Go where the heart is

Is the 'heart' devoid of reason?

on fundamental matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind and ethics.

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Re: Go where the heart is

#21  Postby SafeAsMilk » Jun 30, 2018 12:14 am

jamest wrote:Eta2: I'm even wondering whether we're wholly emotional in essence and that reasoning is something we've merely learnt to do, like science? Again, just chewing the fat. No conclusions drawn atm.
I'm not really sure what you mean by "emotional in essence". I've got a toddler, I think it's safe to say he's largely driven by what he feels at any given point in time. But at the same time it's clear that he's becoming aware of relationships between things, and that leads to reasoning. Seems pretty essential to me.
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Re: Go where the heart is

#22  Postby jamest » Jun 30, 2018 1:29 am

SafeAsMilk wrote:
jamest wrote:Eta2: I'm even wondering whether we're wholly emotional in essence and that reasoning is something we've merely learnt to do, like science? Again, just chewing the fat. No conclusions drawn atm.
I'm not really sure what you mean by "emotional in essence". I've got a toddler, I think it's safe to say he's largely driven by what he feels at any given point in time. But at the same time it's clear that he's becoming aware of relationships between things, and that leads to reasoning. Seems pretty essential to me.

Well I'm not sure why you're not sure what I mean as you seem to have answered my question. I mean, you said that your son started off life by being driven by his feelings, but now he's started to develop his reasoning powers. Which implies to me that he was an essentially/innately emotional being but is learning to be reasonable.

Though he may have been born with the potential to reason, he had 'nothing' to reason about. On the other hand, he had no experience of anything at the onset yet was able to be emotional at the drop of a hat, from the onset.

This is of course universally common amongst all new-borns. So, would you agree that although we are born with the capacity/potential to develop our reasoniong powers, we don't have any knowledge/reason at the onset? Conversely, that we don't have to learn how to be emotional as it's innate at the onset?

This isn't a trap, I'm just trying to establish a basis for a meaningful discussion. Even if you agree, I'm still not sure where that leaves me. I mean, I often profess to being the most reasonable person here within the philosophy forum. However, upon immediate reflection of what I've just written I don't even know whether that statement has any value (regardless of whether it's true), as all I can think of atm is that I desperately wanted the ability to reason perfectly/absolutely to be innate also.

I need to go and chew some more fat.
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Re: Go where the heart is

#23  Postby Thommo » Jun 30, 2018 1:43 am

We learn to feel about our abstractions just as much as we learn to abstract from our feelings. Human cognition does not develop on a single axis. Adults regularly get emotional, defensive, angry or passionate about (quite possibly non existent) abstractions such as communism or metaphysical idealism. Emotional responses stem from higher order reasoning and reasoned responses stem from higher order emotion. Cognition is a jumble, not a layer cake.

Babies and children reason, they just don't reason in mature ways. After all, how could you learn to reason without reasoning about it?
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Re: Go where the heart is

#24  Postby SafeAsMilk » Jun 30, 2018 1:49 am

jamest wrote:
SafeAsMilk wrote:
jamest wrote:Eta2: I'm even wondering whether we're wholly emotional in essence and that reasoning is something we've merely learnt to do, like science? Again, just chewing the fat. No conclusions drawn atm.
I'm not really sure what you mean by "emotional in essence". I've got a toddler, I think it's safe to say he's largely driven by what he feels at any given point in time. But at the same time it's clear that he's becoming aware of relationships between things, and that leads to reasoning. Seems pretty essential to me.

Well I'm not sure why you're not sure what I mean as you seem to have answered my question. I mean, you said that your son started off life by being driven by his feelings, but now he's started to develop his reasoning powers. Which implies to me that he was an essentially/innately emotional being but is learning to be reasonable.

Though he may have been born with the potential to reason, he had 'nothing' to reason about. On the other hand, he had no experience of anything at the onset yet was able to be emotional at the drop of a hat, from the onset.

This is of course universally common amongst all new-borns. So, would you agree that although we are born with the capacity/potential to develop our reasoniong powers, we don't have any knowledge/reason at the onset? Conversely, that we don't have to learn how to be emotional as it's innate at the onset?

Sure. But I don't see why not starting with something outright, instead having a particular capacity for it, is of any consequence.

This isn't a trap, I'm just trying to establish a basis for a meaningful discussion. Even if you agree, I'm still not sure where that leaves me.

If you're not sure where that leaves you, then I don't think you've been successful in establishing that basis.

