Re: Emotions, The Easy Part

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Mon, 25 Aug 1997 16:40:49 -0500

John K Clark wrote:
> On Thu, 21 Aug 1997 "Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" <> Wrote:

> >emotions are not subjective philosophical constructs that we can
> >assign or deny at our whim; they are cognitive processes that
> >objectively exist
> If by "objective" you mean emotions are real then I agree.
> If by "objective" you mean I can have the same sort of knowledge of your
> emotions that I have of mine then I disagree.
> If by "objective" you mean that when you and I act in a similar way we
> probably have emotions of a somewhat similar nature then I agree. Probably.
> If by "objective" you mean my emotions can exist independent of me then
> I disagree, and so they obviously must be subjective.

I mean that you can study emotions in the laboratory, and that they're so
obviously present - and obviously useful - that debating philosophy is
ridiculous. There's so much practical work to be done.

> >pleasure and pain are handled by entirely different sections of the
> >brain, feel entirely different from a subjective standpoint, have
> >wholly different effects, and in general are totally different
> >subsystems.
> Then why do some brains enjoy hot peppers, scary movies, and S and M sex?

Nobody said the two systems were causally unrelated.

--       Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Disclaimer:  Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you
everything I think I know.