6 February 2013

Beyond syntax to semantics

...Ethologists who study animal behaviour increasingly accept the idea that fear keeps animals away from predators, lust draws them toward each other, panic motivates their social solidarity and care glues their parent-offspring bonds. Just like us, they have an inner life because it helps them navigate their outer life...

...After you spend time with wild animals in the primal ecosystem where our big brains first grew, you have to chuckle at the reigning view of the mind as a computer...Our rational mind is truly embodied, and without this emotional embodiment we have no preferences. In order for our minds to go beyond syntax to semantics, we need feelings. And our ancestral minds were rich in feelings before they were adept in computations...The brain that ‘feels’ precedes the brain that ‘thinks’...
-- Stephen T. Asma.

Asma's On Monsters is referenced in this post.

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