The Interplay between Emotion and Reason Essay

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The Interplay between Emotion and Reason "And this is of course the difficult job, is it not: to move the spirit from it's nowhere pedestal to a somewhere place, while preserving its dignity and importance." I cry. There is pressure behind my eyes, my skin turns blotchy and my lips tremble, and mucus clogs my airways, making it difficult to breath. I hate crying in front of others: not because I want to hide how upset I am, but because the second that most people perceive my emotional state as fragile, they assume my reasoning and mental functions are also not sound. The outward expression of an inward instability is something we save for those who we know and trust best. They do not view our emotionality as a weakness, they…show more content…
Consequently, the perceived division between emotion and reason has resulted in more polar divisions that we experience on a daily basis: the great schism between the humanities and the sciences, for example. However, as is pointed out by a recent NIMH study on Emotion and Cognition (3), this historical division between emotion and cognition is losing its utility as research progresses. The integration of the concepts is reflected in the interdisciplinary interest: from neurobiology to psychology, the implications are far reaching. An early interpretation of the relationship between emotion, cognition and physiology was that of William James, who thought of emotions as results of physiological processes of the autonomic nervous system (6). According to his school of thought, first comes cognition, then a physiological response, and then an emotion. In response to an event such as the death of a friend, first the cognition steps in about what this means, then the body begins to cry, and because we are crying, we begin to feel sad. Another later theory was proposed by Walter Canon and Philip Bard. This theory (4)proposes that in response to a stimulus, a signal is sent to the thalamus, where the signal splits and goes toward the experience of an emotion and the other half towards producing a physiological response. Most modern neurobiologists do no agree with this theory, however. The question remains: what physiological structure can we pinpoint as the
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