This probably is my one and only chance for a blog post with the title above. Can't pass up the opportunity.
As I was going through my pile of undone/unread stuff, I came across this letter in the October 6, 2012 issue of New Scientist that struck me as interesting.
From Felix Dux
No doubt some will feel uncomfortable, as your reviewer Kayt Sukel suggests, at Larry Young and Brian Alexander's idea that the release of oxytocin during sex "tricks" women into nurturing their partners (22 September, p 46).
Unless you believe in a non-physical soul - which I'm sure Young and Alexander don't - then everything that makes up your sense of self must result from your neurobiology, including the release of oxytocin. There is no rational basis for separating it as an independent agent with its own agenda.
Perhaps they don't really mean it, and the image of being "tricked" by your own body's chemistry is just meant to be an arresting metaphor, but a metaphor for what? It's a choice of language which suggests an emotional attachment to the idea that somewhere there is a "real" self, whose aims get subverted by all those annoying distractions like love and parenthood.
Bishops Waltham, Hampshire, UK