SIO86: Emotion is Critical to Reasoning

Today’s episode I have to explain a few things about the next couple recordings, and then I talk about some of the science behind emotion and logic. My more qualified wife, Lydia, did some research on this question. A man lost his ability to feel emotion when a brain tumor operation went badly. What do you think happened to him? Was he all of a sudden a superhero of logic and rationality? Or was his entire life ruined? Find out!

Then I do a long overdue voicemail segment. I play several of your voicemails left after the MM event, and I play a few from more of the Sargon crowd who actually make some arguments worth discussing. Because I am in favor of a battle of ideas when those ideas aren’t “Should we sexually harass women.”

Here are some links! XKCD; Using Only Logic Destroys Decision Making; Emotion is not the Enemy of Reason; Mental Shortcuts, Not Emotions, Guide Irrational Decisions.

Leave Thomas a voicemail! (916) 750-4746, remember short and to the point!

Support us on Patreon at:

Follow us on Twitter: @seriouspod


For comments, email


Direct Download

6 Replies to “SIO86: Emotion is Critical to Reasoning”

  1. Hey Thomas,

    I am not a patron, so I know my opinion doesn’t weigh as much, but I would just like to say that I would rather you didn’t edit down the interview with the organisers of MythCon. I would like to know their perspective, and if they are as horrible as you suggest, don’t you want the world to know, so that people act accordingly with regards to future conferences ?
    (Plus it’s less work for you, and you deserve a break after this shitshow 😉 )

    Also, tiny word on this episode, regarding the question of white male discrimination … From my perspective, pretty much all of the systemic “discrimination” against white males comes down to stereotypical gender roles (see what gender comes to mind when you think about nurses), which is a problem addressed by … feminism. Who new feminism also benefited men ? Every sensible person, but not the shitlords, obviously …

  2. Hey Thomas, long time listener here,

    You need to talk to Destiny ( on his show about Sargon. Steven (Destiny) says that it’s difficult to find people talk to people on the left. To which here you are!
    You have a few things in common in that you’ve both headbutted with Sargon and his followers, you both prefer to talk policy rather than just headlines from college campuses. However, he does also point out what problems he has with SJWs, so it wouldn’t be an agree fest.

    Tweet him @ Steven Bonnell @OmniDestiny

    He had a great and informative discussion with Contrapoints who as we know is friends with Eiynah –‏ @NiceMangos So there definitely is some connection there.

    All the best man!


  3. As an older skeptic, I am finding this truly interesting, highly amusing and sometimes scary.

    Almost forty years ago I was one of three woman entering in an engineering department with sixty other college juniors. We were definitely a minority, and fortunately most men are decent civil human beings.

    There were two horrible male classmates. One was my structures lab partner who refused to turn up (he failed that class, it was kind of obvious when the professor spent the first day of that lab session with me gluing on strain gauges). There was one other who delighted in regaling me with the most obnoxious sexual “jokes” he could bring up out his gutter mind.

    Well, out of those sixty juniors, only thirty graduated with an engineering degree after the senior year. Neither of those two guys were included… but all three women did (well, one woman graduated the following year because she was also working full time as a tech aide for the company she just retired from after over thirty years as one of their test pilots).

    So, yeah, I don’t think much of the Sargoons.

    PS: I went to college during the Age of Disco, so when a friend and I went dancing, guys would come up to start a conversation asking what I was majoring in. I would honestly reply “engineering”, they seemed to disappear quite quickly. 😉

  4. Thomas – new patreon after the whole ridiculous Mythcon thing – really pleased to know there’s someone who won’t bow down to the whole “must be civil” discourse when the other side of the debate is so uncivil the whole time.

    Emotions – you are spot on. As well as the psychological research, you might want to check out some of the philosophy on this. One of my favourite philosophers is Martha Nussbaum. She has a whole series of books on various emotions, basically saying that they have cognitive content – they point us at what is important and are judgements on those things. Robert Solomon has also done a lot of work on this, his Great Courses lectures on “Passions: the intelligence of emotions” is worth a listen. You were damn right to get emotional with Sargon, his minions just don’t realise your emotions were spot on.

Leave a Reply