Evaluate the Way Emotion May Undermine or Enhance Perception as a Way of Knowing

Topics: Emotion, Psychology, Perception Pages: 4 (1135 words) Published: January 31, 2009
Evaluate the way emotion may undermine or enhance perception as a Way of Knowing

How do we know what we know? There are a variety of ways of knowing such as Perception, Emotion, Language and reason. In this essay, I will explore how emotion may undermine or enhance perception as a way of knowing.

Perception, “per·cep·tion /pərˈsɛp[pic]ʃən/ Pronunciation Key -[per-sep-shuh[pic]n]” [1], is the immediate or intuitive recognition or appreciation, as of moral, psychological, or aesthetic qualities; insight; intuition; discernment. It is the way a person views something and this could be related to their upbringing, experience and also their emotion. For instance, when an artist paints, he might be painting with a sad feeling, but on the other hand, when we see the painting, we might interpret it differently and feel that this painting is about happiness.

Emotion, “e·mo·tion /ɪˈmoʊ[pic]ʃən/ Pronunciation Key - [i-moh-shuh[pic]n] [2]is an affective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate, or the like, is experienced, as distinguished from cognitive and volitional states of consciousness”. Emotion plays an important role in our daily lives, shaping our thoughts and influencing our behavior, which “shapes” our personality. It is said that emotions are not always considered as a “perfect” source of Way of Knowing since emotions can easily be altered the way we arrive at a notion of truth.

Emotion can undermine perceptions in a variety of ways. One of the ways is through culture. Take for instance, a story of a German physician, Thomas Ots and one of his experiences in China. “While riding a train, a Chinese friend and I had eaten a lot of snacks that didn’t mix well. I suddenly suffered from nausea and realised that I was pressing the epigastric region with one had. I was sure that I had strained my stomach. At this moment, my Chinese friend said that he was suffering from vertigo and he seemed very concerned about it. I...
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