Plato believed that emotions and reasons work in an antagonistic manner. An account even compared the similarity of the two towards two horses pulling in opposite directions (Krueger). While reason should be the grandest ruler of all – human mind or soul – emotion, however, can act as an irrational interference.
On evolutionary hindsight, emotion has been helping humanity since far back our ancestor’s time. The animal instinct, which is distinct in both human and non-human animals, has promulgated a response mechanism to certain situations or scenario that may threaten the organism’s existence. Psychologist Paul Ekman described these as the basic emotions: anger, fear, surprise, disgust, joy, and sadness.
For us humans, we are easier swayed by the call to emotion rather than by the reason. This is why schemes appealing to our emotions appear much believable than an argument backed by a concrete reason. Perhaps this is why procrastinating has been widely promulgated in today’s generation: the youth prefers to follow disgust, fear, and/or anger – procrastination – over the task rather than the rational approach which is to quit procrastinating and actually finish the task. It can also be used to explain why the terminology Laude bago Lande has been conceptualized; students are swayed by feelings, of love, instead of studying. This can also be manipulated in numerous ways however, such as politicians appealing to audiences by their loss or death of a beloved, hardship stories in the market… I don’t know.
Perhaps this can be explicated by the fact that we learned emotion first, both evolutionary and birth. Under normal circumstances, humans cry right after they are born. This can be viewed in contrast to reason, which can only be learned or taught and is concurrently believed as not being innate. Emotions are within us from the moment of conception – we are hardwired, deep within our DNAs.
However we cannot primarily be based on emotions. Too much emotion can lead to the detriment of our rationality as humans. Without reason we are no different than other animals, acting on primal instinct. But without emotion, we will basically become robots. This is why it is important to know the golden mean, the middle of emotion and reason. As what Aristotle, student of Plato, once said “Excellence is preserved by the observance of the mean. ”
Camp, Jim. “Decisions Are Emotional, not Logical: The Neuroscience behind Decision Making.” 2012. Big Think. 3 December 2015 <www.bigthink.com>.
Clark, Josh. “What are emotions, and why do we have them?” n.d. Science — How Stuff Works. 3 December 2015 <www.science.howstuffworks.com>.
Krueger, Joachim Ph.D. “Reason and emotion: A note on Plato, Darwin, and Damasio.” 18 June 2010. Psychology Today. 5 November 2015 <www.psychologytoday.com>.
Simons, Ilana Ph.D. “Why Do We Have Emotions?” 19 November 2009. Psychology Today. 30 November 2015 <www.psychologytoday.com>.
Small, Meredith F. “Why Humans bother with Emotions.” 3 April 2008. Livescience. 30 November 2015 <www.livescience.com>.