November 21, 2016
Written by Maximus Peperkamp, M.S. Verbal Engineer
This is my fifteenth response to “The basic emotional circuits of mammalian brains: Do animals have affective lives?” Panksepp refers to a “dual-aspect” ontology, which can be seen as a reference to Sound Verbal Behavior (SVB). However, he doesn’t seem to recognize that he is merely referring to another way of talking when he writes “Perhaps we neuroscientists will also one day agree (and reveal), how mind is a manifestation of brain activity, using similar dual-aspect strategies.”
Focus on “mind,” which behaviorism views as an explanatory fiction, prevents Panksepp from even realizing what he has just written. In the aforementioned statement he links agreeing (with each other) with revealing (to ourselves to each other), a phenomenon which is essential to SVB. What he describes as agreeing, I describe as understanding and what he describes as revealing, I describe as experiencing. In SVB, we will one day understand and experience ourselves and each other.
Our future is good if we are able to inhibit NVB. I disagree with Panksepp, who thinks this depends on animal research. “If so this may first happen, at a causal level, with animal models used to study the nature of affects, especially emotional rewards and punishments.” SVB doesn’t depend on animal models, but it depends on the “emotional rewards and punishments” which we offer or force while we speak.
Undoubtedly, Panksepp wants SVB. He writes “Thus, the main goal of this essay is to encourage more open-minded discussions about the variety of primary-process affective processes in mammalian brains—emotional, homeostatic and sensory feelings—and to motivate young scholars to avoid the grand mistakes of the 20th century, which in a sense were similar to those bequeathed to us by Rene Descartes.” “Open-minded discussions” are a reference to SVB and the “grand mistakes of the 20th century” were all caused and maintained by NVB. SVB is needed to advance neuroscience.