Emotion as a form of all intelligence: A robot without emotion is not intelligent (Minksy). It either performs a single task unwavering, or it is frozen between competing interests. Emotion is required to interrupt or resolve conflicting goals.

The categories and definitions of emotion are ambiguous. Some are more universal, such as love as nurturing and merging, anger as defensive, protecting…


If we think of the mind as a set of resources, Minsky proposes emotional states as turning some of those resources on and others off. Anger allows for quicker stronger response but limits planning. There exist mixed states, ambiguity, evolutionary patterns, etc.

Here are a list of some of the hundreds of emotion terms: Admiration, Affection, Aggression, Agony, Alarm, Ambition, Amusement, Anger, Anguish, Anxiety, Apathy, Assurance, Attraction, Aversion, Awe, Bliss, Boldness, Boredom, Confidence, Confusion, Craving, Credulity, Curiosity, Dejection, Delight, Depression, Derision, Desire, Detest, Disgust, Dismay, Distrust, Doubt, etc.

Is falling in love innate, for example felt across cultures? How much does circumstance or language determine the feeling, strength, or existence of an emotion? Examples such as:

  • Yutta-hey(Cherokee) it is a good day to die, the sense that one is leaving life at its zenith, departing in glory
  • Wú wéi (無為) to ‘do nothing,’ acting in accordance with the Tao, being natural, uncontrived and effortless,
  • Waldeinsamkeit(German) mysterious feeling of solitude when alone in the woods,

Are these felt across all cultures? Or more strongly in natives of that culture/language? Can someone from the tropics really feel Solarfri?

In emotion as changing mental states/resources/intelligence, anger is not irrational but a tool, as in combating sleepiness to accomplish work. Further, in what way is a child’s response different from an adult’s? An adult mind has gone through stages of mental growth, acquiring new resources that gain increasing control over the innate instinctual response. But to contemplate one’s own motives and goals, and even reformulate them, is an almost impossible task! Rather, the mind seeks feedback by mimicking/copying the ideas and goals of our parents, friends, and acquaintances.

“Some of our strongest emotions come when we are in the presence of the persons to whom we’ve become attached. When we’re praised or rebuked by the people we love, we don’t just feel pleased or dissatisfied; instead, we tend to feel proud or ashamed.” Certain emotions facilitate the learning of ‘ends’ instead of ‘means’: - Trial and error can teach us new ways to achieve the goals we already maintain - Attachment-related blame and praise teach us which goals to discard or retain

Models of imagined traits (smart, brave, etc.) are utilized to achieve goals, thus becoming more real… Self-image, self-consistency, are derived from the attachments and personalities around us. Can an organization/mind have a goal of its own, or only those that its members hold? Do some members gain focus, shine on center stage? If speed and intensity of response are important in making attachment, do some members feel left out, less interacted with? Attachment personalities can be historical, fictional, or mythical goals. Later in life, when imprimers no longer present, certain emotion can serve goal-orientation. Glen Gould shunned the audience felt most artistic in the studio, by serving only the self, he felt the artistic goals are best reached.

Clusters of emotion can serve as ways of thinking. Hurting, grief, and suffering as indirect perspective. Using anger to prevent sleep and instead work is less dangerous than directly inhibiting sleep. Anger is associated with increase heart rate, muscle tone. How anger prevents sleep involves ‘ancient machinery’, cascades capable of reset of priorities. Although anger creates increased heart rate and muscle tone, it is more closely connected with ways of thinking than bodily responses tied to defense, fighting, or intimidation.

The interrupt process of emotion rebuilds the mind, and provides adaptible thinking.


  • http://web.media.mit.edu/~minsky/
  • nyt
  • acm