Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rationality is Retarded!

Friday, I was checking my news feed on Google Reader and came across this really interesting article over on Slate. The article is about the science of indignation, and while it is headlined as if it were a political article, it really has very little to do with the politics outside of a few sentences that seem to have been inserted just to draw a larger audience in this election season. In other words, it doesn't matter what your politics are, you're not going to be turned off by the article's political slant.

I'm already a believer that people operate a lot more on instinct than most are willing to acknowledge, especially those who are the least willing to acknowledge that instinct and nature have anything to do with their beliefs and behaviors. In fact, research shows that people with brain injuries in their emotional centers who have still have healthy logic centers behave in socially bizarre ways. Of course I think the true explanation of human behavior is a mix of higher thought and base animal instinct. If you try to reduce us to either genetically driven automatons or logic-driven beings, you can't explain human behavior. If you can't understand it, you can't fix it.

One of the reasons I liked this article so much was that it cited a lot of research and really could have fit well into in a freshmen psychology textbook with the quality of the story. If you have any interest in psychology, human nature, or philosophy (anything about the workings of the human mind is relevant to philosophy), this article is definitely worth the time spent reading it.

1 comment:

Julie said...

This supports my coin test. If I'm ever having trouble deciding between two things, I flip a coin. If I'm upset with the result, then I still have my answer and I go with the gut.