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Emotion (Theory of Knowledge)

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By omega2alpha
Words 704
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[Emotion] has the advantage of being open to all, the weak and the lowly, the illiterate and the scholar. It is seen to be as efficacious as any other method and is sometimes said to be stronger than the others, since it is its own fruition, while other methods are means to some other ends.

I questioned this statement in regards to the ‘it is its own fruition’ part. I interpreted this part to mean that emotion can just be emotion. It does not lead anywhere, to another answer like reasoning something out would. For example, in math I use reason to figure problems out while, as I understand this statement, when I feel happy, I just stay that way because emotion is its own end result. I don’t agree with this idea. Emotion is not its own fruition as the statement suggests; rather, I think that emotions always lead to something more. A brain imaging study by University College London suggests that emotions almost completely rule decision making. Emotions cannot possibly just be emotions because of the millions of decisions we make every day. This morning, I decided to get up and make my bed. I decided whether to eat first or shower first. Then I decided what clothing to wear and in the bathroom whether to shampoo first or soap first. There were so many little decisions in between those pertaining to how much to feed my cat and where to set my clothes down while I took a shower. If everything I decided was mostly based on emotions, then how can an emotion just be an emotion? The website I got the article about the study also talked a bit about how people with damage to the emotional part of their brain acted. It said that these people had extreme difficulty making any decisions at all. An example of emotion driving decision making in my life is in my French horn playing. I have been taking private lessons with the same instructor since fifth grade and I am rather close with him. When he tells me that my tone is terrible or I can’t play the piece at all, I am much more likely to practice hard during the next week than if he told me I was playing great. I have an emotional response to his disappointment that leads to guilt and regret (from him as well as my mother as she pays for my lessons) so my emotion drives me to practice longer. The statement ‘it is its own fruition’ seems to be that emotion is just emotion – not a destination to another answer. Even if I didn’t practice more, which I don’t know if I could do because I hate his disappointment, I would actively make the choice to not work harder using other emotional responses such as defiance or stubbornness. Another example of emotions leading to decisions is Dean Kamen, an inventer and the founder of FIRST which stands for for the inspiration of science and technology – it’s a robotics competition. He may not be well known, but he invented the insulin pump as well as the segway and many other common items. I heard him speak this year at the Wisconsin Robotics Regional and he talked about why he started FIRST. He said he was worried about the world’s future and the environment, so he created this organization to get kids involved in science and technology. His emotion of worry led him to found this organization that has taught millions of people worldwide about sciences. A counter claim would be that emotions do not have to be acted upon. During Memorial Day weekend, I was not rushed into doing lots of homework like I usually am so I had time to do what I liked to do. I was very content and happy and for awhile on Sunday, all I did was relax. You could say that the emotion just existed as an emotion, not driving me to do something. I would argue that the happiness made me choose the decision to relax. In conclusion, emotion is not its own fruition because emotions drive humans in all decisions.

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