The Difference Between Emotion and Reason

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 629
  • Published : July 30, 2008
Open Document
Text Preview
Emotion is an internal decision. It is one's mind, sometimes consciously and sometimes subconsciously, balancing, integrating and juggling various different, and often conflicting, facts, experiences and concepts. It is a subjective, psychological experience, correlated with a group of physiological reactions arising in response to some situation. It is often held that one can have no emotional self-control, that an emotion cannot be consciously willed to occur at any particular time, that emotions are in no way influenced by what one thinks and learns, but accounts differ as to the extent to which one can learn and train oneself or be trained over time to intentionally influence emotions. (Jakub, 2001)

In an experience of emotion there are thoughts, feelings, or affection, response for example sadness, anger, joy and determination, a physiological response which are changes in internal bodily functioning, a cognitive response which is an interpretation of the situation, and possibly also a behavioral response; an outward expression. (Mesquita, 1992)

In philosophy, reason which comes from Latin ratio, by way of French raison is the faculty by means of which or the process through which human beings perform thought, especially abstract thought. Many thinkers have pondered reason, and the various views on the nature of reason may not be compatible with one another.(Mesquita, 1992)

Reason is sometimes narrowly defined as the faculty or process of drawing logical inferences. From Aristotle onwards, such reasoning has been classified as either deductive reasoning, meaning "from the general to the particular", or inductive reasoning, meaning "from the particular to the general". In the 19th century, Charles Peirce, an American philosopher, added a third classification, abductive reasoning, by which he meant "from the best available information to the best explanation", which has become an important component of the scientific method. In modern usage, "inductive reasoning" sometimes includes almost all non-deductive reasoning, including what Peirce would call "abductive". (Jakub, 2001)

Reason has also been conceived more broadly. George Lakoff and Mark Johnson explicate reason and its scope in this manner: Reason includes not only our capacity for logical inference, but also our ability to conduct inquiry, to solve problems, to evaluate, to criticize, to deliberate about how we should act, and to reach an understanding of ourselves, other people, and the world. That reason and emotion are like the yin and yang of the human condition ... a predominance of one is an imbalance.(Markus, 1991)

I would prefer the national decision makers to be reasonable, rational and unemotional professionally ... basing big decisions on logic. In their personal lives I could not care less how emotional they are. Remember the days after 9-11 ... all the attention focused on NYC ... I think Rudy Giuliani was a great example by not falling apart at the seams and keeping a cool head when the sky fell in. However ... politicians exploit peoples' emotional sides when they are trying to sell their agenda ... I think the trick is knowing how to separate emotional arguments from logical ones.(Mesquita, 1992)

Emotion versus Reason and emotion are two totally different ways to make decisions. We as humans often think that there is a struggle between reason and emotion. Many argue that the main reason there tend to be so many problems in the world today, is that we have allowed our emotions to guide our ethical decisions, rather than reason. Those who side with reason as being the correct way to make decisions say, humans should distance themselves from their emotions and base our decisions solely on reason. Then on the other side, those who believe in emotion as the way to make decisions say, reason is the cause of all our misfortunes. Also if we want to improve the world, humans as a whole need to let our emotions determine our moral...
tracking img