Printed: 2020-07-09

Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

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Bliss and Cognitive Amplification

March 31, 2014

Published on Mar 26, 2014, Adam Ford of The Rational Future talks with IEET Fellow David Pearce about Bliss and Cognitive Amplification.

Would life without suffering turn us into indolent lotus-eaters -leading to some kind of stagnant Brave New World? Pre-reflectively, one might suppose so. But recall how the happiest people today also tend to be the most motivated. It’s depressives who tend to be apathetic and get stuck in a rut. Crudely, mesolimbic dopamine mediates “wanting”, activation of the mu opioid receptors in our twin hedonic hotspots mediates “liking”. Experimentally, happiness and motivation are doubly dissociable. Yet if we want to be superhappy and hypermotivated, there’s no technical reason why we can’t combine the blessings of both.



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