Debating Human Happiness

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Slate Dialogue with Robert Wright, Steven Pinker and Martin Seligman.

Or take romantic love, with all its perfidy and heartbreak. Donald Symons has pointed out that if people belonged to a species in which each couple was marooned on an island for life, the absence of romantic rivals would not select for lifelong bliss; it would select for no consciousness at all. There would be no falling in love because there would be no alternative mates to select from, and falling in love would be a huge waste. Nor would there be pleasure in sex, which would be done for reproduction and would provide no more feeling than the release of hormones or the production of gametes. The richness and intensity of the emotions in our minds are evolutionary testimony to the preciousness and fragility of our relationships in life.

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This page contains a single entry by was published on October 15, 2002 1:28 PM.

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