Tuesday, April 29, 2014

WWE - "Terryl & Fiona Givens and the Use and Abuse of Reason"

I was reminded of Antonio Damasio's work during Terryl and Fiona Givens' presentation at the Miller Eccles Study Group this last January. The presentation was based on their upcoming book The Crucible of Doubt, which should be out this fall. Over at Worlds Without End, I wrote up a brief overview of the presentation with a few added insights from psychology and neuroscience (I'm a little late on the link, but better late than never). Emotions are not mere hindrances to cold-calculated reason and our evolution into the Vulcan race, but in fact make reason and decision-making possible. Furthermore, they make us fully human, the very social creatures we are. "Love alone," write the Givenses in their new book, "reveals the full reality and value of the other person." An important development in the last couple decades is the recognition of emotions and social skills as forms of intelligence. We should remember that when discussing the "warm fuzzies" that supposedly come along with religion.*

*The meta-analysis mentioned by Goleman in the video is Joseph Durlak, Roger Weissberg, Allison Dymnicki, Rebecca Taylor, Kriston Schellinger, "The Impact of Enhancing Students' Social and Emotional Learning: A Meta-Analysis of School-Based Universal Interventions," Child Development 82:1 (2011): 474-501.

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