Define reasoning

“Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t” is a common quote from a famous Shakespeare tragedy. It says that one may use emotion and madness as a disguise for their real plan. That you can use emotion to help make important decisions. But is this true or does emotion just get in the way and lead us to make rash decisions that we will later regret? First of all to define reasoning. Reasoning is the mental (cognitive) process of looking for reasons for beliefs, conclusions, actions or feelings.

Humans have the ability to engage in reasoning about their own reasoning using introspection. Different forms of such reflection on reasoning occur in different fields. Many people believe that they make decisions using their brain, but is this true or do they make them using their heart? What many people do not consider is the fact that our emotions do play a big role within our thinking. Even if we do not realise it, emotions influence our knowledge. The definition of emotion is: a strong and instinctive feeling.

This should be distinguished from reasoning or logic. As there are several ways of knowing, such as authority, faith, or practice there is also the way of knowing by instinct; for example breathing, as we breath unconsciously from birth on. And so do we feel. We cannot switch off our feelings or change them as we want . We also have to consider how emotional expression provides a powerful communication system, one that is especially important in the early childhood stage of life before language has been developed.

An infant’s cry of distress brings a caregiver running; a baby’s joyful smile invites love and McMullin 2 are in its surrounding. As these developments proceeds, voice, face, gesture, and posture continue to communicate feelings to others and to influence their behaviour. A scream of fear can cause a crowd to panic; a smile can sometimes defuse the most dangerous of situations and create instant bonding among strangers. Yet, at times our emotions can get out of control and defeat our best interests.

We also have to take into consideration the new anti-intellectual fashion that proposes that emotions function as a special source of knowledge. They point out that through our daily lives we are continually heavily influenced by our emotions in making judgements and that these judgements whatever their origins, or the reasons why we hold them, often turn out to be for the best. Could this be true or are we just setting ourselves up for danger?

If unjustified beliefs are just that; unjustified beliefs and cannot be knowledge, we would just be allowing ourselves to substitute emotions for knowledge. This could led to us licensing all of our prejudices as knowledge. This surely could not be for the best. Let’s look at some well known examples of people who made important decisions based on emotion. Aldolph Hitler for example felt a profound emotional revulsion towards the Jews.

With all of this emotion and passion , he not only lost sight of reality himself but managed to persuade others to do the same. When someone is very emotional and passionate about something it can be seen when they speak and also looks very convincing to others. Hitler not only let his emotions and irrational prejudices destroy his perception of reality, but turned them into insight into reality justified in some way by his emotional intensity. By letting emotions undermine reasoning as a way of knowing there were the horrific results of the Holocaust. This is a sad example of how emotions used incorrectly as knowledge can have devastating results and many innocent lives can be lost.

To begin with, there are four ways by which a person can obtain knowledge which are Emotion, Reason, Perception and Language. Perception is defined in psychology as the process of interpreting, acquiring, selecting and organizing sensory information. Language is the …

When it comes to the area of history, the conflict between reason and emotion becomes much more apparent. It is reasoning that plays the major role in modern history, because we are able to analyse and understand the causes and …

We require four simple ways to know, to gain information and knowledge. These four ways are reasoning, sense perception, language and emotion. The first way of knowing is the most rational. Reasoning is the cognitive process of looking for reasons …

“Anyone can be angry-that is easy. But to be angry with the right person to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose and in the right way- that is not easy. “[Aristotle] In justifying moral decisions, …

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