Decisions are hedonistic instinct
By: Dr. Syed Aijazuddin
We use pleasure to make all kinds of decisions, says Michel Cabanac, a renowned modern French neurobiologist. The so called gut instinct is nothing but in eventuality is seeking pleasure.
Jeremy Bentham in his, An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789): begins with the passage, “Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain, and pleasure”. Bentham's claim that pain and pleasure determine what we shall do makes him a hedonist about the determination of action
The fundamental role pleasure plays in decision making is leading some researchers to contemplate that, it as a basic biological process that goes in brain. It seems to be involved in all types of decision making, from choosing food or friend to solving scientific issues.
Brain-imaging studies have confirmed that the centre works overtime whenever one is enjoying something. And chemical analysis shows that, whatever the pleasure, dopamine and opiates have a role to play.
Arguably, pleasure exerts its influence on all kinds of basic brain processes, so to say guides actions. Most of the scientists with hedonistic belief think, it is indeed, the pleasure that acts as control.
This probably makes our life so dynamic in our motivations, decisions and actions. Most of the pleasures and motivations are innate, encoded in our genes and honed by evolution. Most, of us, if not all, are hedonistic by nature. People take a decision in all walks of life that gives them the most gratification.
In my view it will not be out place to cite the medical condition of Phineas Gage, a famous 19th-century patient who suffered brain damage to his frontal lobes, leaving him unable to feel any emotion. Revealingly, he was also unable to make decisions.