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Can there be rational thought without emotions?
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Additionally, there is a higher activation of amigdala and the hippocampus.
From the psychological point of view, the self-asserting emotions, derived from emergency reactions, involve a narrowing of consciousness; the participatory emotions an expansion of consciousness by identificatory processes of various kinds. - Arthur Koestler
Damasio further argues, from cases of brain lesion and other neurological causes of emotional deficit, that some sort of emotional "marking" of memories of the outcomes of our choices with anxiety, is needed to support learning from experience. This idea will be developed later in the somatic marker hypothesis.
Patricia Greenspan would argue for the body furthermore, and that the recent neuroscientific work on emotions seems to take all but neurophilosophy and similar approaches within philosophy as necessarily opposing the project of recognizing the cognitive or rational role of emotion. In a simple way, emotions are assumed to fall entirely on the "body" side of the "mind-body" distinction. 3 Rationality-Emotion Relationship in the Human Mind, Brain and Body
Rationality and emotional response system are two interrelating and supportive constructs working effectively in the human mind. This statement will be supported by modern views on the functioning of human mind.
The most powerful argument for this interrelation is the somatic-marker hypothesis. The theory states that unconscious somatic markers, generated from secondary emotions, are helpful in predicting future outcomes of scenarios. Now, how does this automated mechanism of decision-making work? The hypothesis maintains that the ventro-medial prefrontal cortex of brain links the factual knowledge we have with the bioregulatory mechanisms that invoke the actual emotional body states. Thus, through association, somatic-marker system aids us to quickly detect (for example a trustworthiness of a person) and decide. Via hypothalamus, the system is connected to the endocrine system that awards us (or punishes) with feelings. This general view is used in many psychologic processes. These include recognition as a part of the entire learning-cognitive process and the decision-making processes (by limiting the list of possible alternatives when a decision is to be made, for instance). In the end, all human thinking can be understood as a joint operation of both rationality and emotions.
Nonetheless, saying that (particularly secondary) emotions and rationality go often together, I cannot argue this is necessary always the case. There are many instances, when these two would contradict themselves. The interesting example is visible when choosing a way of transport from one city to another.
Zdroje: Arthur Koestler on emotions.
Retrieved on: 3 December 2003., Audi, R. (Ed.) The Cabmridge Dictionary of Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. P. 772-773., Bacon, F. Novum Organum. Or. 1620. Retrieved on: 4 December 2003., Damasio, A. R. Descartes’ Error. New York: McQuill, 2000., Elster, J. (Ed.) Rational Choice. New York: New York University Press, 1986., Encyclopaedia Britannica. Emotion. Retrieved on: 25 November 2003., Greenspan, P. Emotions, Rationality, and Mind/Body. 2001. Draft. Retrieved on: 25 November 2003., Hibbard, B. Super-intelligent Mahines. 2001. Retrieved on: 12 November 2003., Hilgetag, C. Emotions. 2003. Powerpoint presentation. Retrieved on: 10 November 2003., Hilgetag, C. Decisions. 2003. Powerpoint presentation. Retrieved on: 4 December 2003., Lowe. An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind. Cambridge: Polity, 2001., Thagard, P. Emotion and Reason. Retrieved on: 25 November 2003., Elster, J. Alchemies of Mind: Rationality and Emotions, Evans, D. The Search Hypothesis of Emotion., Greenspan, P. Emotional Strategies and Rationality., Griffith, P. What Emotions Really Are., Frank, R. Passions within Reason: The Strategic Role of the Emotion., Pinker, S. How the Mind Works.