What Affective Neuroscience Tells Us About Emotions and How to Manage Them

You probably think you know a lot about emotions. You experience them directly on a daily basis, you can name most of them, and you see them expressed in others. You’ve likely been taught that emotions are discrete, universal, and that you’re better off suppressing them or otherwise overcoming them with reason. This is the conventional view of emotion, and it has been handed down to you through millennia of intellectual history. It’s also entirely misguided. 

In Emotional: How Feelings Shape Our Thinking, theoretical physicist and science popularizer Leonard Mlodinow shows us why the traditional view of emotion fails to hold up to scientific scrutiny—in particular to the latest findings of affective neuroscience—and how a new picture is emerging of emotion as a core component of cognition—integrated with and complementary to reason. 

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Marcus Aurelius and the Practice of Stoicism

Stoicism is a practical philosophy that emphasizes rationality and virtue as the only true goods. Unlike other religious or spiritual practices, Stoicism does not require that you abandon reason or strain your grip on reality; rather, it provides an ethical orientation to life that is fully consistent with our nature as rational, social beings.

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