In his interview to the Scientific American, neuroscientist Antonio R. Damasio demostrates how some of our pre-existing notions of what role the emotions felt in the body, and the resulting feelings experienced in the mind, play in our decision making may need closer examination.
The interview published in the magazine begins is introduced as follows:
For centuries, the fleeting and highly subjective world of feelings was the purview of philosophers. But during the past 30 years, Antonio R. Damasio has strived to show that feelings are what arise as the brain interprets emotions, which are themselves purely physical signals of the body reacting to external stimuli.
For some people the claim that emotions are physical does not come as a surprise. For many, it does. Experientially understanding what that means, having personal insight into such a claim, forms the basis of changing our relationship with our impulses, reactions and mental states.