Natalie Sullivan 0650-0035                                                               2/13/08

Theory of Knowledge                                                                            word count:1.595

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. When you learn something new you make connections between neurons. The stronger the connection the longer it will last. Memory is simply the reactivating of that connection. One way of making these connections stronger is when the information holds an emotional impact. The emotional impact in biology is most present when studying the human body and how it’s affected by diseases. If someone has seen a close family member die of a certain disease such as cancer, when learning about cells and how the can turn into tumours, that person will make a stronger connection with the information, since it has greater meaning to them. I know that after the father of a close friend of mine died of cancer it changed the way I view the information, they weren’t simply facts anymore, the emotional contribution helped me understand the real consequences in a deeper level.

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However learning Biology does not require a great emotional input to personalise the information. One can learn using reasoning and building upon previous information. The neuron connection in the memory can be strengthened by rehearsing the information or by relating that information to previous knowledge. I have been learning Biology for 7 years and each time I learn something new I build upon the knowledge I already have stored in my memory using reasoning. By putting the information into previous context it strengthens the previous connections and helps me understand the new information. In year 8 I learned that ...

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