Re: META: Emotions "vestigial"? was Re: On being Extropian ( was Eag

James Daugherty (
Fri, 18 Oct 1996 06:01:04 -0400 (EDT)

On Thu, 17 Oct 1996, David D. wrote:

> Michael Butler wrote:
> >
> > Chris said:
> > Emotion is mere entertainment from my viewpoint. Emotion comes from the ancient reptilian brain deep within your cranium where logic is fresh and
> new and one of the higher forms of thought to help us rationalize and use
> tools. Why deny the fact that emotion is vestigial and only for mere
> entertainment now that we have logic?
> >
> > Emotion may be considered primitive; HOWEVER, I don't find it
> > "vestigial" in the slightest.
> > I'd argue that all "motivation", the kind that actually gets you out
> > of bed in the morning, bent on doing something other than
> > elimination or(perhaps) eating, is emotional/chemical at root.

This is not an either or question: vestigal or not vestigal.
Clearly, emotions come from an older part of the brain, the limibic system
we share with mammals, not the medula we share with reptiles (correct me
if I am wrong about this).

If it were perfectly integrated with the new forebrain, emotion
would serve seamlessly to to warn, motivate, entertain, etc. and would be
easily programmable by the forebrain. Unfortunately, it seems that the
"emotional thinking" we share with other mammals continues on and can only
be overcome with conscious practice. [Anyone watch the Presidential

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