[ExI] EP and morality and dogs

hkhenson hkhenson at rogers.com
Tue Dec 11 21:26:31 UTC 2007


Another good chunk from the same article.

Social cognition and emotion

What is social cognition? If the social is ubiquitous,we
face the problem of including all aspects of cognition
as social. If it is special,we have to explain why and how
(BOX 1).As a matter of practice, social brain science has
indeed carved out a restricted domain of cognition. The
bulk of studies emphasize motivational and emotional
factors.Whereas other aspects of cognition - such as
language, for example - contribute substantially to
the regulation of social behaviour, the intuition has
been that emotion stands in a privileged position. This
intuition has its basis in our observations of other
species and of human infants, whose social behaviour
seems to be tightly coupled to emotion - a coupling
that is heavily regulated in adults.But the intuition also
has a functional explanation. Emotions can be thought
of as states that coordinate homeostasis in a complex,
dynamic environment; in so far as one aspect of the
environment is social, emotions will participate in
regulating social behaviour. In fact, one class of emotions
- the so-called social or MORAL EMOTIONS - serve specifically
in this capacity and probably guide altruistic
helping5 and punishment6.

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