The March Philosophy Book of the Month is Final Notice by Van Fleisher. Discuss Final Notice now.

The April Philosophy Book of the Month is The Unbound Soul by Richard L. Haight. Discuss The Unbound Soul Now

The May Philosophy Book of the Month is Misreading Judas by Robert Wahler.

Emotion or Reason?

Use this forum to have philosophical discussions about aesthetics and art. What is art? What is beauty? What makes art good? You can also use this forum to discuss philosophy in the arts, namely to discuss the philosophical points in any particular movie, TV show, book or story.
User avatar
Greta
Site Admin
Posts: 7935
Joined: December 16th, 2013, 9:05 pm

Re: Emotion or Reason?

Post by Greta » May 30th, 2015, 11:08 pm

3uGH7D4MLj wrote: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.
It makes the plant and animal world go around, so the very large chunk of animal within us thinks it's what makes the entire human world go around. What really makes the human world go around is learning and discovery, though admittedly much of that too can probably be ultimately traced back to sex and reproductive instincts. It's true there's no escaping our natural heritage, but it would also be nice not to dwell on it so much!

So much has become formulaic and meaningless. The lyrics become placeholders for the same message - over and over, like brainwashing:

I would like to form a relationship or engage in casual sex with you. It may or may not get freaky. I feel highly bonded to you, perhaps moreso than previously. It is a surprising and pleasing sensation. Once bonded, if that bond breaks I may not be able to carry on. Or I may carry on sadly. Or I will move on and screw you. After the bond is broken, even temporarily, I may be resentful and say bad things about you and impugn your character, or worse. However, I may later regret this and start to miss you and want you back. If we bond again we will remain bonded forever and nothing will break those bonds. I have decided this and you have no choice in the matter.

Have I missed any? This would seem to largely encapsulate the themes and sentiments of popular music in the last century, played out over and over in endless permutations.

Music and art are examples where great poignancy is available without words, the wordlessness to me, being a more pure expression:
Image

In each case the expression is emotional, but lent eloquence by the intellect and a passion for forms.
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated—Gandhi.

User avatar
3uGH7D4MLj
Posts: 934
Joined: January 4th, 2013, 3:39 pm

Re: Emotion or Reason?

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » May 31st, 2015, 9:45 am

The Motown men were so pathetic!

Ain't too proud to beg, Girl you could leave me a hundred times and a hundred times I'd take you back. When you snap your fingers, or wink your eye, I come a running to you, I’m tied to your apron strings, and there’s nothing I can do. :)

-- Updated May 31st, 2015, 6:54 pm to add the following --

Can I accuse you of creating a man of straw?

The OP says, "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."

You say that emotional content in culture is mostly sappy and romantic. You stand that idea up and then easily knock it down when the OP is really about important theatrical art which comes down to us from Artaud's theatre of cruelty.

-- Updated May 31st, 2015, 7:02 pm to add the following --
Hereandnow wrote: 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.

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.
Thanks for the reading list and your lucid confirmation of stuff I have been thinking, namely that we walk around in an ineffable cathedral of sensory information. I'll look into this stuff.

-- Updated May 31st, 2015, 7:22 pm to add the following --
Belinda wrote: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.
"Pay attention." Subversive maybe, but everything follows from that.

-- Updated June 1st, 2015, 8:17 am to add the following --

Hi again Belinda, Thanks for making me look up cranesbill, I haven't heard that name for the wild geranium. It's the long thin seed catapult that forms after the flower is gone, sticks straight up, looks like a crane's bill. There are some WGs that don't do this, but if it's a cranesbill it has the spring loaded seed-flinger mechanism. I may try to harvest some seeds.

-- Updated June 13th, 2015, 10:54 am to add the following --
Greta wrote:I would like to form a relationship or engage in casual sex with you. It may or may not get freaky. I feel highly bonded to you, perhaps moreso than previously. It is a surprising and pleasing sensation. Once bonded, if that bond breaks I may not be able to carry on. Or I may carry on sadly. Or I will move on and screw you. After the bond is broken, even temporarily, I may be resentful and say bad things about you and impugn your character, or worse. However, I may later regret this and start to miss you and want you back. If we bond again we will remain bonded forever and nothing will break those bonds. I have decided this and you have no choice in the matter.
What about the Japanese puppet genre that only exists to perform romantic double suicides?
fair to say

User avatar
Scruffy Nerf Herder
Posts: 24
Joined: November 29th, 2016, 3:51 am

Re: Emotion or Reason?

Post by Scruffy Nerf Herder » November 29th, 2016, 5:33 am

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's relatively idiosyncratic thoughts on theatre broach broader questions in relation to art, and they appear to be produce incongruity or at the least are incoherent because pitting emotion against reason in assessing anything is a false dichotomy.

Emotionalism and strict logic are incompatible. But logic and emotions themselves are not incompatible. Emotional states drive thinking; logical emotions aren't like "cardinal" emotions though, so to speak, rather there are subtle variations in mood that participate in thought reinforcement.

Coming to logical conclusions is naturally gratifying, because making elements in the world around us orderly and functional is of clear benefit to individuals as well as society. Proceeding further by critiquing abstract thoughts that are not immediately advantageous, is still consonant with this emotional reinforcement of less complicated behavior. There are emotions that compel us to be logical, just as there are emotions that compel us to be illogical.

Even emotionalism is logical towards a certain end, though. The problem is that it involves cognitive dissonance and the end itself is often not logical. As a method of forming conclusions it is still beholden to the same thought patterns, it just arrives at it's conclusions in a different manner from those thought patterns that it is predicated upon (order and functionality).

Here are two common objections to my line of thinking:

"Either something is true or it is not, no matter how one might feel about it."

Yes, that is how propositions/arguments work. But the thoughts that prefigure such statements occur in a mind that doesn't truly possess an emotionally neutral state.

"Remove the emotions - or most of them - and the thoughts become much clearer."

This may be true of removing particular emotions, but I think one should be compelled to grant even then that the urge itself to think "dispassionately" and critically is driven in part by an emotional investment in the value of that kind of reasoning.

Post Reply