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Emotion and Decision-making Explained$
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Edmund T. Rolls

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199659890

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199659890.001.0001

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Emotional feelings and consciousness: a theory of consciousness

Emotional feelings and consciousness: a theory of consciousness

Chapter:
(p.483) 10 Emotional feelings and consciousness: a theory of consciousness
Source:
Emotion and Decision-making Explained
Author(s):

Edmund T. Rolls

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199659890.003.0010

Emotional feelings are part of the much larger problem of consciousness. Different approaches to consciousness, including a higher-order thought syntactic theory are described. In the context of emotion, it is argued that there are two main routes to action. One is the emotional route, where the values that are the goals for action are specified by genes in their selfish interests. The second main route is the rational, reasoning, multistep planning route which enables gene-defined reward value signals to be over-ridden in the interests of the individual, the phenotype. These two routes, and the decision-making balance between them, have important implications for society, including for aesthetics, ethics, and culture.

Keywords:   consciousness, free will, determinism, rational planning, reasoning, language

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