Emotions are part of the experience of every person. However, emotions seem to be more complex than they are thought to be. This is by the virtue that people respond to emotions in a different ways. The understanding of emotions and their causes has raised various philosophical positions arguments. Some would look at emotion as feelings, thoughts or at times none of the above. The focus of this piece of writing is to look at the extent, if any, that our emotional responses can be understood as rational.
The relationship between feelings and thoughts/ration is one subject that has preoccupied the minds of humanity for a long period. The past views on the existence and functioning of emotions can greatly contrast with the modern understanding (Greenspan 49). The stoics of the past said that emotion essentially involves the process of making judgments that potentially may cause harm or benefit to a person. In the earlier times, it was held that there was a close connection between ‘emotions’ and ‘judgment’ where’ judgment’ was the terms used to refer to the rationality that drives a person to take on a certain emotional direction. In this context, it was held that emotion was largely as a consequence of some form of conscious or unconscious rationality (Bourgeois-Gironde 54).
Other philosophers came out to argue against the belief that the intention of harm or benefit constitutes to emotion. For instance Clark (2010) explains that the mere recognition of the harm completely does not make up emotion. In this context, emotion is not made through reasoning process where one thinks about what is good or bad. Instead, Sorabji explains that the emotion is caused by various environmental factor...
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...at ‘emotions’ can be understood as ‘reasoning’ out on issues in action. In this context, emotions can be explained to function as the cause of rational reasoning and decision making. This view may sound unpopular in many quarters but makes great sense by the virtue that emotions cause one to use ration to make judgments (Greenspan 49).
In conclusion, it is clear from this discussion that the subject on ‘emotion; as feelings or thought is one of the complex subjects to discuss. It is clear that no single position can be taken on the causal relationship that exists between ‘emotions’ and ‘thoughts’. The study makes clear that the two are largely connected, but no clear position can be taken on ‘emotion’ as a thought or feeling (Greenspan 44). At the end of all, the contexts by which an emotion can be interpreted seem to have a significant influence on the subject.
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