Re: Emotions

From: Telmo Menezes <>
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 2008 08:33:59 +0100

> Why do we have emotions? Aren't simple, value-conferring feelings good
> enough or something?

Through adaption to the environment (non evolutionary), the human
brain grows to become a much more complex systems than what could be
encoded in the genotype. Lets just say that the Kolomogorv complexity
of an adult human brain is much greater than the Kolmogorov complexity
of the genotype of the same individual. There is a dimension of being
human that is not contained in genes, but in society, the famous
memes. Also, genetic evolution seems to be much slower than social
adaption. There's no way that the genotype could encode specific
programs for things like: you have to mate with the best possible
individual, try to stay alive, sacrifice yourself to protect your
group in extreme cases and so on. The way out is emotions: strong
responses that override whatever states the brain constructs.

I believe emotions are very basic things. Just strong, overriding,
biological responses. I'm sure animals have them too. How else would
their brains develop to hunt, mate or whatever in a complex
environment? The thing is, we humans also have the ability to
intelectually analyze our own emotions. Given our higher cognitive
capabilities, we feel wonder (another emotion) at the way our rational
constructs are override sometimes.

I'm not sure about the distinction between feeling and emotions. My
mother tongue is portuguese. In portuguese, the equivalent phrase to
"you hurt my feelings!" is "magoaste-me!", which translated directly
to "you hurt me!". So the feeling part appears to be just a
non-universal cultural interpretation.

Telmo Menezes.

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Received on Fri Oct 24 2008 - 03:36:11 PDT

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