Systems Of Moods Overwhelm Systems of Thought.


Are we born with “instincts” such as “care”, and the like? Or do we learn? I believe we learn (much of this being fast learning, and, mostly, subconscious). How does that work? Well, it would work from General Topology informing neurogenesis.

French philosopher Foucault baptized himself historian of systems of thought, when he got a professorship at the prestigious Collège de France in 1970. (Collège de France, the ultimate think institution, is five centuries old.)

I have gone one further, by introducing Systems of Moods. Why moods? Emotion Primes Reason. However, rarely does one emotion rule alone, but for ravenous hunger, abject terror, and other animalistic crazes. Instead, when we meditate ponderously, we are usually ruled by moods.

What’s a mood? It’s a cocktail of emotions. Systems of Moods are articulated with their own logic. Pascal discovered this, when he said “Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison n’a pas”.

Why and how does the “heart” have its own logic? The answer has to do with where does logic come from? Logic is basically about arrows, implications: ’if A, then B’.

Where do these “thens”, these implications, come from? When one says:’I have a bad feeling about this’, one reasons out of a mood: the forest is suddenly too quiet, or a bird made an alarm sound… And suddenly all of one’s senses are in full alert.

Sets of moods will tend to topological relations. Instead of the one to one relations of logic or category theory. Topology, the logic of places, can bring to bear relationships that are much more general than ‘if A then B’. Relations such as: ’if A is close to B while C is close to D, when closer to A than B, then…’

This topo-logic can be embodied by neurohormones, neurotransmitters, and the neighborhoods they create (neighborhood is here used in the exact mathematical, General Topological sense). This no idle theory: it’s known that dendrites, and other neuronal structures, tend to grow in some directions, depending upon these chemicals. That means that the neurological relations of linear logic are built from the emotional and neurohormonal calculus.



I am going to use an example that arose from my adventures at a philosophy website. It’s rather complex, so let me give an abstract first: a philosophy professor drew a correct conclusion, yet the EXACT OPPOSITE conclusion is also valid. How is that possible? It is because, once some moods and emotions are rolled out, logic can go one way, or the other.

So much for the old hope that determinism and logic (in the conventional sense) rule all.

The example was extracted from Scientia Salon, a site run by university philosophers.

Philosophy professor Gregg Caruso considered polls on the behavior of USA citizens (that’s called “experimental philosophy”). Verdict? The relationship between believing in Free Will and believing that low lives dug their own fates, seems strong in the USA.

Gregg wrote: “juries — eager to preserve their belief in a just world — are already inclined to see the victim … as other than innocent… just one unfortunate example of the pernicious nature of belief in a just world… since, of course, if the world is just, then people must have brought these circumstances upon themselves. This blaming of victims (in defense of belief in a just world) has been established by numerous studies… the stronger the belief in a just world the greater the likelihood of blaming victims for their unfortunate fates.”

Any society rests on logic. The logic does not have to be all-embracing, it just has to be effective enough to support the social organization. Gregg’s general thesis is a good antidote to the present logic dominating the USA. Yet a USA social truth does not have to be a truth of human ethology.

And it is not, as egregious cases in non-USA based history and geography show.

The Nazis believed the less Free Will, the better: “society’s needs come before the individual’s needs” (Adolf Hitler). So did the followers of Stalin. So do, to a great extent some of the Muslim religions (so called “branches” of Islam). All believe(d) that individual Free Will had to be eradicated. Islam comes from aslama “he submitted”.

All believe(d) that the world could be made just through the application of strength, and the Will of God, the General Secretary, or the Guide.

Now, if I abstract the examples above (Stalinism, Nazism, Islamism), I can rephrase the grand conclusion of Gregg, into its complete contradiction. Below I just changed “Free Will” into “NON Free Will”:

…belief in NON free will, it was found, by studying the historical examples above, is associated with just world belief, authoritarianism, religiosity, punitiveness, and moralistic standards for judging self and other. While these considerations do not prove belief in NON free will is mistaken, they do indicate that the putative pragmatic benefits of believing in NON free will and desert-based moral responsibility are bogus.

Gregg showed that in the USA to doubt Free Will would allow society to progress. History, in many other places show that rejecting Free Will led to horrible societies.

How come Gregg’s informed logic and concrete polls can be turned on its head? What is going on?

The answer is from the theory of systems of moods. The reason that the logic can be turned on its head is that what truly matters are the mood and subjacent emotions.

