4
   

Reason or Emotion: Who's in Charge?

 
 
Tuna
 
Reply Wed 25 Nov, 2015 06:16 am
Layman referred to this Hume quote in a recent thread:

Quote:
“Reason is, and ought only to be, the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them.” (Davey Hume)


Do you agree that reason is a slave of the passions? Should it be? Which dominates your thinking and your life?
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Wed 25 Nov, 2015 06:25 am
I think that slave is going to far. Moderation in all things, more or less. When one's passions are not engaged, one might make a good faith effort to do reasonable things, and may often succeed. The main problem that i see is that reason is too pliable, the sophistry of clever men and women usually depends on the ability to confuse and then manipulate others--they may have "reason" on their side, but may also well know that their arguments are false, or that their goal is other than what they avow in dealing with others.

No one is perfect, no system is perfect; a great many people are untrustworthy because are dishonest, and really only seek their own interests. But the world is also full of honest, mostly straight-forward men and women whom one can trust. One can only find out who is trustworthy through experience.

As for our boy Davey . . . shame, never say never. It is usually a good idea to mistrust absolutes.
Tuna
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Nov, 2015 09:03 am
@Setanta,
Quote:
No one is perfect, no system is perfect; a great many people are untrustworthy because are dishonest, and really only seek their own interests. But the world is also full of honest, mostly straight-forward men and women whom one can trust. One can only find out who is trustworthy through experience.


You're saying I should be wary of people who raise the flag of reason. Some people do that because they know that's what I'm looking for. They just want to manipulate me.

But that doesn't mean I stop looking for it.
layman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Nov, 2015 09:36 am
@Tuna,
I think poor Hume hung out in too many coffee houses, the A2K of his era, ya know?

Quote:
“Disputes between men pertinaciously obstinate in their principles are the most irksome. The same blind adherence to their own arguments is to be expected in both; the same contempt of their antagonists; and the same passionate vehemence in enforcing sophistry and falsehood and, as reasoning is not the source from whence either disputant derives his tenets, it is in vain to expect that any logic, which speaks not to the affections, will ever engage him to embrace sounder principles.” (Hume, eh?)


Either that, or maybe he had a wife, and was acutely self-observant.
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Nov, 2015 11:02 am
@Tuna,
Does he say why he thinks reason ought to be the slave of the passions? Otherwise, he's begging the question.

I think that, by and large, people act on passion before they act on reason because circumstance tends to call for quick action over thoughtful response.

I don't think that reason should be the slave of the passions. There should be a balance, e.g. Plato's Chariot Allegory.
0 Replies
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2015 03:49 am
Normally and unfortunately reason serves emotion and not the other way around. Please note that I am not against emotions but against gratuitous "emotioning".
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2015 03:54 am
I've been thinking about this since i first responded, and i find Hume's claim even more hilariously wrong-headed. We employ our reason again and again without reference to "passions," to emotion. We went to the laudromat yesterday, and had about ten loads for the regular machines, which a $1.50 each, would have been $15.00. But we were able to combine them, and use four of the large capacity washers at $2.50 each, for a total of $10.00. That was employing reason with no reference to emotion.

Tuna, you erect straw man fallacies again and again and again. I didn't tell you not to trust reason. I sometimes wonder why i bother to respond to your threads.
layman
 
  3  
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2015 04:56 am
@Setanta,
Quote:
...at $1.50 each, would have been $15.00. But we were able to combine them, and use four of the large capacity washers at $2.50 each, for a total of $10.00. That was employing reason with no reference to emotion.


Of course there was. It was your greed against the greed of the laundrymat owner. You coulda been charitable and just given him some extra money, but, noooooooooo
0 Replies
 
FBM
 
  2  
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2015 05:04 am
@Tuna,
Not agreeing or disagreeing with this, just sharing: http://bigthink.com/experts-corner/decisions-are-emotional-not-logical-the-neuroscience-behind-decision-making

Quote:
A few years ago, neuroscientist Antonio Damasio made a groundbreaking discovery. He studied people with damage in the part of the brain where emotions are generated. He found that they seemed normal, except that they were not able to feel emotions. But they all had something peculiar in common: they couldn’t make decisions. They could describe what they should be doing in logical terms, yet they found it very difficult to make even simple decisions, such as what to eat. Many decisions have pros and cons on both sides—shall I have the chicken or the turkey? With no rational way to decide, these test subjects were unable to arrive at a decision.

