Concerning Ryan's post on thought and feelings, thought has always had an unclear relation to speech and therefore the logical aspects of language. Feelings tend to be psychosomatic reactions; they tend not to have the more advanced relation to belief-systems that emotions do. In Sartre, emotions are intentional, while feelings are not. Reading Robbe-Grillet’s essays on prose last month, I found them animated by a profound fear of belief and, in turn, of emotion.
Love, or as noted, the heart, would seem to be one such feeling, not considered intentional. Commonly called ‘blind,’ or reflected in Hume’s Treatise "Nothing more powerful animates any affection than to conceal some part of its object by throwing it into a kind of shade, which, at the same time that it shows enough to prepossess us in favour of the object, leaves still some work for the imagination."
Sartre’s Being and Nothingness would seem to have none of love as a feeling, though: "If Tristan and Isolde fall madly in love because of a love potion, they are less interesting." Rather love is a product of the beliefs that comprise a person’s motives and claims to identity. Sartre’s take on emotions proceeded from Heidegger’s innovation that emotions are rooted in being in the world and situations, not isolated from reason, belief, reflection or calculation, and took the position that emotions are a conscious, transforming choice. In BN Sartre commented that lovers tended to be shamed by subjectivity, using phrases like ‘soulmates’ and ‘we were born for each other’ to cloud the chance aspect of their coming together, and the relation between organized religion and love reflects this.
Sartre’s beliefs in emotions as being transformative came right before the second half of Zukofsky’s "A"-9, which treats the question of love and motive/identity:
Eyeing its object joined to its cause,
joins motive to sense:
An eye to action sees love bear the semblance
joins body to thought:
A body ready as love’s steady token
Fed thought unbroken as pleasure increases –
True to thoughts wearies never its ideal
That loves love, head, every eddy.
Zukofsky was reading Spinoza’s Ethics, which takes an early interest in emotions but never gets into emotions’ being-in-time because of his belief in Divine predestination.