By Nathan Gardels

Antonio Damasio, director of the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California, is a neuroscientist who is exploring what makes us…”us.” In a world where AI and robotics are drastically changing the way we think about consciousness, Damasio is considering what it is that sets human thinking apart. It is not simply reason that has led to human progress, but the culture we have developed through the way we feel and express our emotions.

“Reason and science have given us many of the tools of human progress,” says Damasio. “But they did so largely prompted by homeostatic needs which really means, in human terms, prompted by emotions and feelings. It is worth recalling that David Hume, one of the key figures of the classic Enlightenment, regarded reason as a ‘slave to the passions.’ His formulation is still valid.”

Read more at The Washington Post

Tell us about a time when analysis and emotion intersected in your life.

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