This book is the english translation of 1990's "El Ordenador Cerebral".
Jauregi, like Wilson, views sociology as a branch of biology. The same emotional system controls social, sexual and individual behavior. Such emotional system originates from the neural organization of the brain: emotions are rational and predictable events. Jauregi believes that the brain is a computer, but introduced the novelty of emotions as the direct product of that computer's processing activity. It is emotions, not reason, that directs and informs the daily actions of individuals. Jauregi deals with humans that feel pleasure and pain rather than with abstract problem solvers.
Jauregi begins by separating the brain and the self: the brain is aware of what is going on in the digestive system of the body, but will inform the self only when some correction/action is necessary. Normally, an individual is not aware of her digestive processes. Her brain is always informed, though. The communication channel between the brain and the self is made of emotions. The brain can tune the importance of the message by controlling the intensity of the emotions. Far from being an irrational process, the emotional life is mathematically calculated to achieve exactly the level of response needed. Feelings are subjective and inaccessible, but they also are objective and precise.
The self has no idea of the detailed process that was going on in the body and of the reason why that process must be corrected. The brain's emotional system, on the other hand, is a sophisticated and complex information-processing system. The brain is a computer programmed to inform the self (through emotions) of what must be done to preserve her body and her society. It is through emotions that the brain informs the self of every single detail in the body that is relevant for survival. There almost is no instant without an emotion that tells the individual to do something rather than something else. "For human beings the reality that ultimately matters is the reality of their feelings".
The self keeps a level of freedom: while it cannot suppress the (emotional) messages it receives from the brain, it can disobey them. The brain may increase the intensity of the message as the self disobeys it a painful conflict may arise. The brain and the self are not only separate, but they may fight each other.
Only the self can be conscious and feel, but the brain has control of both consciousness and feelings.
If we view the brain as a computer, the hardware is made of the neural organization. There are two types of software, though: bionatural (knowledge about the natural world) and biocultural (such as a language or a religion). A program has three main components: the sensory, the mental and the emotional systems. Any sensory input can be translated automatically by the brain into a mental (idea) or emotional (feeling) message; and viceversa. Biocultural and bionatural programs exhert emotional control over the body.
Jauregi distinguishes five systems of communication: the natural system (the sender is a natural thing, such as a tree), the cultural system (the sender is culture, something created by humans), the somatic system (the sender is the individual's own body), the imaginary system (the sender is imagination) and the social system (the sender is another individual). The human brain is genetically equipped to receive and understand all five kinds of messages. What ultimately matters is the emotional translations of sensory inputs.
TM, ®, Copyright © 2011 Piero Scaruffi