For the Hyperrationalists


One of the things that most disturbs me about some of the arguments and statements I have read regarding reason and the Church is that were one to take them at face value, they would seem to imply no place whatsoever for the emotional life. As a result, I found the following interesting:

from Proust Was a Neuroscientists
Jonah Lehrer

One of Damasio's most surprising discoveries is that the feeling generated by the body are an essential element of rational thought. Although we typically assume that our emotions interfere with reason, Damasio's emotionless patients proved incapable of making reasonable decisions. After suffering their brain injuries, all began displaying disturbing changes in behavior. Some made terrible investments and ended up bankrupt; others became dishonest and antisocial; most just spent hours deliberating over irrelevant details. According to Damasio, their frustrating lives are vivid proof that rationality requires feeling, and feeling requires the body. (As Nietzshce put it, "There is more reason in your body than in your best wisdom.)

Now, pro forma for me, I must go and look up this Damasio and see on what evidence he bases these conclusions. They are interesting and make a certain sort of intuitive sense--but that is insufficient when making these arguments a matter of the scientific record. So, if I find anything of interest, I'll try to post.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on February 17, 2009 7:40 AM.

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