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Reason and emotion

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10."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. Theory of Knowledge Natalie Sullivan Candidate number 0650-035 Word Count-1.595 St.Dominics International School May 2009 Some believe that emotions are what provides us with a reason to live. Arnold Bennett a famous novelist who established an important link between English literature and realism states, "There can be no knowledge without emotion... until we have felt the force of the knowledge it is not ours". However the relationship between knowledge and emotion is more complicated. The importance of emotional input varies from subject to subject, depending on the level of personal intervention required. This argument will be evaluated using the following areas of knowledge; biology, History and Art. By analysing certain aspects of these areas of knowledge and providing examples the significance of emotional contribution will be evaluated. Some may argue that in biology the importance of having a stronger emotional association with the information might be considered helpful. Using reasoning can only take you so far in understanding information; sometimes it can help and strengthen if there is an emotional input. ...read more.


In history I am studying the Rule of Mao in China. I can read and understand and process the knowledge of how he treated people during the great leap forward and to some degree I can empathise with the suffering of the people at the time. However someone who has gone though a similar type of situation or knows someone, close to them, who was there at the time will look at the information in a different way, and feel a stronger connection about it. They can relate more with the information and grasp in a more vivid manner the real impact of the situation. In my family no one has ever participated in any wars, thus hearing about what people went through shocks me, but I never truly experience the full impact of knowing how it really affected the people. Thus, it seems that the study of history demonstrates a stronger relationship between knowledge and emotion, than science. But in the end History is a very analytical and factual subject does not depend on emotional involvement. Historians try their best to look at different interpretation and different 'facts', in order to be able to choose the most viable explanation reasoning through the information and establishing what seems likely and what seems unreal. ...read more.


When I look at the painting by El Greco,The Burial of the Count Orgaz, it is so divine and well painted that it captures my attention intensively. It portrays the death of the Count Orgaz and creates what seems to be a perfect image of the death and the afterlife of the soul rising to heaven. It is a complicated painting to define the mood; it seems sad and gloomy but also happy and triumphant. It raises so many emotions from fear to relief, that it brings the painting to life. The figures in the painting itself portray different emotions, from sadness, happiness, anger. To truly understand those emotions one has to relate to them. Art depends a lot on the ability to feel something towards the paintings because most times the paintings are hard to categorize, you can only feel something towards them that can't be fully explained. In conclusion it seems clear that there can be knowledge without emotion. One can use reasoning to understand new information and build upon it using previous patterns and established rules. Nevertheless emotion can help understand information and it plays an important part is areas such as art, while it is more dispensable in areas such as biology and history. The need for an emotional connection depends on how much a person has to relate with the information on a personal level. ...read more.

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