Emotion or Reason?

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PhilipOSopher
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Emotion or Reason?

Post by PhilipOSopher » August 23rd, 2014, 6:57 am

Within my drama classes, I was intrigued to come across the practitioner Antonin Artaud's ideas on theatre. According to his theory, a production should be centred around shared emotional experience between the actors and spectators and should aim to access primal emotions through delving into the subconscious. In order to access the subconscious, according to Artaud theatre cannot be rational - it must use a juxtaposition of images and symbols to do this rather than logical dialogue for example (look up his play 'Jet of Blood' - many see it as disturbing nonsense but you'll see what I mean). But what I think we should consider first is which part of the human mind's makeup should we address within not just theatre but also in the arts as a whole? Which is a more effective means in which to get across the message of a piece of art? And are there any reasons to suggest whether one is better than the other? Humans are no doubt both emotional and rational beings to some extent - but which side should art seek to address?

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Re: Emotion or Reason?

Post by Misty » August 24th, 2014, 1:44 am

Human mind makeup is limited by population size. Human teachers, artists,etc.,and the students, impart and acquire differently. Many more ways than the two you have stated. Emotional and non emotional, rational and irrational all send messages so art should seek to address all sides.
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Re: Emotion or Reason?

Post by Granth » August 25th, 2014, 7:02 am

Every side, but not necessarily within one piece or in one perspective of a piece. In other words, art should be viewed as we view ourselves and each other. We are pieces and aspects of the one.

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Re: Emotion or Reason?

Post by Theophane » August 27th, 2014, 10:24 am

Both! They're better together than they are apart. When they're synthesized, emotion and reason merge and become a third thing: wisdom.

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Re: Emotion or Reason?

Post by Ami » October 13th, 2014, 3:37 am

PhilipOSopher wrote:Humans are no doubt both emotional and rational beings to some extent - but which side should art seek to address?
Neither. These are the same system. Thought and emotion form a system called "egoic consciousness". There is another way of existing and that is sometimes called "true self". True self is where creativity comes out of. It is the area of the spiritual, of love, compassion, and so on. There is no shortage of neurotic art: it makes up most of the canon. Rational versus emotional is a non-question: they form an integrated reactive mechanism; the other rarer kind of art aims at bypassing that cultural and conditioned kind of art and touching the divine.
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Re: Emotion or Reason?

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » October 14th, 2014, 9:06 am

PhilipOSopher wrote: Which is a more effective means in which to get across the message of a piece of art? And are there any reasons to suggest whether one is better than the other? Humans are no doubt both emotional and rational beings to some extent - but which side should art seek to address?
I can see what you're getting at, the divide. I think of artwork made totally of language on one end of the dichotomy (a novel?), and maybe one of Marina Abramovic's performance tableaus on the other. Or a giant Anselm Keifer painting which just hits you in the gut.

It's interesting that "Jet of Blood" is generally considered unstagable, so it only really exists on the page and in our imaginations. Artaud gave birth to modern theater, in some ways gave his life for it?

To answer the question, in my opinion an artwork can work both ways and in any mixture inbetween, an artist a lot to work with.

Unlanguaged artworks of pure form and color can be sabotaged by language, and often are.

-- Updated October 14th, 2014, 8:07 am to add the following --
3uGH7D4MLj wrote:
PhilipOSopher wrote: Which is a more effective means in which to get across the message of a piece of art? And are there any reasons to suggest whether one is better than the other? Humans are no doubt both emotional and rational beings to some extent - but which side should art seek to address?
I can see what you're getting at, the divide. I think of artwork made totally of language on one end of the dichotomy (a novel?), and maybe one of Marina Abramovic's performance tableaus on the other. Or a giant Anselm Keifer painting which just hits you in the gut.

It's interesting that "Jet of Blood" is generally considered unstagable, so it only really exists on the page and in our imaginations. Artaud gave birth to modern theater, in some ways gave his life for it?

