Essay heading: Descartes' Error

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December 12, 2005






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Damasio recognizes this as a misconceived thought of many people, and creatively, through examples such as Gage's and Elliot's, sets out to persuade the opposite; It is important to realize that defining emotion and feeling as concrete, cognitively and neurally, does no diminish their loveliness or horror, or their status in poetry or music...
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Understanding how we see or speak does no debase what is seen or spoken, what is painted or woven into a theatrical line. Understanding the biological mechanisms behind emotions and feelings is perfectly compatible with a romantic view of their value to human beings (164). Damasio's question, "does the fact that Gage (or Elliot, or others) lost his ability to decide and reason effectively take away a persons free will?" How can one decide whether free will is something engraved in the brain, especially if one believes that reason is as well? Does every person who seems to have a damaged decision making process in the eyes of society prey of brain damage or insanity? Damasio introduces interesting argument, or rather seemingly the fact, that the "difference between sicknesses of the brain and of the mind between neurological and psychological ones, is a societal leftover that shows an ignorance of the relation between the brain and the mind...
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