Emotions and Knowledge

Report
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Traditional view - battle between reason and
emotion
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Traditional view - battle between reason and
emotion
What does the clip above tell us about the
relative importance of reason and emotion?
What does it also tell us about when the film
was made!?
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Even faced with such compelling evidence
many people still smoke.
Why?
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If we know something is bad (eg, smoking),
we can manufacture bad reasons to justify
this behaviour – the discomfort or negative
emotions we feel due to the conflict between
our actions and beliefs lead us to rationalise
our actions.
‘ I am familiar with the evidence that
smoking is bad for me, but I smoke. I know
loads of people who smoke and they are fine.
Nothing bad will happen to me. I don’t even
believe the evidence anyway.’
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Imagine: Your friend holds an emotional
prejudice against immigrants.
His tendency to rationalise can lead to a selfconfirming belief system about immigrants
- Biased perceptions – he notices only lazy immigrants
- fallacious reasoning – he makes hasty generalisations
- emotive language – he concludes that immigrants are
‘bone idle’ and ‘useless’
These factors reinforce the original prejudice and
make it difficult to be objective
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Think back to your last argument with
someone. Can you remember saying
something in the ‘heat of the moment?’
Turbulent emotions can distort our ability to
think clearly and behave intelligently.
Stoics advocated a state of mind called
apathy – without passion – in which the mind
could mirror reality in a calm and untroubled
way.
Can you imagine a life without human
emotions?
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Could it be argued that our emotions make
us human?
Brain damage patients with damage to their
emotional centers find it very difficult to
make decisions. Can you think why?
Antonio Damasio has explored this idea.....
Is it a question of finding a balance between
reason and emotion? Keeping our emotions
under control?
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Seinfeld: Emotional Intelligence - Self
Management – YouTube
intuitions
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What are intuitions?
Have you ever made a decision based on your
intuitions?
How reliable do you think intuitions are?
Are there any factors which increase this
reliability?
Malcolm Gladwell – ‘Blink’
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Is adversarial argument the best way to
decide someone’s innocence. Discuss. (800
words maximum) Due after the holiday.
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The justice system tries to make a decision
over guilt or innocence using reasoning
Is the ‘adversarial system’ the best way to do
this (Discuss advantages and disadvantages)
In what ways might ‘emotion’ interfere with
this process?
Other systems?
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a few more points on our judgements and
decision making for you to think about....

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