Example. The Nazis posed themselves as victims of an unjust world (big, bad, rich, hypocritical, Indian exterminating America; Versailles Treaty). Germans, all over, were oppressed minorities. Only surrendering Free Will would be bring back justice and stop the punition they were submitted to.

Strong emotions, bound by strong logic, make strong medicine. Yet, the logic is secondary. It could go whichever way. This is what the apparent truth of both Free Will Skepticism, and the truth of its exact opposite, my pernicious anti-thesis (just an observation, too), demonstrate.

Foucault suggested that power laid in discourses, more than anything else. I agree. Yet, beyond that, power lays in the raw emotions, and the moods they blossom into. The exact nature of the way they get organized is an afterthought.

Here is an explicit example: Christianism and love. Christ said that to love was the commanding commandment. Fine. However, read what he exactly said:

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

What’s the strongest emotion here? Jesus says it himself: loving obedience to “the Lord”. He puts it first. However, obedience is not the most prominent feature of human ethology (raw love probably is, next to the survival instinct). Thus the implied logic is the violence one has to exert to do something unnatural, obeying a so-called “Lord”.

In the end, Jesus’ primary emotion holds in just one word: “Lord”. Jesus is a plutophile: loving a “Lord” is the first law.

He, and others, can put whatever logic they want after that to embellish the ugliness, and comfort the horror. It does not really matter. The overall mood flows from there, one concept: “the Lord”. The rest is just rearranging the chairs on the sinking Titanic of Jesus’ make belief goodness.

Patrice Ayme’


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11 Responses to “MOODS RULE THOUGHTS”

  1. fell cadwallader Says:

    I happened upon your blog a few months ago and have diligently read and discerned how the words and thoughts you offer react within me before I offer a comment.

    First off – you offer words connected in a manner that at times strike me as angry and convoluted. Taken in volume I don’t think that’s the case. (At first blush though, you seem to devalue your thoughts with tone.) Thus I thought it best to see if a wider perspective as a result of considering a greater bulk of your work would help me better understand your core propositions. As with most things – given the combined distillation effect of time, seeking and wonder an evenness of consideration produces an understanding that acts as a gateway. For me.

    Second – that gateway has allowed me to see recurring propositions in your considerations. They contrive to contextualize your views as constrained, leading back to the Sisyphean concerns and observations that appear to anger you.

    In the case of Jesus – OK, point made. An iconic individual has been employed on behalf of demonic intent. It could be imagined that that was the ultimate lesson of his story. Concentrating on overwrought re-interpretations of his life by writers and actors centuries after his death has little to do with the person, Jesus, and seemingly is more in support of the ideal that makes the other side of the coin you share.

    Nazis? It’s just too easy. Over the course of our conscious remembrance there are many similar atrocities. Going back a mere two or three decades we have seen the seeds sown to even greater, more insidious, far-reaching genocides. Multiple instances that will effect more lives for a longer period. In fact I connect your dots to the calamity of plutocracy as an attempt to communicate the dire nature of this unchecked acquiescence.

    So what do I say?

    A life in this reality – ten days or a hundred years is nearly immeasurable on the scale of our estimation of universal age. The value seems to be misplaced with simple outrage at injustice. We fall into being nothing more than the fuel for plutocratic growth – our outrage and indignation push fearful souls closer to the comfort of a known service to masters as opposed to what would seem to be the obvious choice to you and me. That is the expression of logic leading to value of efforts and existence. No matter one’s iconic guide we all funnel towards the eternal recognition of our meaning.

    Yet that doesn’t account for the way we perceive things differently. From the simple physical interpretations of our surroundings to the existential determinations we each find presented to us from somewhere. You seem to be very intelligent and no doubt articulate. A fruit of intelligence is the ability to expand, grow and re-represent the pre-language essences of truths we experience, universal or momentary. That effort of voicing observation, our unique truth (for me) seems to be the connecting point to the flimsy outside edge of the ever-expanding universe (so I’m told) and the person sitting next to me. Why? I could say Love…but rather, why not?

    For me the experience of this state is but a visit. Maybe a chance combination of molecules that bestow in and upon me the obligation to…what? Maybe a very constructed piece of a very precise exercise that bestows on me the task of…what? None of how I view the world around me explains pain, disparity, inequality or chance. What it does offer me is a voice to present a story leading into the possibility of the next moment – not better or worse but different from the previous. To what cause? If it is only as simple as a breath of contentment or a smile then maybe that is the thread into the hope of experiencing a meaningful wash of momentary existence. From that moment…imagine the possibilities.

