Evaluate the Ways in Which Emotion Might Enhance and/or Undermine Reason as a Way of Knowing

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“Evaluate the ways in which emotion might enhance and/or undermine reason as a Way of Knowing.”

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) once said that "The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing", meaning that emotion is irrational and unreasonable. Emotional expression provides powerful communication between people, especially in the early childhood stage of our lives, before language even develops. A baby’s glowing smile invites love and care in its surrounding; the pounding cry of an infant can send one running instantly to attend to its needs. After this, voice, posture and facial expressions and gestures occur, developing our ability to control our emotions, which does not always happen. Emotion affects our thought-process, and in the heat of the moment, emotion often makes us do and/or say things that we don’t necessarily mean, and makes us more vulnerable to temptations, without thinking of the outcome/consequence. They can cloud our judgment, leading to irrational external behavior, however, emotion is not all bad, and is what drives us to do so many things, like making scientific discoveries, perseverance to lose weight, no matter how tired you feel. Emotions consist of passions, moods, perceptions and senses which create internal feelings that are sometimes expressed externally. Reason is part of formal logic, and pure reason is unbiased, taking all variables into account. Emotion and the resulting behavior of emotion vary in intensity, and is one of the ways of knowing. To a great extent, emotions can affect other ways of knowing, especially reason.

The James-Lange theory states that emotion is purely physical in nature, meaning if you get rid of the external/physical outcomes, the emotion ceases to exist, but in fact, emotion has both a physical and mental dimension. If emotions were purely physical, then when a person smiles, they automatically feel happy or joyful, but people sometimes hide their emotions, that is, not necessarily show it



Bibliography: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Medawar#Early_research http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/history/linnaeus.html en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Sellers http://www.markedbyteachers.com “Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma” by Richard van de Lagemaat Oxford Biology Course Companion by Andrew Allot and David Mindorff Essay Word Count (Excluding title, name and bibliography): 1,586 By Nasim Tekie

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