Logic and Emotion, Rationality and Romanticism
Overview
These two related conflicts are representative of a broader conflict between the rational/empiricist and the romantic tendencies in western philosophical thought. Rather than choosing one side over the other, a synthesis is sought of elements from each.
The conflict between logic and emotion takes place in the mind of the individual, that between reason and romanticism belongs to society rather than the individual. Is this essentially the same game in these two different but interrelated arenas?
Two constrasting views of the proper relationship between the logical and emotional elements of the human psyche, which may be thought representative of distinct lines of development of western philosophy are dissected with a view to a synthesis.
Two contrasting views of the proper relationship between the logical and emotional elements of the human psyche, which may be thought representative of distinct lines of development of western philosophy are dissected with a view to a synthesis.
A Parallel
The conflict between logic and emotion takes place in the mind of the individual, that between reason and romanticism belongs to society rather than the individual. Is this essentially the same game in these two different but interrelated arenas?
Game Plan
What I have in mind is to discuss these two things separately along similar lines, and also draw out the obvious parallels. In both cases it seems to me that the conflict in both cases rests upon a misunderstanding and can to some degree can be alleviated by relevant insights. The relevant insights I believe to be, in the first case psychological, concerning the respective roles and interplay between the intellectual and emotional aspects of the human psyche and in the second case sociological, concerning the respective roles of rational debate and cultural legacy in social evolution.
Rationalism and Romanticism
We associate logic and reason on the one hand with the rationalist tendency, and emotion and romanticism with the romantic. Both of these traditions tends to favour one side and deprecate the other. I take the view not only that the two sides, in both cases, are not, or if properly understood should not, be regarded as conflicting. It is best to seek to understand more fully how they work together, so that they may each fulfil their proper roles.
Logic and Emotion
Two constrasting views of the proper relationship between the logical and emotional elements of the human psyche, which may be thought representative of distinct lines of development of western philosophy are dissected with a view to a synthesis.
The Two Positions in Brief
On the one hand (rational) that emotions, being primitive and bad, should be held in check by the intellect. On the other (romantic) that, though primitive, they are good and should be freely expressed.
The Psychology of Reason and Emotion
These positions are both founded in the same fallacious conception of the relationship between reason and emotion and their respective roles.
The Synthesis
The presumed independence of emotion and reason are illusory. Rather than chosing which is right, we should understand how they relate and let them work together.
Rationality and Romanticism
Two contrasting views of the proper relationship between the logical and emotional elements of the human psyche, which may be thought representative of distinct lines of development of western philosophy are dissected with a view to a synthesis.
Introduction
We look to the origins of Romanticism as a reaction against the Enlightenment.
The Enlightenment
The Enlightenment was a period of excessive zeal for reason and science in which their scope was grossly overstated.
Romanticism
Romanticism reacted against the idea that purposes and values could be scientifically determined with an endorsement of values and purposes revealed to us by our own personal inner voice.
A Synthesis
A romantic existential expressionist philosophy of life is conceived of as a philosophy on a more fundamental plane (at least existentially) than the rational search for knowledge. That enterprise may still form a part of such a life, if, perhaps, held in line with appearances by an appropriately sceptical attitude.

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Created:2006/4/10

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