Relationship Between Reason And Emotion

1334 WordsNov 10, 20146 Pages
19th century English philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge believed that “deep thinking is attainable only by a person of deep feeling.” Coleridge claimed that emotions played a decisive role in using reason and attaining knowledge. However, I am often confronted with evidence contradicting his statement. Emotions cause me to make poor decisions, and the first example that comes to mind is the fact that I am currently working on this essay late at night while earlier I had wasted time reading articles on the Internet and watching football. Still, Coleridge believed that the positive effects of emotions outweighed the negative. This raises the question to what extent do emotions play a role in the pursuit of knowledge? And would our pursuit be better off without emotion? This essay will primarily analyze the relationship between reason and emotion, arriving at the conclusion that while emotion fuels the process of reasoning, it is reasoning that creates knowledge. For our discussion, let us agree upon a universal definition of knowledge; knowledge is the theoretical and practical understanding of phenomena acquired through the use of facts, information, skills, and experiences. Now, for context, let us apply this definition to Ivan Pavlov’s conditioning experiments. During the late 1890’s Pavlov experimented on dogs to analyze their ability to connect new stimuli to their appropriate responses. He demonstrated that by ringing a bell before feeding a dog, one can eventually
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