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Neuroscience has much to learn from Hume’s philosophy of emotions | Psyche Ideas

Neuroscience has much to learn from Hume’s philosophy of emotions | Psyche Ideas

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Hume understood reason ... incapable of producing any action...attend to the passions if we want to understand how anything gets done...

neuroscience has found that human rationality is weaker than is commonly presumed... [views] emotions as ‘action programmes’... human thought is not brainbound but stems from connections between the mind and body and its environment ...

The neuroscientific view of emotions as actions impoverishes action... leaves behind the fact that our emotions are often mixed ... the right course of action is unclear ... Hume regards passions and not actions as key components of our selves ... necessary parts of peoples’ ... characters... transformed through habit into principles... a stable self...

we’re often passive in the face of the passions ... our wrestling with the passions is what brings the self into being ...

Under a conception of emotions as action programmes... little incentive to deliberate ... when action is tantamount to survival ...

Hume defines the passions as objects to be looked at... evaluated and educated... compare our sense of them to the verdict of the social world... the passions be educated and built into character...

Habits consolidate what control we can have of our passions... making them manageable ... By stipulating that reason is the slave of the passions, Hume warns us of the consequences of not having the right habits...

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