[ExI] Unconscious [William Flynn Wallace]

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Thu Aug 7 14:30:54 UTC 2014

On Thu, Aug 7, 2014 at 3:09 AM, Anders Sandberg <anders at aleph.se> wrote:

> Ever read Antonio Damasio's "Descartes' Error"? The neuroscience consensus
> is that the emotion systems are essential for correct functioning -
> including for "purely" cognitive tasks. One key reason is that they provide
> a value evaluation for states: if you have to *think* about why losing your
> job or spending hours repeating the same mental operation is bad, your
> functioning will be impaired.
> It would sometimes be nice to be able to turn off boredom. But there
> better be a timer for that feature, or you will find yourself doing taxes
> forever.
> Anders Sandberg, Future of Humanity Institute Philosophy Faculty of Oxford
> University
> ​Yes, I read all Damasio's books.  I am not arguing with you at all on
this point.  However, there are many cases in which the emotions rule and
logic goes out the window.  Anger especially can overwhelm good sense.  I
would never want to shut emotions off.  In some cases I'd argue for
stronger emotions, just not the bad ones, like jealousy, for instance,
which leads to murders every day worldwide.  Perhaps we can learn to
inhibit certain emotions with the genes we have now.  I don't want to see
thousands of clinical psychologists swarming schools, but teaching
morality, which often includes inhibiting desires, deserves to be taught
somewhere.  I'd start in kindergarten (or before) when pushes and shoves
start.  I just don't see much in the way of research on emotional control
and it is so important to good reasoning.

bill w ​

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