Essay on Internal Reason and the Emotions

Essay on Internal Reason and the Emotions

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The greatest human challenge is to try and understand oneself. To understand oneself is to understand why we have feelings, how we interact within ourselves, what is actually occurring in our internal psychological conflicts, and if our thoughts are rational in comparison to our feelings. An internal psychological conflict can come down to just the simple decision between what is right and what is wrong. The ancients describe this as “what I think is best” versus “what I really want and desire to do right now”. This has long been the topic of study and debate, but has never been quite understood, for there are many different theories on our interaction with our thought to emotion. As we experience certain feelings and emotions, we try to understand why this happens, yet we often turn to the philosophers of early times. Always pondering the concepts of reasoning, emotions, and desires within themselves, rather than the scientific viewpoint we look at today, philosophers formed a variety of theories on how the relation comes about. In particular, Aristotle, Plato, and the Stoics had very knowledgeable and profound theories, yet each one of their viewpoints was very different from each other. On one side, Aristotle’s and Plato’s versions, present a multi-parted view of the soul. They argue that reason should control desire, and in some arguments, control passion. The Stoics, however, present a holistic view, or the idea that the human soul is rational and not divided. After studying both theories, a multi-parted view of the soul presents the most rational explanation for the internal psychological conflict we experience daily.
Plato best describes his view on reason and emotions in Republic: Book 9. Plato, agreeing on a ...

... middle of paper ...

... of Ancient Philosophy. Ed. Julia Annas. New York: Oxford, 2001. 85-92. Print.
Aristotle. "Nicomachean Ethics." Voices of Ancient Philosophy. Ed. Julia Annas. New York: Oxford, 2001. 92-95. Print.
"The Early Stoics on Emotion." Voices of Ancient Philosophy. Ed. Julia Annas. New York: Oxford, 2001. 97-98. Print.
Seneca. "On Anger I." Voices of Ancient Philosophy. Ed. Julia Annas. New York: Oxford, 2001. 100-109. Print.
Euripides. "Medea." Voices of Ancient Philosophy. Ed. Julia Annas. New York: Oxford, 2001. 92-95. Print.
Julia Annas Voices of Ancient Philosophy. New York: Oxford, 2001. Print.
"Desire." Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2013.
"Hooters History." Hooters The Original Hooters History Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2013.
"Game Day Fantasy - Buffalo Blue Cheese Burger at Carl's Jr." YouTube. YouTube, 27 Sept. 2013. Web. 16 Oct. 2013.

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