Sunday, April 19, 2020

Relationship between knowledge and emotion Essay Example

Relationship between knowledge and emotion Essay There can be no knowledge without emotion until we have felt the force of the knowledge, it is not ours. (adapted from Arnold Bennett). Discuss this vision of the relationship between knowledge and emotion.  The role of emotion has, for a long time, been downplayed in majority of our societies; people try to distinguish and thus diminish its significance by attempting to separate it distinctively from other aspects like reasoning. This is possibly due to the fact that peoples emotions do tend to fog our perception and perspective of things at that very moment it is experienced. We know better than to expect an outraged, angry man to reason very well and take right decisions at the heat of the moment. We are more than often advised to be reasonable and to control our emotions rather than be emotional. Being emotional is even taken in a negative way as an insult most of the times. More than often, all our emotions do is unnecssarily obstruct our attempt to make reasonable decisions when in a complicated situation, or prevent us from thinking clearly when making a choice. We will write a custom essay sample on Relationship between knowledge and emotion specifically for you for only $16.38 $13.9/page Order now We will write a custom essay sample on Relationship between knowledge and emotion specifically for you FOR ONLY $16.38 $13.9/page Hire Writer We will write a custom essay sample on Relationship between knowledge and emotion specifically for you FOR ONLY $16.38 $13.9/page Hire Writer However, despite our underestimation of emotions, it may strike us as unusual and inconsistent to know that emotion, along with language, reason and perception is regarded as one of the four principle ways of knowing. It is close to impossible for us to deny the fact that our feelings and/or our emotions mean a great deal to us and our daily lives. It is something that we were born with and live with everyday, a significantly integral part of ourselves that we cant possibly ignore. And that is why we feel so naturally inclined to consult our emotions whenever there is a problem or a decision to be made, despite all the dubious concerns we have about it. Regarding the statement by Bennett which says, There can be no knowledge without emotion until we have felt the force of the knowledge, it is not ours, it seemingly suggests that emotion plays a crucial part in the acquiring and the absolute sense of knowledge. But it can be pointed out that the first part of the statement is quite blatantly incorrect. We know all four angles of a square are ninety degrees, which becomes knowledge, and it does not involve or require our emotions at all to know it. But it can be said that in certain cases, such as the justification of something in order for it to be called knowledge, our emotions do guide and influence us in perceiving how we perceive what we hear or see. Nevertheless, it is important for us to control our emotions as well, for we know that if we let our emotions get the better of us and let it roam free, it can delude us, diminishing our power to reason and thus transform the knowledge we obtain. Our emotion is always there, it is difficult to imagine our life devoid any emotions. We describe some people as being cold and lacking emotions, but there is no such thing as a person having no emotions at all. It may be that they prefer not to expose them, have fewer of them or even that they are in complete control of them. But as recent psychological studies have suggested, if a person did not have any emotions, then his/her life would eventually be ruined. Antonio Damasio, a psychologist and the author of Descartes Error, did a case study on a patient whose emotional centers in his brain had been damaged due to an accident. It was later concluded that although the patient mostly appeared normal and remembered things he had learnt prior to the accident, he had lost the ability to make decisions since he had emotions to guide him to do it. Thus he made his decisions on the basis of reason alone and suffered from mental breakdowns. This study tells us how one patients emotions largely determine his ability to make able decisions, and thus the same could apply to more of us as well. It could mean that this sort of impulse comes to us so naturally that we completely take it for granted until something happens and we lose, like Damasios patient. According to Arnold Bennetts statement, he suggests that our emotions control reason, our obtaining of knowledge, or that it fuels reason. It is true that emotions serve as an incentive to pursuit knowledge in an individual. It acts as some sort of drive for us to acquire certain knowledge, so that we long to know and find truth. With passion, knowledge becomes more achievable and desirable. Take for instance, Sir Thomas Edison; his invention has literally brought light to our world, but he failed countless number of times while carrying on his experiment. Yet, he never succumbed to failure and that eventually paid off and the world saw the greatest breakthrough of the century. But what could have been the reason behind Edisons strong determination, his unfaltering resolution on producing what he set out to produce? It couldnt possibly have been the laborious work which he had to develop time and again over a hundred times. No, it was the passion he had behind what he was doing, the emotional drive that motivated him to set out on this never-ending search for knowledge. As he quoted, Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety nine percent perspiration, the one percent of emotional energy, the passion and will preserved his dedication to his work. It provided the patience and perseverance for him to steadfastly hold on to his determination. The one percent inspiration, however minute that may seem instilled in him the passion and patience to labor hard; ninety nine percent perspiration. So this suggests a parallelism with Bennetts statement. However, Bennett has said, until we have felt the force of knowledge, it is not ours. By ours, could he mean that knowledge can be owned? Can one possess knowledge as ones own? And would it suggest that knowledge without the emotional force felt is not knowledge? Bennetts statement could be argued as being flawed in itself since it suggests that all our knowledge has some sort of an emotive origin, that it is subjective. And subjectivism, as we all know, cannot be justifiable when it comes to acquiring knowledge. However, in the matter of ethics and morals, Bennetts assertion could be held true, for do we really know of any ethical issues that do not involve the human emotion? Most, if not all, ethical situations have an emotive base and thus, give rise to controversial issues such as biasness, etc. We can even take an example in one of the areas of knowledge, for instance, history; history is knowledge that is supposed to be absolutely factual, that is supposed to provide us with the correct information of the past that we can all collectively agree on. However, we humans have always found it hard to detach our emotions with the events of the past. Our emotions and our nature of favoritism influences our decision to believe what event in a history is true, and what is not and should thus be omitted. If we take for example the issue of the Tibetan independence to be more specific, it is believed a lot of events in the history of Tibet have been altered in order to find parallelism with what the Chinese assert is true. However, it should be considered that what a Tibetan believes to have happened in the past greatly differs from what a Chinese would most probably believe because of the emotional attachment the former, as refugees stripped from their country, have with this particular issue. I, myself, being a Tibetan can name several events and happenings that greatly involve my feelings of loyalty to my country and disrespect for the one that took it away. And thus, as is very evident, emotions give rise to biasness and favoritism which intrude in our obtaining of knowledge. But again, if we talk about the Mathematics, we know solving equations involve no such emotions, unless one is working on a monumental theory or maybe simply finding a problem difficult to solve. Ultimately, in studying emotions, even though we tend to and are encouraged to think of it and reason as two separate aspects, in reality we will find that they are so closely related to one another that it is almost impossible to differentiate them as two distinct things. Hence, most believe that reason and emotion work together as one, although at times one may take over more control. Emotion adds and strengthens ones attainment of knowledge, and has an indestructible relationship with it. And despite the many controversial arguments brought up, like the Stoics idea of attaining self-control and pure knowledge by freeing ones self from all destructive emotions, we know our ability to reason would most likely be obsolete. Thus, however much we are discouraged to involve our emotions in our decisions and act of reasoning, the undeniable fact is that it an innate, integral part of ourselves and therefore, will always either be there to help or to intrude.

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