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!

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6 Comments on "SIO86: Emotion is Critical to Reasoning"

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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… Read more »
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… Read more »

‘Sargoons’ – love it!


Yes, that a great nickname for them!

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… Read more »
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… Read more »