To answer the question, in my opinion an artwork can work both ways and in any mixture inbetween, an artist has a lot to work with.

Unlanguaged artworks of pure form and color can be sabotaged by language, and often are.
fair to say

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Re: Emotion or Reason?

Post by Hereandnow » May 26th, 2015, 8:05 pm

3uGH7D4MLj:
Unlanguaged artworks of pure form and color can be sabotaged by language, and often are.
That's interesting to me: because when something registers at a level beneath (or above?) language, presumably, it begs for critical discussion. Calling it "unlanguaged" raises the question, in what way? Then talk, theory, assimilation. This is what we do: We take what is out there and bring it to heel.

But don't get me wrong, I have long thought that language masks the world. All of our endless talk about what we do and where we'll go, and Oh, there's that party tonight and so forth and so on... To make the conversation move to a deeper level is a dangerous business; it can drive you mad to break up foundation of language upon which the world quite literally rests. Questions insinuate into the spaces between confidence and doubt and grow into a pathology. Artaud can drive you nuts. Pinter, too, though he does it through language. The Birthday Party, for example, uses language to get to that vicious core (in all of us?) that simply will not be assimilated.

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Re: Emotion or Reason?

Post by Greta » May 27th, 2015, 1:32 am

To paraphrase Einstein: Emotion without reason is blind. Reason without emotion is lame.

Each of us has our leanings - perhaps more emotional or intellectual - and that is reflected in our artistic tastes. Personally I can only take so much "Gestalt therapy" in drama before my ham-o-meter goes into the red zone.
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Re: Emotion or Reason?

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » May 27th, 2015, 1:30 pm

Greta wrote:To paraphrase Einstein: Emotion without reason is blind. Reason without emotion is lame.

Each of us has our leanings - perhaps more emotional or intellectual - and that is reflected in our artistic tastes. Personally I can only take so much "Gestalt therapy" in drama before my ham-o-meter goes into the red zone.
Greta, what about Samuel Becket's little plays?

I think I know what you mean, how much emoting can one stand? But isn't that just because it's a bad play? or player?

-- Updated May 27th, 2015, 12:43 pm to add the following --
Hereandnow wrote:3uGH7D4MLj:
Unlanguaged artworks of pure form and color can be sabotaged by language, and often are.
That's interesting to me: because when something registers at a level beneath (or above?) language, presumably, it begs for critical discussion. Calling it "unlanguaged" raises the question, in what way? Then talk, theory, assimilation. This is what we do: We take what is out there and bring it to heel.
Like a dog.

Yes, take the Kiefer painting, you can talk about it all day, you can write a book about it, but you won't capture the essence of the experience of seeing it.

I have a beef about our culture treating language as if it is reality. Nooo! Language is a crude coding system useful for communication, but it doesn't come close to expressing experience. So kids should be told, here's a Rothko, you can't explain it. You must experience it, reality is way bigger than language, develop your color perception vocabulary.

Words may help but if we could only teach experience appreciation. Why are you sitting in that concert hall? are you feeling something? are you changing? don't bother trying to put it into words. Use your feeling vocabulary, or try to develop one. See words for what they are.

I always have to say that I love words, that words are wonderful and can succeed fabulously, but still. The world is not words.
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Re: Emotion or Reason?

Post by Hereandnow » May 28th, 2015, 5:45 pm

3uGH7D4MLj
Words may help but if we could only teach experience appreciation. Why are you sitting in that concert hall? are you feeling something? are you changing? don't bother trying to put it into words. Use your feeling vocabulary, or try to develop one. See words for what they are.

I always have to say that I love words, that words are wonderful and can succeed fabulously, but still. The world is not words.

Interesting again. My take is probably even more toward the irrational: The world is not language and language is purely pragmatic, hence the reason why it fails to encompass what is real: language is wholly Other than the world. Language cannot "mirror" the world either because pragmatics (and I include Wittgenstein--arguably--, Rorty and the classical pragmatists) does not represent, copy or correspond; it only anticipates (in utility or use). The question for me is, when this dynamic system of problem solving meets the world, powerful, overwhelming in depth, quality and magnitude (so say I), where is the self? It's not so much the world being thought of as language, it is the self, the reduction of the self to language and pragmatics, that so offends Real encounter. Am I only language? No. then I and my world are utterly transcendent (to the understanding).

