People who lack emotion don’t lead well-planned logical lives in the manner of coolly rational Mr. Spocks. They lead foolish lives.
In the extreme cases, they become sociopaths, untroubled by barbarism and unable to feel other people’s pain…emotions measure the value of something, and help unconsciously guide us as we navigate through life—away from things that are likely to lead to pain and toward things that are likely to lead to fulfillment.
The brain is not separate from the body—that was Descartes’ error. The physical and the mental are connected in complex networks of reaction and counter-reactions, and out of their feedback an emotional value emerges.
Reason and emotion are not separate and opposed. Reason is nestled upon emotion and dependent upon it. Emotion assigns value to things, and reason can only make choices on the basis of those valuations. The human mind can be pragmatic because deep down it is romantic.
The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement (David Brooks)