intelligence in the emotions

< Previous | Next >


Senior Member
Ukrainian & Russian
While there is ample room in Gardner's descriptions of the personal intelligences for insight into the play of emotions and mastery in managing them, Gardner and those who work with him have not pursued in great detail the role of feeling in these intelligences, focusing more on cognitions about feeling. This focus, perhaps unintentionally, leaves unexplored the rich sea of emotions that makes the inner life and relationships so complex, so compelling, and so often puzzling. And it leaves yet to be plumbed both the sense in which there is intelligence in the emotions and the sense in which intelligence can be brought to emotions.
(Emotional Intelligence; D. Goleman)

Would you be so kind as to tell me what's the difference between 'the emotions' and 'emotions' here?

  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    There really isn't any difference, and the author could very well have ended the sentence "can be brought to the emotions." In general, when we add the definite article to things like "the emotions," "the passions," we are discussing them as abstractions rather than as psychological features, but the distinction is mostly a stylistic one.


    Senior Member
    British English (Midlands)
    The style of writing here is that of an introduction to a topic; the author is exposing a double meaning in the book's subject, 'emotional intelligence'.
    It could be that:
    A. "...there is intelligence in the emotions" ie. in all emotions as a set, apart from intelligence proper,

    or it could be that

    B. we bring our intelligence
    "to [bear on] emotions." ie. individual or groups of emotions as they arise.

    The definite article could be repeated - "to [bear on the] emotions." - but this would create another double meaning:
    1. emotions in general, which would be OK, we do deal with generalities in introductions,
    but it also implies
    2. emotions as a set. I do not think we can deal with all of our emotions at once.

    I think the second 'the' is omitted to avoid this ambiguity.
    < Previous | Next >