Reason and Emotion. part 1

As a budding counselor philosopher I find myself pondering what reason and what emotion might actually be in the determination of the human being in the world.

I might be wrong, and please, anyone who knows any authors or has any suggestions– I don’t think the idea of “reason” has been parsed out. Even when I am writing about reason, I am relying upon two different ideas of what reason is. In general, though, in my philosophy I don’t really have a requirement for the discernment that I’m making right here, because of the way that I address the topic.

But it when it comes to actually applying the practicality of counseling upon a truth of philosophy, I am noticing that I just might have to try and make a distinction.

Of course we have the Kant Kind of reason which really echoes out into time and tradition in both directions of past and future from his point but also in the continuing reverberations as we have supplied for as now I think of him and the reason and the like.

The distinction I’m thinking about — and I’m just kind of playing around with ideas here, kind of using this as a workspace, and if people want to help me with this – totally welcome. There is the kind of philosophy “reason” that we, I think we, think of when we talk about reason philosophically; I think this kind of reason is the thing that most philosophers are considering when they talk about the phenomenon or phenomenology or reflection or any of the kind of continental authors. It is against this philosophical reason that people come to spiritual ideas such as transcendence or “one consciousness” or some sort of universal truth in which we are spiritually a part of or something like that, like a sort of “one spiritual fulfillment of emptiness”. But also the Judaic “unknowable God”. Or the mystical “veil-cloud of unknowing”. As though Reason is “full” existence, and without reason we have what is left: spiritual nothing.

But also just philosophy in general: reason is taken as that mode which is going into philosophical treaties (sp) while also being the object of its reflection, that is the topic of whatever piece. Personally, I think we’ve figured out what this “philosophical reason” is, would it produces, what it does, all that stuff. (but showing this is also part of my work). It may have taken us 250 years or something like that or 2500 years, or 25,0000, depending on what people wanna argue, but I think we have a pretty good picture, a pretty good workable picture. And of course people will continue to say that no we haven’t and so here we going to talk about it some more. I definitely see this “talking about it some more” as a from a Kierkegaard perspective and ask “where is everyone going”? And then I sort of Mark that place of departure where people continue past, and I call that “conventional philosophy”, that philosophical area which “has gone past”.

My work involves establishing parameters to some thing which is understood to not have parameters.

So: reason.

Or: that which has parameters beyond which is not knowable.

The first definition of reason I would say is the philosophical one that I tried to lay out above. It imposes, rejects, reduces, denies and enforces, amongst other matters of discernment. And through those operations allows for ethical choices.

The second definition of reason I would put more as something that I am not doing right now. And I say this in the sense that of course I am using reason right now, but also something else is going on. It is a philosophical non-Sequitur to reduce everything to the sort of physical empirical true one unitive universe that human beings have access to through cognitive ability, for a term. Butt, and I say this as your ass: I am not arguing that there is not such a unitive real universe.

I am not arguing a metaphysical truth. I am looking at what is. Of course there are papers to be written and I’m sure I will write them one day and publish them.

For now what is, what is being, I just go with the phenomenal subject: for another term: Dasien (and sure people can argue all they want that this is not the same as the phenomenological reduction and they can argue all the distinctions between the various ways that authors want to put things. And I concede to that method, and I say that it is not incorrect and that I am not attempting to prove that that method of coming up on real things or discerning real things is somehow false or incorrect. I am simply talking In a different manner, using, what I call, a different method-o-logical basis.)

I just go with it. I understand it as a thing in itself, in the sense of Graham Harman’s object oriented philosophy. You can go read some of his stuff and figure that out. 😜

And for all you phenomenologists out there, the question of how we get outside of the phenomenal correlation, Cedric Nathaniel discusses that in his book “the philosophical hack: the concluding unscientific postscript to event”. And you can buy the first part for three dollars right now! 👽

So likewise I understand reason as a thing in-itself, an object. And then I ask myself what is this reason doing and then I attempt to find out what it actually is by what it is doing. I do not attempt to make an argument about what it is through what it might actually be; like I said go read Graham Harman, my approach is not very dissimilar to what he lays down. (But I don’t think he would say we can find a thing by what it does.)

And once I detach myself from this thing called reason to be able to see this object, this universal object, called reason, Then I am able to notice that it indeed is not a crowning head of human consciousness in a Kabbalistic , Tree of Life, kind of fashion. Like I said, for sure it is, but I’m not talking about it from that standpoint right now.

And so, if reason is not some transcendental-immanent Universo-Hegelian historically real aspect that I can Will or make myself become in alignment with through any sort of the use of reason, then I have to ask myself : what is reason involved with, what is it dependent on in order to achieve this status that appears to everyone as sacrosanct human subjective consciousness?


So here’s what I’m pondering.

Let us say there was some sort of instrument that we developed to measure emotional states, like a quantitative assessment that we could take a group of people and get data from them, numerical data, as to, say, intensity of emotion in a general sense. Maybe they carry around an app and at various times of the day and they would just rate themselves, say, on a scale of 1 to 43. Of how intense their emotions are at any particular time in the day. It doesn’t matter necessarily what emotion it is; maybe we could even put something in the app about what emotion they think they’re feeling and the intensity, but really we could , I’m just thinking of emotional intensity.

So and then we chart this, we graph it. And we get this chart that has varying numerical representations of the feeling or the intensity of feeling of any emotion over a period of time.

Maybe I’ll leave it here. And do a part 2

Author: landzek

My name is Lance Kair, a philosopher, a counselor and a musician who is being questioned.

8 thoughts on “Reason and Emotion. part 1”

  1. When I taught undergraduate economics, I had to convey the notion of rationality and the ability to reason. In essence, I distilled it to the ability to determine the ‘better’ action. If I offer you a choice of £1 and £5, it would be rational or reasonable to take the £5. Humans are OK and this task, but in many things only slightly more straightforward, they are Predictably Irrational.


  2. Taxonomically, emotion and reason are not opposites. An emotion predicates a reason to support it. In the language of Kahneman, emotion is a system I response whilst reason operates out of system II. System I is quasi-autonomic; system II is deliberate and difficult. Humans are still not very good at parsing system II events.


    1. One could argue that such a taxonomy is not emotional, not founded in emotion, that it is, founded in Reason. Any definition we could put forward would be predicated on Reason, as you say.

      I’ll say some more in a post.


      1. As a very analytical, hyper-rational, and stoic person, oftentimes referenced as Mr Spock, I used to believe that reason could by and large Trump emotion. Experientially, I have not found this to be true.


      2. I don’t think I could self-assess, though perhaps retrospectively after the passage of time, I could finger where emotion trumped reason. 😉

        I might attempt to approach it as we approach preference in economics, with Iso curves, but this is just smoke and mirrors in microeconomics, and I feel the limitations and results would be similar.


  3. Excellent post! And you being a councelor brought this clarity in your understanding of the reason and hence your definition of it. Thank you for this, we all need this sort of clarifying analysis of concepts


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