Tok When Can We Use Our Emotions in Pursuit of Knowledge

Topics: War of 1812, Napoleonic Wars, Emotion Pages: 3 (789 words) Published: December 10, 2012
Can we know when to trust our emotions in the pursuit of knowledge? Consider history and one other area of knowledge.

When I make a painting, I use the knowledge I’ve gained from studying art, for example, combining colors, the uses of different media and different surfaces, and how to represent something so that it is recognizable to others. This means I use knowledge to implement the “how” of the painting.

But what about the “what” of the painting, the content? For example, I draw faces on a canvas in oil—anybody who looks at the painting will understand that it’s ‘about’ faces. However, I color the faces green and blue. Everybody knows that human faces are flesh-colored. Do my colors give people new knowledge of human faces? Or do they contradict people’s knowledge? Neither. My image enables people to think about human faces in a new way. I have applied something in addition to knowledge when I made the decision to use these colors. I added emotion.

When I look at my work, I learn from the emotional element in it. I become a better painter by trusting my emotions in the pursuit of knowledge. I believe that putting my emotion into my work also helps other people learn more about art appreciation. In this essay, I will explore whether emotions can be trusted in the pursuit of knowledge in the areas of history and psychology.

First, it’s important to define what we mean by emotions. According to van de Lagemaat, “Emotions consist of various internal feelings and external forms of behavior”. The James-Lange theory shows the idea that emotions have a physical nature. REF TOK book Therefore, if you take away the emotion a person is feeling, their behavior will change. Van de Lagemaat also acknowledges that emotions have been considered obstacles to, not ways of, knowing. Following this theory it makes sense that the stronger the emotion, the more it can negatively impact knowledge. His theory also contradicted that in some cases your emotion cannot be...
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