But this is where an true aesthete/aesthetician (theorist) stands, on the threshold of a pragmatic self and unspeakable reality. Terribly profound, if you're an aesthete and not just an intellectual.

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Re: Emotion or Reason?

Post by Greta » May 28th, 2015, 8:52 pm

3uGH7D4MLj wrote:
Greta wrote:To paraphrase Einstein: Emotion without reason is blind. Reason without emotion is lame.

Each of us has our leanings - perhaps more emotional or intellectual - and that is reflected in our artistic tastes. Personally I can only take so much "Gestalt therapy" in drama before my ham-o-meter goes into the red zone.
Greta, what about Samuel Becket's little plays?

I think I know what you mean, how much emoting can one stand? But isn't that just because it's a bad play? or player?
Tragically, I nothing about Samuel Beckett, other than he was a writer.

I got bored with post-apes pining after each other and obsessing over the swapping of bodily fluids etc in my teens. I feel like telling them that there's more to life than finding a partner and that, even when you find someone compatible, if they would be happier with someone else, then if you really cared about them you'd let them go with your blessings. Doesn't make for compelling fiction, does it?

"Honey, I've given this a lot of thought and I'm afraid I love another. I'm sorry.".

"Well, that is disappointing. Okay then, I don't own you and would like you to be happy. Be well and stay in touch".

"Thanks for being so understanding. I'm sure you'll find someone better than me soon. "

"Maybe. It's a lottery. I think I might relax a while before dating again".

The End :)
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Re: Emotion or Reason?

Post by Lagayscienza » May 29th, 2015, 3:43 am

Very sensible approach. I wish I could have back all the time I've squandered in life looking for sex, falling in love, falling out of love... Such a waste! Reason has become more valuable to me these days than emotion.

BTW, Greta, I can recommend Samuel Becket. I think his short stories are among the best ever written. Have a look at the one called "The End". It's incredibly ugly and wonderfully beautiful at the same time. Also, his play,"Waiting For Godot" is very tragic/funny/absurd and well worth seeing if you ever get the chance.
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Re: Emotion or Reason?

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » May 29th, 2015, 8:23 am

Hereandnow wrote:Interesting again. My take is probably even more toward the irrational: The world is not language and language is purely pragmatic, hence the reason why it fails to encompass what is real: language is wholly Other than the world. Language cannot "mirror" the world either because pragmatics (and I include Wittgenstein--arguably--, Rorty and the classical pragmatists) does not represent, copy or correspond; it only anticipates (in utility or use). The question for me is, when this dynamic system of problem solving meets the world, powerful, overwhelming in depth, quality and magnitude (so say I), where is the self? It's not so much the world being thought of as language, it is the self, the reduction of the self to language and pragmatics, that so offends Real encounter. Am I only language? No. then I and my world are utterly transcendent (to the understanding).

But this is where an true aesthete/aesthetician (theorist) stands, on the threshold of a pragmatic self and unspeakable reality. Terribly profound, if you're an aesthete and not just an intellectual.
Ha! Unspeakable reality. Nice.

This morning, out waking in the woods I saw a wild Geranium in bloom, and I take a look, and automatically think, "deeply lobed leaf," cataloging an identifying characteristic that may come in handy someday. It's fine, it's good, but why stop there? Why not take the flower for what it is, without name-calling, without language, physically, like a bee.

Deeply lobed leaf, not there's something important. You can read that in books. And, there may be a subtle alliterative enjoyment to the phrase, so language sucks you in. But you can know the flower without language.

Is language the chattering monkey mind that the Zen meditators try to conquer?

