Tok Essay -- Emotions vs Reason

1722 Words Nov 2nd, 2011 7 Pages
TOK Essay
Reasoning and Emotions and the quest for Knowledge

19th century English philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge claimed that “deep thinking is attainable only by a person of deep feeling”, thereby implying that emotions, or “deep feeling”, play a key role in the quest for knowledge and the ability to reason, or, the ability to think deeply. However, day after day I am confronted with evidence contradicting his statement, and, although I do my best not to have biased perception, I do not see much in support. Emotions cause me, day after day, to make poor decisions while a little voice in my head – a voice I like to call reason – urges me to act differently. The first example that comes to mind is the fact that I am currently working
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He would enquire: “what would push you to the desire of opening that door? You have no more passion and no more hope of achieving happiness.” The reason why, for Coleridge’s supporters, emotional energy plays such a key role is that happiness is the intrinsic finality of the human life: everything the individual strives for. But the wish for happiness is not the only driving factor. Curiosity, assuming it is an instinct, will still be present in your chemical structure once emotions removed and therefore encourage you to open the “knowledge door”, or, take the red pill. Thus knowledge is achieved. However I must admit that this illustration is a simplified version of the ‘truth’.
It is in fact heavily based on the presumption that knowledge in one entity with one outcome. But as we know, knowledge exists in distinct areas and can take many different forms. The ‘truth’ is that in our ten by ten white room, there would not be just one “knowledge door”. There would be thousands, or even millions, behind which lay many different paths; paths which often intersect with that of “happiness”. These may lead to knowledge that varies from learning to play football to a solution to world hunger. So then, how would you know which door to choose from? Being an individual who relies purely on reasoning, you might

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