So at the point of decision, emotions are very important for choosing. In fact even with what we believe are logical decisions, the very point of choice is arguably always based on emotion.
layman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2015 05:12 am
@FBM,
Sometimes it just comes down to this:

1. What does it make sense to do?
2. What do I *feel* like doin?

In case of any conflict, Imma go with #2.

But, ya see, there never is any conflict. #2 IS #1.
layman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2015 05:19 am
@layman,
Quote:
But, ya see, there never is any conflict. #2 IS #1


Put another way, my reason serves my passions, as it should.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2015 05:32 am
@FBM,
FBM` source wrote:
So at the point of decision, emotions are very important for choosing. In fact even with what we believe are logical decisions, the very point of choice is arguably always based on emotion. (emphasis added)


This looks to me as though the author is employing the fallacy of composition. That is to say, that if something is true in some cases, it must be true in all cases. I personally abhor universal statements of this kind, and precisely because they almost always constitute a fallacy of composition.
layman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2015 05:37 am
@Setanta,
Quote:
I personally abhor universal statements of this kind


The guy said "arguably."
0 Replies
 
FBM
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2015 05:39 am
@Setanta,
Yeah, I noticed that part, too. I don't know what the temptation is to overstate one's case like that. You know what you know and you don't know what you don't know. Seems wiser to me to just leave it at that.

Edit:

These guys were a little more careful:

Quote:
Abstract
A revolution in the science of emotion has emerged in the last few decades, with the potential to create a paradigm shift in thinking about decision theories. The research reveals that emotions constitute powerful, pervasive, and predictable drivers of decision making. Across different domains, important regularities appear in the mechanisms through which emotions influence judgments and choices. The present paper organizes and analyzes what has been learned from the past 35 years of work on emotion and decision making. It also proposes an integrated model of decision making that accounts for both traditional (rational-choice theory) inputs and emotional inputs, synthesizing scientific findings to date.


http://scholar.harvard.edu/files/jenniferlerner/files/annual_review_manuscript_june_16_final.final_.pdf
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2015 05:45 am
@FBM,
Yeah, i like that abstract a lot more. Were it possible to parse all decision-making, i suspect one would find that people are more or less rational when their passions are not engaged.
FBM
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2015 05:48 am
@Setanta,
Seems that way to me, too, but that study done on the brain-damaged, emotionless people who were unable to make simple decisions was pretty interesting.
0 Replies
 
Tuna
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2015 05:49 am
@FBM,

That makes sense. Reason can't tell you what you want. It can help you find the best way to get it.
Tuna
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2015 05:50 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Quote:
Normally and unfortunately reason serves emotion and not the other way around. Please note that I am not against emotions but against gratuitous "emotioning".

Why do you say "unfortunately"?
0 Replies
 
layman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2015 05:56 am
@Tuna,
Quote:
That makes sense. Reason can't tell you what you want. It can help you find the best way to get it.


Some people, like Richard Dawkins, for example, pretend that they want reason simply for reason's sake. Yeah, right, Dicky-boy.

Nietzsche hated platonic thought, but he admired Socrates, the character. Why? Because Socrates created a new form of "game." A new sport, a new CONTEST. It was the game of reasoning, and using your skills to defeat your opponent.

Of course, if you asked Socrates, he was only "seeking truth."
Tuna
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2015 05:57 am
@Setanta,
Quote:
I've been thinking about this since i first responded, and i find Hume's claim even more hilariously wrong-headed. We employ our reason again and again without reference to "passions," to emotion. We went to the laudromat yesterday, and had about ten loads for the regular machines, which a $1.50 each, would have been $15.00. But we were able to combine them, and use four of the large capacity washers at $2.50 each, for a total of $10.00. That was employing reason with no reference to emotion.
I agree with layman. Your desire to save money was driving your decision.

Quote:
Tuna, you erect straw man fallacies again and again and again. I didn't tell you not to trust reason.
I didn't think you were saying people shouldn't trust reason, and I wasn't disagreeing with you. If I attack strawmen it's by accident. I'm generally more interested in understanding what people are saying than proving them wrong.

Quote:
I sometimes wonder why i bother to respond to your threads.

Because you're waiting for your laundry to dry and you have nothing else to do?
 

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