-- Updated May 29th, 2015, 7:39 am to add the following --
Greta wrote:Tragically, I nothing about Samuel Beckett, other than he was a writer.

I got bored with post-apes pining after each other and obsessing over the swapping of bodily fluids etc in my teens. I feel like telling them that there's more to life than finding a partner and that, even when you find someone compatible, if they would be happier with someone else, then if you really cared about them you'd let them go with your blessings. Doesn't make for compelling fiction, does it?

"Honey, I've given this a lot of thought and I'm afraid I love another. I'm sorry.".

"Well, that is disappointing. Okay then, I don't own you and would like you to be happy. Be well and stay in touch".

"Thanks for being so understanding. I'm sure you'll find someone better than me soon. "

"Maybe. It's a lottery. I think I might relax a while before dating again".

The End :)
Thanks for the emotional little short story Greta, these forums get so dull. :)

You are throwing out 90% of what powers our culture, oh the babies, oh the bathwater! The humanity! Can you tone it down a bit, I'm getting misty. The strongest reading is the one which opens the most paths of understanding. But don't ask me why that popped out exactly then.

I remember watching an interview with an old-time jazz blues musician, can't remember who but he said, talking about the boy-meets-girl business, "it makes the world go round." Made me rethink.

-- Updated May 29th, 2015, 7:49 am to add the following --
PhilipOSopher wrote:Within my drama classes, I was intrigued to come across the practitioner Antonin Artaud's ideas on theatre. According to his theory, a production should be centred around shared emotional experience between the actors and spectators and should aim to access primal emotions through delving into the subconscious. In order to access the subconscious, according to Artaud theatre cannot be rational - it must use a juxtaposition of images and symbols to do this rather than logical dialogue for example (look up his play 'Jet of Blood' - many see it as disturbing nonsense but you'll see what I mean). But what I think we should consider first is which part of the human mind's makeup should we address within not just theatre but also in the arts as a whole? Which is a more effective means in which to get across the message of a piece of art? And are there any reasons to suggest whether one is better than the other? Humans are no doubt both emotional and rational beings to some extent - but which side should art seek to address?
Artaud is a special case. One has to make allowances for mad geniuses. His theater in Paris was named for Alfred Jarry, a precursor and also mad genius. You probably know Peter Brook's book The Open Space, it's a good bridge between Artaud and reality. Also look into Susan Sontag's Artaud writings.

-- Updated May 29th, 2015, 7:57 am to add the following --

One more thing, the Eden story again, the writer sets up what will follow by giving Adam language. He's the namer in chief. It's his only job, God has him name all the animals. One more perceptive identifier of humanity!

-- Updated May 30th, 2015, 6:58 am to add the following --
Hereandnow wrote:Interesting again. My take is probably even more toward the irrational: The world is not language and language is purely pragmatic, hence the reason why it fails to encompass what is real: language is wholly Other than the world. Language cannot "mirror" the world either because pragmatics (and I include Wittgenstein--arguably--, Rorty and the classical pragmatists) does not represent, copy or correspond; it only anticipates (in utility or use). The question for me is, when this dynamic system of problem solving meets the world, powerful, overwhelming in depth, quality and magnitude (so say I), where is the self? It's not so much the world being thought of as language, it is the self, the reduction of the self to language and pragmatics, that so offends Real encounter. Am I only language? No. then I and my world are utterly transcendent (to the understanding).

But this is where an true aesthete/aesthetician (theorist) stands, on the threshold of a pragmatic self and unspeakable reality. Terribly profound, if you're an aesthete and not just an intellectual.
This comment is pretty amazing, thanks.

I know a bit of Rorty, like him quite a bit, less about Wittgenstein. Can you comment on what you say here about pragmatics and anticipation?

Also thanks for bringing in the self. I like the way you breezily refer to Real encounter. where does this vocabulary come from?

And can you clarify the bit about the self being transcendent to the understanding?
fair to say

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Re: Emotion or Reason?

