Last Updated 27 Jul 2020

Theory Ok Knowledge: Emotion’s Role in Logic and Reason

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The theory of knowledge curriculum has shed a lot of light on the idea that emotion can be looked at as a way of knowing. As a way of knowing, emotion plays a huge role in everything we do, acting as a sort of lens from which to view and react to the environment from which we are surrounded. Emotion affects our perception of our reality, providing motivation behind most of what we do, and emotion particularly affects our acquisition of knowledge as knowers.

Everyone can understand emotion. Even if this concept of emotion is conveyed differently across different cultures, it can basically be boiled down to what we feel, or our uniquely human qualities of having complex and intense feelings and reactions to our environment around us. Our emotions can be categorized into seven basic emotions, which are anger, fear, disgust, contempt, joy, sadness, and surprise.

These different emotions greatly influence our acquisition of knowledge, such as the doctors and scientists researching to find a cure for cancer. These men and women feel like their purpose is to help to cure such ailments, and the determination and the emotions that give this struggle momentum is just one example as to how emotions can affect our acquisition of knowledge. In a different light, emotion can be seen as a very significant block or hindrance in our quest for the gaining of new information and knowledge.

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As seen in the years of the scientific flourishing of the Italian renaissance, one discovery in particular created a lot of controversy. Galileo Galilee had scientific proof, and had empirical and logical evidence supporting his claim that heliocentrism, the belief that the sun was in the center of the solar system, in opposition to the generally accepted geocentrism that stated that the earth was in the center of the solar system.

The emotional attachment of both the Catholic Church and the people at the time led to the impeding of progress when Galileo was sentenced to a life of house arrest, and this scientific acquisition of knowledge was snuffed on a very large scale, in this case, the whole of Europe, due to the emotions of those in power at the Catholic Church not being able to admit that this discovery was very valid, and the one that they had believed and become attached to over so many centuries was incorrect.

In the case of Phineas Gage, a phenomena that was extensively researched and investigated by many scientists, psychologists, etc. , the frontal lobe of his brain was damaged by his improbable survival in a railroad accident, and as a result his brain structure was drastically changes. After the accident, his emotions changed very much, and most people said that Phineas had never acted this way before, in this new mellowed down state of his.

This was very influential in this field, but also, this new shift in his emotions changed his acquisition of knowledge, and his perception of his environment. This direct correlation between the changed of emotion in one man and his change in the acquisition of knowledge is very important in showing how emotions affect the acquisition of knowledge because his new changed emotions caused him to have been reportedly more clever and cunning which shows that a change in emotions can correlate with a change in the process of acquiring knowledge.

In many cases that have been seen over the ages, such as the competitive nature of the space race between the two combating super powers of the cold war, or the search for the fountain of youth a few centuries ago, or with the search for a solution to global warming, there is no denying that emotion plays a hug role in our acquisition of knowledge.

It can be generally accepted proved that emotions give us huge motivation in our search for knowledge, but at the same time, emotions can impede our progress. The acquisition of knowledge may not even exist if it wasn’t for the drive that humans get from the emotions that we have, and how they directly affect our environment that we perceive, and how we search for knowledge in the world.

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