The Heart Knows…really?

“It is all a state of mind…we get to chose how we are going to feel, we control our emotions.”

How do you feel….about the statement above?

How do our emotions contribute to our acquisition of knowledge?

How do emotions battle or align with our sense of reason to challenge or confirm our understanding?

Emotions and Science – the story of Phineas Gage.  Check out the story on this website. What does this suggest about emotions and Human Science as Ways and Areas of knowing?  There are a number of Youtube videos on the subject…go ahead and check a couple out – under what circumstances would you like to have your emotions “turned off”?


  1. A natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.
  2. Any of the particular feelings that characterize such a state of mind, such as joy, anger, love, hate, horror, etc.

Happiness, Anger, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, Joyful, bitter, surprise. Most people experience the entire spectrum of emotions in the course of their lives, these emotions inform our understanding of the world around us and allow us to share our feelings with others in our life. How do emotions help us know?



Oscar Wilde  (Picture of Dorian Gray) I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.

John Lennon One thing you can’t hide – is when you’re crippled inside

Pseudonymous Bosch Books can also provoke emotions. And emotions sometimes are even more troublesome than ideas. Emotions have led people to do all sorts of things they later regret-like, oh, throwing a book at someone else.

Friedrich Nietzsche One ought to hold on to one’s heart; for if one lets it go, one soon loses control of the head too.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe All the knowledge I possess everyone else can acquire, but my heart is all my own

David Hume Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions

Jean Racine Life is a comedy to those who think, a tragedy to those who feel

Alain de Botton The moment we cry in a film is not when things are sad but when they turn out to be more beautiful than we expected them to be.

Keith Richards (yes that Keith Richards) Music is the language that doesn’t speak in particular words. It speaks in emotions, and if it’s in the bones, it’s in the bones.

Judith Guest (Author of Ordinary People) People who keep stiff upper lips find that it’s damn hard to smile

Pascal Mercier A feeling is no longer the same when it comes the second time. It dies through the awareness of its return. We become tired and weary of our feelings when they come too often and last too long.

Voltaire Answer me, you who believe that animals are only machines. Has nature arranged for this animal to have all the machinery of feelings only in order for it not to have any at all?

Ralph Waldo Emerson For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness

Buddha Anger will never disappear so long as thoughts of resentment are cherished in the mind. Anger will disappear just as soon as thoughts of resentment are forgotten.

Abraham J. Heschel In a controversy, the instant we feel anger, we have already ceased striving for truth and have begun striving for o ourselves.

Anonymous Anger is only a natural reaction; one of the mind’s ways of reacting to things that it perceives to be wrong. While anger can sometimes lead people to do shocking things, it can also be an instinct to show people that something isn’t right.

C.S. Lewis The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That’s the deal.

Aristotle Anyone can be angry – that is easy. But to be angry with the right person to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose and in the right way – that is not easy.

A Classic Charlie Brown moment…

Emotions an obstacle to knowledge – and a source of knowledge.

How can emotions affect our perceptions – “love is blind” and emotions that are born of anger, envy, make it difficult to see the good in a person or situation.

Oakland Raider “fans” no emotion here right 😉

Reason is another way of knowing how is our ability to reason impacted by our passions?  Do you have a favorite team, or actor, or musician? When asked to evaluate or chose can you look past your passions to make a reasoned prediction?  Have you met many Saskatchewan Roughrider fans who bet against their team?  Ever look at the Oakland raider fans in the endzone seats…think they pick their team to lose very often? Our emotions can impact our ability to reason.

Universally loved…Mr. President?

Explore the emotions at work during an election. The passions that are part of a campaign clearly impact our thought process.

Candidate Romney…

Consider the fanatic – they simply cannot accept that their assumptions are possibly wrong and evidence to the contrary is either not considered or set aside.

Rationalizations – what does it mean to rationalize? How are emotions a factor in rationalization?

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