Vulcans Nixed: You Can’t Have Logic Without Emotion -A Galaxy Classic
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May 29, 2009

Vulcans Nixed: You Can’t Have Logic Without Emotion -A Galaxy Classic

TPolnackt Fifty years ago some young MIT scholars delivered a radical notion to the world. They proposed that it is possible to scientifically study precise mechanisms and processes of human thought. The movement was the catalyst for many fields of study.

Now after a generation of productive research, a newer paradigm shift is taking place. Science is discovering that it is our emotions that make thought possible, not the other way around. We simply cannot understand thought without understanding emotion. This is a radical departure from the traditional perspective, which used to regard emotion as the antagonist of reason.

Because we subscribed to this false ideal of rational, logical thought, we diminished the importance of everything else," said Marvin Minsky, a professor at MIT and pioneer of artificial intelligence. "Seeing our emotions as distinct from thinking was really quite disastrous."

Cognitive psychologists have traditionally downplayed the importance of emotions to the thought process. "They regarded emotions as an artifact of subjective experience, and thus not worthy of investigation," said Joseph LeDoux, a neuroscientist at NYU.

In all fairness to cognitive psychologists, the field of cognitive psychology has always been criticized for being too “soft” of a science. The effect is that cognitive scientists have always felt compelled to “harden” the science up with logical facts, and less study of emotion and behavior. Ironically, “feelings” ARE the new “fact”, and the main determination of the choices we make- not logic.

In fact, the entire “science of thinking” was approached somewhat backwards right from the start. Perhaps, this was partly due to the field being largely dominated by men who suspected (in true Vulcan fashion) that “feeling” is inferior to logic. In fact, as I was summarizing these findings for this post, my husband called to tell me about a problem he is having with a coworker. I asked him if he had talked to the individual to find out how he was feeling. My husband replied, “Men don’t talk about feelings. We talk about facts.”

Of course, that doesn’t apply to all men. Antonio Damasio, a neuroscientist at USC has played an important role in establishing the importance of studying emotion. Before Damasio came onto the scene, most cognitive scientists assumed that emotions only interfered with rational thought. It was assumed that a person without any emotions would be a better thinker, since their “cortical computer” could process information without the hindrance of emotion. Damasio’s research challenged the assumption by showing that people who have suffered brain injuries which prevent them from perceiving their own feelings, are ineffective decision-makers. Most would spend hours deliberating over irrelevant details, such as where to eat lunch. Damasio’s research, among many other studies, is revealing that emotion is what enables us to make up our minds. It is pure reason- not feeling- that is the true hindrance to decision making. So take that, Mr. Spock!

Posted by Rebecca Sato

Be Sure to Check Out the LeDouxLab on the Emotional Brain

Link to the History of the Planet Vulcan

Prior Posts:

Big Brain & the Pursuit of Happiness
Mysteries of the Human Brain

Comments

The ultimate deference that makes us all human, 911 perpetrators had too much of it that were not appreciated and still not by their opponents. The people in Gaza have the same feeling and emotions the US leadership is ignoring as if their allies are the human and the others came from planed X!

USA is involved in very costly conflicts from Gaza to Kabul and at the Israeli command!


Cost of the War in Iraq
$582,030,357,740
To see more details, click here.

$582,030,357,740 would have easily made us on Mars by now.

Vulcans Nixed: You Can’t Have Logic Without Emotion -A Galaxy Insight

The ultimate deference that makes us all human, 911 perpetrators had too much of it that were not appreciated and still not by their opponents. The people in Gaza have the same feeling and emotions the US leadership is ignoring as if their allies are the human and the others came from planed X!

USA is involved in very costly conflicts from Gaza to Kabul and at the Israeli command!

Cost of the War in Iraq

$582,030,357,740

To see more details, click here.

$582,030,357,740 would have easily made us on Mars by now.


Making decisions is easy. Emotions have no difficulty in making decisions. Making good decisions is a lot harder.

