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Purpose ? The purpose of this paper is to argue that emotion has a central role to play in rational decision making based on recent research in the neuroanatomy of emotion. As a result, traditional rational decision-making theories, including Herbert Simon?s modified model of satisficing that sharply demarcates emotions and values from rationality and rational decision making, need substantial revision. The paper concludes by outlining some central features of a theory of emotional decisions that is biologically more realistic than the traditional rationalist-cognitive model. Design/methodology/approach ? The paper employs contemporary scientific as well as traditional philosophical criteria in its argumentation. Methodologically, it can be described as an example of applying naturalistic philosophy to a central issue of human thought and experience, and how humans are able to value things at all on the basis of their neuroanatomy.