Post by Belinda » May 30th, 2015, 3:24 pm

3uGH7D4MLj wrote:
This morning, out waking in the woods I saw a wild Geranium in bloom, and I take a look, and automatically think, "deeply lobed leaf," cataloging an identifying characteristic that may come in handy someday. It's fine, it's good, but why stop there? Why not take the flower for what it is, without name-calling, without language, physically, like a bee.

Deeply lobed leaf, not there's something important. You can read that in books. And, there may be a subtle alliterative enjoyment to the phrase, so language sucks you in. But you can know the flower without language.

Is language the chattering monkey mind that the Zen meditators try to conquer?
I understand the question but

Love is relationship , and relationships are socially constructed. There are some people who have never learned to care for wild flowers. Wild flowers were not part of their human culture. I care for wild geraniums and I encourage cranesbill on my gravel drive wherever it wants to grow. I wondered why it's called 'cranesbill' and I found out that it was noticed that the back part of the flower is peaked like a crane's bill. Now you have reminded me that its leaves are deeply lobed, and I like the flower all the more for those associations. There is no life without culture. Even a feral child learns the culture of the animal that rears him.

The picture in an art gallery which has no meaning but is all abstract form absorbs some meaning from its selection for an art gallery . The newborn baby is not tabula rasa, as it has heard its mother's voice in the womb.
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Re: Emotion or Reason?

Post by Hereandnow » May 30th, 2015, 6:44 pm

This comment is pretty amazing, thanks.

I know a bit of Rorty, like him quite a bit, less about Wittgenstein. Can you comment on what you say here about pragmatics and anticipation?

Also thanks for bringing in the self. I like the way you breezily refer to Real encounter. where does this vocabulary come from?

And can you clarify the bit about the self being transcendent to the understanding?
Take too long for a post. Sartre and his radical contingency is a good place to look. See his novel Nausea. Then there is the mystery of ethics and aesthetics. Wittgenstein wrote a short essay On Ethics, which is here: http://www.geocities.jp/mickindex/wittg ... et_en.html

Short and very revealing: Value is the "stuff" of ethics. What is value? A very different question from others; it's not grounded empirically, but comes from somewhere else.this is not a matter of judgment in taste, as the classical work in aesthetics goes. Rather, it is an ontological question: What IS it? Not the pain, but the value of the pain, the "badness" of it. Words can't say it and it can't be counted among the facts. It's not a fact, the goodness of this love I feel, the horror of knowing I'll have my tongue cut out. This drives me mad with curiosity.

Wittgenstein says ethical statements are absurd or impossible, like talking about the Being itself: nonsense. But he means that you can't talk about it; it is unspeakable, for ethical statements are absolutes: You should not beat a fellow human, and even if you can justify doing it, still, it is wrong, somehow, to hurt, maim, abuse, etc., no matter what.) I can justify torturing a person (if I don't do it, someone else will do it to ten people!) but notwithstanding, it still inexplicably possesses the element of "wrongness". Wrongness stands apart form the world, all those horrors and delights that we are thrown into. Value is transcendental, like Being qua Being, unspeakable; and yet, it IS the world. Our language sits as a superstructure, a pragmatic superstructure upon the real. we grow so accustomed to thinking and speaking this becomes, so to speak, reified by familiarity. Artaud and others want to shock us into seeing through the veil of ordinary language that has come to rule over us, pacifying , placating, mesmerizing; and we obey. Check out Guy Debord and the Situationists, his Society of the Spectacle is very provocative. Ironically, debord thinks we are alienated from something that lies underneath (and I VERY much agree) but he ends up drinking himself to death.

Pragmatists think that the attempt to "know" the world in the traditional sense is impossible (like Wittgenstein) and that knowing is all about grasping what works. these intuitions we have about the cognitive apprehension of a thing may feel like Truth (there is a cup on the table) but it really cumulative consummation(see Dewey, Experience and Nature) of a history of pragmatic encounters.

But knowing is not experiencing! Not Being here. We are and are in the midst of absolute transcendence.

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