"Science is discovering that it is our emotions that make thought possible, not the other way around."

Do you actually need a study and a government badged lab coat to tell you that?

You people are such slavebrains.

Next week, study reveals water wet!

Emotion IS motivation. (They even share the same root word.)

Without motive, intellect (processing capacity) and knowledge (data) are utterly inert. Thought is obviously not inert, therefor, motive is required... and the only possible motive in this context? Emotion.

I figured that out in the third grade.

Very interesting study... but as a "Trekkie" I must clarify that Vulcans have emotions - very strong ones. They have just built their culture around surpressing them using meditation.

:)

Peace

I didn't study that in the third grade. Did you have art and PE? I did.

Professor Misky is a kind of Genius (and I am NOT jocking).....others however have done fundamental works in the cognition and cognitive processes as well....and at MIT are clever in general.

If you go to the studies-experiments of Doctor Gazanica...."Handbook of neurosciences" ....you find how are important the emotion strata of the brain to push and motivate the higher levels....

What is the thinking ?? and reasoning ?? many have posed this uresolved question...and about creativity ....how to define , describe and classify ??

It is NOT an easy task...

Those at MIT have defined one major milestone .....my dear friend Brandon ... :
An artificial intelligence (AI)that would have a minimum resemblance (likelyhood) with human reasoning cannot exist as the problem of installing motivations (and emotions)in the silicon...is definetely UNRESOLVED....You were clever and perspicacius...at your 3rd class...but this is a milestone...CONFIRMED.

Regards

Sorry for the so called 'AI researchers'.

Emotions are a result of subjective experience and do nothing to serve the cause of advancing the human race.

It's not important how you feel about your decisions, it's only important that your decisions be right. The right decisions are determined by reason.

Now if it's a decision which is unimportant, like what your favorite color is, or your favor TV show, sure thats emotional. But when it's a critical decision thats rational because your emotions aren't going to be accurate enough.

Just like you cannot send a rocket to the moon on emotion, you cannot get from A to B doing anything on emotion. You need to be able to map out on a matrix all the options and choose the most efficient.

The most efficient and quick way to get from A to B is a straight line. Emotion will have you going in circles.

Emotions are a result of subjective experience and do nothing to serve the cause of advancing the human race.

It's not important how you feel about your decisions, it's only important that your decisions be right. The right decisions are determined by reason.

Now if it's a decision which is unimportant, like what your favorite color is, or your favor TV show, sure thats emotional. But when it's a critical decision thats rational because your emotions aren't going to be accurate enough.

Just like you cannot send a rocket to the moon on emotion, you cannot get from A to B doing anything on emotion. You need to be able to map out on a matrix all the options and choose the most efficient.

The most efficient and quick way to get from A to B is a straight line. Emotion will have you going in circles.

"I figured that out in the third grade."

In third grade, I believed in a guy in a red suit that appeared at this time of year...

Yes, sometimes even that which you think is obvious, common knowledge needs some research and investigation to back it up...because sometimes that which many people think is obvious, common knowledge...is dead wrong.

"I figured that out in the third grade."

In third grade, I believed in a guy in a red suit that appeared at this time of year...

Yes, sometimes even that which you think is obvious, common knowledge needs some research and investigation to back it up...because sometimes that which many people think is obvious, common knowledge...is dead wrong.

Am twittering your URL cos you have very good info here! It makes me wonder if people can buy without emotions?

Merry Christmas!

emotions guide to behavior using the logic,,,,,,,, Merry Christmas to all, have you the seen Norad tracking santa in the internet?.

Dear "Vulcan" your note is in fact 'emotional'.....

By the way a vast range of emotions and motivations are believed to be innate and not experienced....

You would not need neither human emotions nor human reasoning (decision meking is normally accepted as a subclass of reasoning) to go from A to B .....most mammals do ....and may be also simpler animals and birds ..on this planet.