I mean, I often profess to being the most reasonable person here within the philosophy forum. However, upon immediate reflection of what I've just written I don't even know whether that statement has any value (regardless of whether it's true), as all I can think of atm is that I desperately wanted the ability to reason perfectly/absolutely to be innate also.

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Re: Go where the heart is

#25  Postby jamest » Jun 30, 2018 1:50 am

Thommo wrote:
One (additional) fundamental problem is conceptualising the human mind as divided into complementary categories of emotional and reasoning in the first place. When it comes to explaining a phenomenon like loss aversion the very categorisation fails altogether. The emotional/reasonable divide is a useful model within its limitations, but fundamentally flawed.

I think that I addressed this in my previous post. We're born seemingly as experts in knowing when to cry/smile (be emotional)(it's fairly universal/absolute in fact). Whereas it takes us considerable time to assess our surroundings/life.

To me, this implies that we have the capacity to reason from the onset, but what we eventually reason is anyone's guess. Parental/cultural influences, etc.. (subjective/diverse reasoning as opposed to universal/absolute emotions. How ironic.).

And my inner Star Trek nerd feels compelled to say that Spock was only as logical as the script demanded in that moment, which was often about as much as how egalitarian the script demanded the women's mini skirts be.

I have no wish to discuss Spock except as a metaphor for pure reason. Reasoning devoid of emotional baggage. Is that notion even possible I wonder?
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Re: Go where the heart is

#26  Postby jamest » Jun 30, 2018 1:55 am

SafeAsMilk wrote:
jamest wrote:
This isn't a trap, I'm just trying to establish a basis for a meaningful discussion. Even if you agree, I'm still not sure where that leaves me.

If you're not sure where that leaves you, then I don't think you've been successful in establishing that basis.

I wasn't expressing doubts about the basis, only to where it leads. I'll be back when I've finished chewing.
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Re: Go where the heart is

#27  Postby Thommo » Jun 30, 2018 2:02 am

jamest wrote:
Thommo wrote:
One (additional) fundamental problem is conceptualising the human mind as divided into complementary categories of emotional and reasoning in the first place. When it comes to explaining a phenomenon like loss aversion the very categorisation fails altogether. The emotional/reasonable divide is a useful model within its limitations, but fundamentally flawed.

I think that I addressed this in my previous post. We're born seemingly as experts in knowing when to cry/smile (be emotional)(it's fairly universal/absolute in fact). Whereas it takes us considerable time to assess our surroundings/life.


It may seem that way to you, it does not seem that way to me. We are born reasoning and we are born emoting. We are simplistic and immature in both.

Babies learn at an astonishing rate. And they also cry at an astonishing rate. However their emotional and reasoned responses both become fine tuned, develop and mature as they grow. There is unquestionably such a thing as emotional immaturity.

jamest wrote:To me, this implies that we have the capacity to reason from the onset, but what we eventually reason is anyone's guess. Parental/cultural influences, etc.. (subjective/diverse reasoning as opposed to universal/absolute emotions. How ironic.).


Not really, we all make a lot of similar discoveries. Things fall downwards, fire hurts, affirming the consequent is incorrect.

There are more diverse avenues of reasoning, of course, but there are also more diverse avenues of emotional expression. Grief expresses itself in so many ways, some people laugh, others cry. Some repress, some express. Things which emotionally crush us as teenagers become manageable as adults.

There's some truth in the concept that young children are "dominated" by emotion, but the division of the mind into emotional/reasoning is still just as fundamentally flawed. There's a nugget of truth, but if you take it literally or take it too far you're going to end up with a lot of false conclusions.

jamest wrote:I have no wish to discuss Spock except as a metaphor for pure reason. Reasoning devoid of emotional baggage. Is that notion even possible I wonder?


No. Obviously not - for humans at least. Maybe an 8086 can do it, but then you're just into semantics of what's reasoning and what's a programme.
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Re: Go where the heart is

#28  Postby SafeAsMilk » Jun 30, 2018 2:10 am

There's always math!
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Re: Go where the heart is

#29  Postby jamest » Jun 30, 2018 2:17 am

SafeAsMilk wrote:There's always math!

We're not born with the innate ability to do math, only the innate ability to formulate math relative to our experiences. I.e., we have the capacity to reason but only do so in response to our experiences. However, we do seem to be born with the innate ability to cry and smile without studying jack-shit. To me, this implies that our emotions need no schooling, whereas how and what we reason/learn does.
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Re: Go where the heart is

#30  Postby SafeAsMilk » Jun 30, 2018 3:50 am

jamest wrote:
SafeAsMilk wrote:There's always math!

