Fri, 11 Apr 1997 11:33:41 -0400 (EDT)

In a message dated 97-04-11 08:34:43 EDT, rbrown (ard) writes:

> pheromones. We
> > have elaborate limbic systems to deal with this [SNIP] It would be
> > interesting to develop limbic enhancements; we tend to think far too
> > much about improving our cognition without thinking of the need to
> > improve our social abilities. Enhanced Empathy, anyone?>

I like this little probe.
Also find it interesting, for it suggests another way in which Cartesian
dualism has crept into our concepts of cognition. There seems to be a huge
misconception (especially in the AI community but everywhere ) that human
emotions are *separate* from cognition.

It should seem very obvious that human emotion is part and parcel of our
thinking processes.
Focus changes the way in which we utilize this (sorry Lee, I tend to disagree
with Ayn Rand that high focus thinking is the only useful sort). Using logic
and reason is only one element of our capacity to think, and it is for the
most part void of emotion.
It's values and virtues are magnificent, but limited and numb in their own
There are lots of ways in which the mind uses higher emotions ( and perhaps
lower as well ) to display some of it's awesome powers - most noticeably in
the arts.
Emotion, by providing great insight and intuitive flashes, and OF COURSE,
inspiration to continue, makes for great thinkers in all aspects of
And of course emotion is the thought process behind communication, empathy,
achievement, love, and other affect linked activities which make us human.
It is striking and revealing that Turing made it quite clear that a machine
must not be "as smart as a human" in order to be considered intelligent, but
somehow must fool us into thinking it *IS* a human....
Whether or not I agree with this test as the final word in AI is not
relevant, what remains is the paradigm that in order to simulate human
cognition, we think in terms of the whole spectrum of thought, not just