September 20th, 2005

Ipunchu front

emotional selfhood as a component of truth

Interesting pig wrasslin'philosophical discussion going on over here.

Here's some of what I wrote there:
[In the following, feel free to substitute 'one' for 'you' if that comes across more effectively or more clearly.]

The fact that most everything relies in part on things other than emotion does not contradict my assertion that the things I listed suffer profoundly if emotion is not valued.

The optimal strategy in any life situation has an emotional component which is essential to it. I promise you that the most effective child-rearing methods will have intensely emotional components! (Your hormones will make sure of that. Let them.)

There are parts of your mind that you need information from that can't be accessed in any other way. There exists wisdom and knowledge that is purely emotional, and trying to 'work around it' in such cases will only keep you from it. The 'functional psychopaths' mentioned earlier may succeed at doing certain types of work, but they are not well-adapted for being in a workplace, and definitely not well-adapted for being in the other areas of their lives. (Overwork/'workaholism' may be a way of avoiding those lives.)

It is my belief (from all my perspectives) that awareness of emotion is not enough; emotional drives must be an integrated part of the self and self-identity. Part of 'you' is those emotions. If you reject that, then 'you' are smaller -- those parts still remain, but now 'you' have no access to them!

I don't mean to take anything away from your preference for and appreciation of rationality. (In fact, I share it.) What I do mean to point out is that excluding emotion will not get you all the way there, and the more actively you do ignore it or disparage it, the more it will be the source of your actions, and the less you will therefore know about those actions.

Figuring out what my goals are - now that's an emotional realm.

In this we agree.

And that's probably enough to get you by. You'll be as emotional as you need to be, because that's what human bodies and minds do, even if you don't value it as part of the true self.

You can pout about being a human all you want, but it's not going to go away. (And I say that even as a transhumanist/extropian!)

Reality is that which remains even when you stop believing in it. Emotion as part of selfhood is one such thing.

Of course, it is absurd that we are having a rational argument about this at all, in this limited communication channel, and without a large supply of beer.
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    quixotic quixotic

practicing the theory of putting theory into practice, in practice

I've been frustrated many times in my life with friends who, craving rationality and logic in their lives, make choices based on logical deductions they perform on what is actually a simplified model of the life situation rather than the reality they're standing in.

And the difference often does hinge on cooperative behavior being necessary to achieve some goal, especially when that goal could be achieved without it in theory but not in practice.

Consider: the optimal strategy for receiving and enjoying good service in a full-service restaurant. (It sure would be interesting if all of the subtleties of that scenario were printed somewhere on the menu!)

cross-posted from another thread
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    hungry hungry