idea by recognising that the characteristics of man are reflected as a whole in a group. That man is the sum of his parts and qualities, and the group is likewise. The group constitutes a shared personality.
It's worth noting that within the individual, one particular emotion will typically sit dominant. Imagine it as a hat of a particular colour that individual wears. That dominant emotion leads the person.
These are the passions Hobbes defines. How many of the following can you tick off in your class?
To extend this idea again; the group being analogous to an individual with malleable emotions, one dominant person and therefore emotion will tend to lead any group. Thus my view is that as teachers and leaders of a group, our job is to guide the class using those feelings most conducive to community and language learning, e.g. the red emotions.
We are in effect the magnetic north searching around for the
north — the truth and the way, and we do this together by interacting
with language; searching around in the dark. Our job is like tuning
into a radio
frequency with words to harness emotions and stimulate learning.