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Panksepp, J. Watt, D. (2004). Antonio Damasio's Looking for Spinoza. Neuropsychoanalysis, 6(1):107-111.
    

(2004). Neuropsychoanalysis, 6(1):107-111

Antonio Damasio's Looking for Spinoza

Jaak Panksepp and Douglas Watt

We take this opportunity to share a few closing remarks regarding our review and Antonio Damasio's reply. First, we appreciate Damasio's commentary and feedback, and it was not totally unexpected that a fair amount of it would be critical. It is understandable that Damasio would like his body of work to be considered as a whole rather than on the basis of a single book. We would, of course, expect no less, even though our aim, as is appropriate in such a review, was to focus largely on what we perceived to be problematic messages in Damasio's most recent contribution (granted that both of us had written especially laudatory reviews of his second book, and this one did not really cover new ground but developed issues where we do have disagreements). We are glad that Damasio's clarified his position on many of the issues we raised, and in general we tend to agree with the majority of the elaborations he has provided, although we do very much regret that he experienced our position as involving any version of an indictment for his failing to adhere to what he seemed to consider our “ideological position.”

We are especially pleased that he has clarified his perspective on the issue of affective experience in other animals, for that, as he surely appreciates, continues to be a sticking-point in the study of animal mind, largely as a legacy of the behaviorist ontology. We still believe his “strategic solution” provides no obvious practical advantages compared to simply accepting affect or some version of a subjective feeling state to be an intrinsic property of emotional systems in action within an intact brain.

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