    Thank you for sharing your seeking and confusion. Misery (continuous, unabated consideration) loves company and you offer me much.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Fell (is that your name? Or the result of the misery, that you feel we share?), thanks for the long and thoughtful comment. A lot of points well made. To comment them point by point would be a rewarding exercise, and I hope I find a way to do that.

      BTW, the Nazi obsession is largely due to my family’s history, but it stays foremost, as Germany, and Germans, were at the point (“Spitze” in Deutsch, mein Geist) of culture for centuries. So Nazism is a clear warning in many ways, some highly philosophical. The first foreign language I studied (in company with Latin) was German, and I feel pretty much as a fish in water when immersed in German culture.

      Anyway, on to the sharing. It’s sharing season right now, the Solstice, I have little time, and I have to answer some pointed remark of Dominique Deux who wondered if I have killed the old god simply to replace it with the new one, the Quantum…

      I hope you come back with pointed questions, or hopefully obnoxious remarks on my delusions, that’s a lot how I progress.

      And once again, I will try to answer some of your points above; my old essays, and those on Tyranosopher are supposed to be eternal… in the sense those of Montaigne are… A senior American lawyer suggested this to me long ago. So I try not to write too much in the moment, for the moment…. And I will observe I am much more free than Montaigne (who spent lots of time flattering the hyper powerful he was so close to).
      Anyway see you soon…

      • fell cadwallader Says:

        Fell is my name. After Margaret Fell my paternal grandmother. Points to my lineage as a Friend.
        Thanks for your response.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Namaste, Fell. 🙂
          I just have another essay out. Don’t know if it’s full of anger, but it makes, in passing, the point plutocracy is starving science.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          A “Friend”? Hmmm… I am out of my depth here…

          • fell cadwallader Says:

            “Out of your depth”?….You make me giggle. Indeed maybe as I’m getting in the habit of donning my pressurized suit anytime I unfurl your essays…

            A Friend…commonly referred to as a Quaker. As close to a mystical strain of Christianity as is available… unless thee is moved to dervishness via pre-apocalyptic prosperity theology.

            You helped me to better understand your points with the clarification of your new essay. Thank you.

            I look forward to continued study and help in putting into focus that which arises from within me and presents itself from outside me. No doubt taking the time to understand you will be a useful tool. … if I don’t get too fatigued donning that suit from 10,000 Leagues Under The Sea. ..;-)


            • Patrice Ayme Says:

              Dear Fell: Please suit up, that suits me fine… So you descend from Quakers? I quake with relish… Not that I know exactly what a Quakers are, but with its carnivorous instincts, part of me seems to identify them with prey. All too many confuse anger and the predatory spirit… Our frenemies the plutocrats being full of the later… On the cheap.

  2. Free Will & Quantum | Patrice Ayme's Thoughts Says:

    […] Morality Without Intelligence Makes As Much Sense As Will Without Mind. Intelligence Is At The Core Of Humanism. « MOODS RULE THOUGHTS […]

  3. Gregg Caruso Says:

    Gregg Caruso:
    Patrice, “The Nazis believed one should have no Free Will. So did the followers of Stalin. So do, to a great extent some of the Muslim religions (so called “branches” of Islam)”.”

    Are you really equating the philosophical position of free Will skepticism (as advocated by Pereboom, Levy, Nadelhoffer, Waller, and myself) with the political attempt by authoritarian governments to repress political liberty? There are quite a few conflations going on here.

    Perhaps an analogy with the Buddhist philosophy that is (sometimes) read a denying free will would have been fairer. That would be a much better analogy and one that manifests some of the attitudes I recommend (unlike the examples you provide).

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Gregg: Thank you for your answer. I am NOT “really equating” you and the honorable people and “Free Will Skepticism” (already found in Rousseau, methinks) with followers of various trains of thought now viewed as monstrous. My position is otherwise subtle. I think your reasoning is valid, especially in the USA. I also think the opposite logic is also valid.

      Hitler said: “society’s needs come before the individual’s needs.” He meant: “society’s brain comes before the individual’s brain”. Where he alone was the brain.
      I tried to explain in detail in:
      what was going on.

      I could have used a mathematical analogy. Emotions form a lower dimensional complex upon which the higher dimensional complex of logic gets installed. The bottom line is that “Free Will Skepticism” is just one possible logic to articulate deeper emotions.
      It’s the emotions, the moods one has to inspect, to force the logic just one way (hopefully that of progress).

  4. Against Emotional Shrinkage | Patrice Ayme's Thoughts Says:

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