Regards and Merry X-mas

Claudio

"Emotions are a result of subjective experience and do nothing to serve the cause of advancing the human race."

The idea of "advancement" and "Human Race," are subjective notions the result of emotional states. All experienced phenomena is a rorschach ink splotch; language and culture are the grids (shared) through which we see it and compare it to. Reason is an artifact of language, which is itself and artifact of subjective emotion. Because it's possible to use reason to discredit reason (i.e. it's objectivity and "real"-ness are not falsifiable) it has no more validity than any other subjective element of the human mind.

I'm with *Brandon,* this is a misunderstanding of the, granted, fictional Vulcan culture. Vulcans do have emotions but the suppress their more violent ones. Overall their emotional response is very subtle. However there are times when they express emotion very overtly, such as when they mate or mind meld.

This sounds a lot like what Malcom Gladwell was talking about in Blink.

But, it is a double edged sword. Our emotions dispose us to being misled by vividness and swayed by appeals to passion. They leave us much more susceptible to being manipulated by other emotive "decision makers," or failed by our own biases.

If fervidness is a great strength, its concomitant capriciousness also makes it our greatest (rationale related) weakness.

I "feel" Mr. Spock would agree, it is how we combine the logical and the visceral, that defines us. Don't you think?


...but by that same token...

"Logic...is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris...Not the end." - Spock

The article has renewed an effort to understand the origin of thoughts that arise in the brain. If emotion is the source, it establishes a connection between the dominant human consciousness that first provide the emotion through the living force and then the thinking processes start. What happens in a new born baby's brain right from the stage life comes into the body while still in the womb of the mother becomes interesting subject of study. How life force gives rise to emotions and thoughts that disappear as soon as the life force is gone!Science needs to establish a connection with the non-physical consciousness and the same can become possible if we involve the human spirit to work out the paradigm of connecting the three, science, consciousness and spirituality. Attempts have been made by Encolgists, neurologists and what we need now is to involve the physicists too, along with the rational spiritualists in this small world of ours today!


This is junk science at its worst.


Most of people nowadays still splits reasoning (logic thinking ??) from emotional strata...

Many says the human advancement and evolution is due to logic thinking.....: TRUE.

However for those that "Think to be expert" and are NOT expert ..." in the human mind is extremely difficult to dissociate emotional strata from reasoning and logic thinking".

It is a matter of facts : we are done in this way...YOU like it or NOT.

Then I suggest to the many that think to understad what the human intelligence is ....to read a book or a manual of neuroscience.

At that time ...may be You will understand more about logic thinking and reasoning...that must be supported by COGNITION (not consciousness) which in turn is suppoted by emotional strata.

Regards to the cognitive people that before start talking read books and manuals and connect their brains thru their synaptic links.

Beth - & others -

Of course Vulcans had emotion, they just suppressed their emotions in a way analogous to Zen meditation.

Now we have to have an article in The Daily Galaxy about how Superman gets his powers by using the energy of our Class G sun, or if exposure to gamma rays would make a theoretical Bruce Banner into the Hulk.

Or if species like the Vorlons or Shadows exist. Oy !! Why can't this journal work with real science ?

For exploring in-depth the nature of thought, emotions, consciousness and their inter -relationship in the light of latest research on human brain, visit these websites:-

http://rewiringthebrain.net/
http://www2.xlibris.com/bookstore/bookdisplay.asp?bookid=39251

This article claims to be scientific yet does not cite any specific research, only one quote from exactly one MIT scientist, whose funding is probably drying up and therefore needs to create some kind of public controversy to ensure his own academic survival.

Has science even clearly defined "emotion?" Right now there is a dangerous "feeling" movement in society which would allow people to be fired based on their bosses "feeling." Welcome to a woman dominated world.

There is absolutely no reason to go to the moon.

The motivation to do so is purely one of pride and curiosity.
(Thats if you actually believe it happenned)


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