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The Emotional Dimension of Reason.

The Emotional Dimension of Reason.

It is something of a commonplace that “western culture” conceives of “mind” and “body” as opposing sides of a dichotomy, and that along with this, that our culture polarizes “reason” and “emotion”.  This dichotomy is often blamed on various factors—“Christianity” or one of its branches (Calvinism?), the influence of Descartes’ idea of the mind as a non-material “substance”, and I’m sure someone has suggested “Capitalism”. Maybe there is some truth in some of this – I don’t know. But if so, there has nevertheless been a wide range of views within our culture about the relation of reason and emotion, stretching from those that see emotion as a type of external cognitive disrupter, to those who think of normal patterns of emotional response as forming a necessary infrastructure to at least certain kinds of reasoning.
I won’t try to give a taxonomy of these views, but consider a few in particular from both the past and the present, and try to say what I think might be right or wrong with some of them.

Conference: Demo
Areas of Interest / Categories: Mind and Mind-Body