A Model for the human person
As the human person is very complex, we cannot create a model that reproduces how people behave. However, a simple model based solely on morality can be used. We will employ a system used by the ancient Greeks where the person is broken down into their senses and their psyche. The psyche is composed of the mind, emotions, and will.
- The mind classifies abstract concepts in a coherent way and uses them according to logical rules. In moral decision-making, the mind puts together sensory data from the present with memories from the past to predict what will happen in the future.
- Emotions are conscious, non-rational psychic responses to data from our senses and to certain kinds of internally driven neurochemistry (sickness, hormonal swings, various drugs, and the like). Emotions form the clearest link between the psyche and the body.
- The will decides among alternatives presented to it by the mind in a way colored by the emotions. Exercising the will generally involves rational thought, and so at first glance the will might seem to be part of the mind. However, emotions make the decision-making process in humans very different from that in computers. Computers make decisions on the basis of cold logic. In humans the emotions also enter into play, not only coloring the process of deciding but also providing a crucial push to really act on the decision.
In practice however, it is difficult to separate the psyche into distinct elements. The mind, will, and emotions all flow into each other like the primary colors flow into each other to produce the color palette. The human brain is wired in a vastly more complex fashion than a digital computer, in which logic, memory, and decision functions can be readily identified and separated.