Since How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker,
Since emotions impel action through mechanism, once an organism is faced with two equal choices, they would die in the attempt to figure out which to pick without something impelling them to make a choice. In How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker, he gives an example of an animal that is both hungry and thirsty; and the animal is unable to stand between a berry bush and a lake while trying to rationalize what the best decision to make is, therefore not pursuing all goals at once. In other words, it has to commit to its body one goal at a time. Plato has described this topic as such: emotion and reason as two horses pulling us in opposite directions. This concludes us metaphorically to an irrational assumption. Irrational emotions (something we commonly do) could be argued to be just a manner of speech. However, when we say that, we mean that irrational beliefs about reality are the cause that lead to emotion irrationality. For example, the fear of flying is irrational, because they would come along with irrational decisions. Emotions are powerful experiences every human needs to go through, and sometimes they don’t last as long as others. They are able to control us into doing something we will later regret, and in the heat of moment we make choices that hurt our long term interests, this leads up the irrationality of the emotion, because it forces us into doing something our normal rational mind wouldn’t want to do. Emotions are more susceptible to more judgements made by individuals, and most of the time these emotions are fully divorced from rational thought. During the 1700’s David Hume argued that rationality is not the result of moral reasoning; in fact emotions drive our moral judgements. Furthermore, he argued that ‘reason’ was not enough to impel an individual to any action, most impulses such as that come from emotion. “Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions,” said David. By all means, an individual has to care one way or the other. This could be contrasted by having Sarte look at the paradigm of the rational world, the utilisable world. By all means, every desired goal is achieved with complete rationality by deterministic routes. This all causes the objects to gain more significance than usual by virtue of their help toward our goals. When we say emotions are irrational, we are judging the descriptions of emotional experiences, not the emotion itself in isolation. The relationship between the emotion and the object of that emotion appropriate or not?Is the emotion a rational response to its object?Is the person’s response coherent with their stated beliefs at the time? Jean -Paul Sartre answered to this with a rationalized theory of the emotions, believing that we can only make such a judgement after an event takes place, and not while we are experiencing it or ‘living’ it. Therefore, we are not living in a rational world, but in an irrational one. Sartre wanted to understand the conditions of existence which cause emotions to appear, linking it to consciousness of course; that led him to the conclusion that all emotions are inherently irrational because of the pre reflective consciousness that lives when these emotions occur. He believes that the world is transformed depending on our emotions and that contains ‘existential objectivity’ which means that the transformed world is our reality even though it is consciousness that chooses to transform the world, but it is not reflectively conscious of doing so. Obviously, plain-true emotion is not play-acting hence when we believe in an emotion – we must believe in the world which it appears in. According to Sartre, the emotional needs complete a modification of our being-in-the-world, which transforms the world from a rational to an inherently irrational one. This is because we cease to use reason with common sense, which is why the emotional world can be seen as the paradigm of unreasonable world – where the normal chains of reasoning do not apply. A functional account of emotions that Sartre has done says that we often find ourselves in the ‘magical world’ once the rational world places impossible tasks on us and we find ourselves under strong demands. In cases like this, we escape to the world of emotion in acceptance that emotional responses are in some sense inherently irrational. Emotions are strategies in which humans use to manipulate themselves into acting up their own self-image, emotions are the product of one’s behavior over time and can be consciously developed or discouraged depending upon how we react in certain circumstances. Emotions could be rational as long as they are functional, emotions have evolved along with human beings and have gone through natural selection. However, the functions make the emotions still serve, and that made them more valuable in the past. Emotion is the byproduct of evolved traits where they are able to exist in rationality because they achieve certain basic human aspirations. Plato and David Hume believed that emotion and rationality are conflicting opposites. In anger people often impose and act as irrational but the behavior is most probably rational within the irrational emotion. The behavior has reason for why it could be acting this way – and it’s reason is almost all the time due to the irrational emotions. We could judge if an emotion is rational or irrational by the following:It can be more or less accurate in the perception or understanding of the situation it involves.It can be more or less warranted in its evaluation of the situation. Hume constantly insisted that reason itself gave no motivation to trigger moral behavior, only emotions could possibly do that. Emotion serve very important functions in our lives. As summarized by Stanford University’s Elise Dan-Glauser and James Gross (2013), emotions are “patterned appraisals that lead us to coordinated changes across experiential, behavioral, and physiological response systems” (p. 832). We tend to base most our emotions on our perceptions of our surrounding. In turn, our emotion show one or more patterns of behavior.