Re: virus: Religion, Zen, post-structuralism, and the failure

Chitren Nursinghdass (
Fri, 13 Jun 1997 20:50:39 +0200

>I had "Descartes' Error" in mind when I asked recently, "What if
>emotions are rational? What if rationality depended on emotions?"
>I think emotions evolved because they cause animals to do (mostly)
>reasonable things in the absence of conscious deliberation. And
>D'amasio's research has shown that brain damage that removes emotion
>debilitates the subject's reasoning powers.

Exactly, LeDoux statements do relate to those of Damasio,
rationality depends on emotions. Apparently it is the way we
can make decision efficiently : if you want to rationalize
everything, the processing may entail much time, time which would
be better spent by undertaking a certain action.

It's a way of "forcing" a decision to be made and hence to undertke
an action, otherwise you could go on rationalizing, arguing and
justifying, exploring etc...

What I don't understand is that Dennet's review of D'Amasio's work
emphasizes the interelatedness of consciousness, the brain and the rest
of the body as a more correct viewpoint, whereas in "Consciousness
Explained" the approach is not really one of symbiosis, but more
a horizontal exploration of the way consciousness works.

I think a truly comprehensive approach is not to neglect the
vertical hierarchies nor the horizontal hirearchies, that is,
to study and model both the control level of your system and
the controlled (constitutive) level separately first, then
study their symbiotic relationships.

It is not a case of either/or. It's more a case of knowing both
and their relationships to one another.

Have you heard of Lynn Margulis's Serial Endosymbiosis Theory ?