We're not born with the innate ability to do math, only the innate ability to formulate math relative to our experiences. I.e., we have the capacity to reason but only do so in response to our experiences. However, we do seem to be born with the innate ability to cry and smile without studying jack-shit. To me, this implies that our emotions need no schooling, whereas how and what we reason/learn does.

Math is something that requires effort. A baby isn't skilled at crying and laughing, it's expending no effort whatsoever, it's just doing whatever it feels. A baby has very little control over its own body, does that mean lack of control of one's body is innate? Have you figured out why you give a shit about whether you can try to define something as innate or not?
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Re: Go where the heart is

#31  Postby Pebble » Jun 30, 2018 7:02 am

Babies are born with a lot of what we call reflexes, rooting, sucking, falling, stepping, grasping etc. So since they cannot talk to us and have strong physical tramlines that are basically to do with immediate survival, what reasoning they have is a complete unknown. How would you go about interrogating the reasoning powers of a 2 days old baby?
As to emotional reasoning - same problem. We think that crying giggling and smiling are 'evidence' of emotion - but they may just as well be 'emotional' reflexes in the first instance. How would you properly show otherwise in early infancy?
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Re: Go where the heart is

#32  Postby Cito di Pense » Jun 30, 2018 8:57 am

SafeAsMilk wrote:We'd say "listen to your heart" or something like that.


This sounds too much like Roxette. I have an emotional reaction to Roxette, accompanied by nausea. I had a partner who liked Roxette, so for awhile, I had to pretend to like Roxette. The rewards were not inconsiderable. It must have been love, but it's over now.

SafeAsMilk wrote:Have you figured out why you give a shit about whether you can try to define something as innate or not?


This wasn't directed to me, but anyway, my reaction to Roxette is not innate, and it is no guarantee that my taste is impeccable.
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Re: Go where the heart is

#33  Postby Fallible » Jul 01, 2018 4:52 pm

jamest wrote:
scott1328 wrote:Emotions are just another part of the cognitive package. You ignore them at your own peril

I'm not suggesting that we ignore the emotional aspect of ourselves. I'm just wondering how far detached the emotions are from reasoning and what drives these desires (our innate needs/nature? If so, can we say something universal about our innate needs/nature?).

There's plenty to explore here if anyone's interested. I know that I am.

Eta: I'm also wondering just how difficult it is for 'us' to be Spock-like and be perfectly reasonable given our emotional nature. Has anyone ever managed to be Spock (so to speak), ever?

Eta2: I'm even wondering whether we're wholly emotional in essence and that reasoning is something we've merely learnt to do, like science? Again, just chewing the fat. No conclusions drawn atm.


We've evolved with both, suggesting that both are advantageous. No, no one's ever been Spock. My non-scientific understanding is that emotions, combined with reasoning, drive behaviour.
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Re: Go where the heart is

#34  Postby LucidFlight » Jul 01, 2018 5:24 pm

Fallible wrote:We've evolved with both, suggesting that both are advantageous. No, no one's ever been Spock. My non-scientific understanding is that emotions, combined with reasoning, drive behaviour.

No... [ahem] Bones about it.
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Re: Go where the heart is

#35  Postby Fallible » Jul 01, 2018 5:28 pm

There's one pun you can checkov your list.
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She never listened to no hater, liar,
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Re: Go where the heart is

#36  Postby UncertainSloth » Jul 01, 2018 5:37 pm

behave, fall - you're tribble, you are....
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She revelled in adventure and imagination
She never listened to no hater, liar
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Re: Go where the heart is

#37  Postby BlackBart » Jul 01, 2018 5:45 pm

KHAAAAAAAAAAN't you stop with the Star Trek puns?
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Re: Go where the heart is

#38  Postby UncertainSloth » Jul 01, 2018 5:48 pm

i'm just trying to klingon to some semblance of sanity....
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She never listened to no hater, liar
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Re: Go where the heart is

#39  Postby BlackBart » Jul 01, 2018 6:04 pm

I think that opportunity has been and Gorn.
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Re: Go where the heart is

#40  Postby Fallible » Jul 01, 2018 6:13 pm

There are a few things wrong with this. Number One, saying it doesn't make it so.
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