Re: Emotions

From: Kim Jones <>
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 2008 14:08:01 +1100

On 24/10/2008, at 1:56 PM, A. Wolf wrote:

> On Thu, Oct 23, 2008 at 10:33 PM, Kim Jones
> <> wrote:
>> Admittedly a bit off-topic but hey - there are some great minds on
>> this list
>> and it could give birth to something relevant. There! ;-D
> I was going to intro myself eventually but because this is interesting
> to me, I wanted to respond now. :) For now I'll just say I have a
> background in psychology and computer science engineering.
> Emotions are primarily useful as an adaptive decision-making
> heuristic. If you had to act only on rational information, you could
> take forever to make a decision, and have difficulty committing to it
> firmly. You also might not have motivation to do important things
> like eat (or know what you should eat more eagerly) and have sex.
> Emotions are also vital to social species like humans, because they
> can automatically and instinctively reinforce social contracts like
> reciprocity and protection of family. We call people who lack these
> emotions sociopaths.

Yes, but don't forget in saying this you have recognised that this is
also our chief weapon against each other.
Is it not rather ironic that we can call 'sociopath' someone who
cannot 'fake it' emotionally to get his own way?

> Emotions like sadness and fear are protective
> because they tell us what to do more quickly than logic can, and
> prevent us from social missteps and physical harm.
> Anna

  Yes - but you can - using the power of your own mind - suppress your
emotions which is a kind of 'faking it' ie
acting in a sense contrary to how you feel. Takes a bit of practice
but anybody can act.

I'm suggesting that this was the 'adaptive decision-making heuristic'
- that there is great survival value in knowing how to 'fake it' and
taking all the rest of what you say into account, this is maybe the
reason emotionality or the economy of emotionalism in human
civilisation got going...


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Received on Thu Oct 23 2008 - 23:08:20 PDT

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