Type: Research
Pages: 4 | Words: 1188
Reading Time: 5 Minutes

Emotions make live colorful, reason adds meaning to our existence. A human being is a complex structure represented by a body and mind. This rather cynic statement enables us to take into pieces and study under the careful attention the aspects of human life and behavior such as reason and an emotion. Reason and an emotion fall within the sphere of mind. Sometimes, they are referred to as a binary opposition, or a complete and whole transaction of a human mind. The dominance one over another has often been discussed in different studies since the ancient times. The problem is philosophical and psychological. Isaac Asimov represents an interesting view on the question in his work The Eureka Phenomenon.

Reason may be determined as the ability and a process of thinking about something in order to make a judgment. Thinking, according to Asimov, is a “double phenomenon like breathing” (Asimov). The process is compared to inhaling and exhaling that corresponds to the idea of thinking and understanding. People used to believe that reason is located in the mind, while the emotion is in the heart. There is a tendency in comparing and contrasting rational to emotional. Emotions are described as signals created by brain in order to help us to experience a particular feeling (fear, sadness, happiness) in accordance to a situation. There are no clear boundaries between reason and the emotion, as the two phenomena are the result of the work of the mind. The author of the essay The Eureka Phenomenon does not directly writes about reason and the emotion, but we may draw a parallel line between the process of thinking consciously and the relaxation which involves emotions. To Asimov’s opinion, constant thinking leads to no satisfactory results and demands minutes of relaxation. He believes that finding answers create certain pressure that develops into panic. This forces a person “to go on uselessly, with each added bit of useless effort adding to the panic in a vicious cycle” (Asimov). We may suggest that he finds reason to be superior to the emotion. One is a productive mechanism of creating something, and the other excludes (not necessarily always) conscious thinking. Going to a movie with a lot of action scenes in it, presents a good opportunity for a person to reveal in his, or hers emotions (this is what the mass media tends to do). We can conclude reason to be more approving term to the emotion, which is pejorative.

The distinctive feature of reason is that there is no sensation of tiredness, or physical awareness of it. Emotions, on the contrary, do have their ways to be exhausted, or displayed, and, what is more important, they are shown immediately: mimics, body moves, tears, and smiles. Reason has a temporal aspect. Thinking is a process, not an instant response to a situation, like emotions are. It takes time, for example: “But then I sat and thought for a while”.

Reason takes effort that is why it is more effective, and valued than the emotions. People are born with genetically determined set of emotions, while only a few human beings have a brain that is capable of solving difficult problems, like Archimedes did, who “had the greatest intellect the world was to see prior to the birth of Newton” (Asimov). The high appreciation of reason suggests the emotion be a less approving term.

The emotion is a pejorative term due to its common mechanisms. Reason is special and individual. It gives a possibility to produce new things, which do not exist before they are thought about. No emotion inspires to do that. Isaac Asimov gives an example with Archimedes:

“There is no known way, sire, to carry through a non-destructive determination of volume.”

“Then think of one”.

Figuratively speaking, reason creates new pathways in the life, and the emotion can crawl through those pathways to help people appreciate new creations with admiration. We can find these terms to be opposite: one is approved and another is a pejorative. A great deal of defining reason and the emotion plays an associative role. Psychologist say people trust reason over the emotion, as reason means different calculations, an intense thinking, time and a result. Emotions are interpreted with the help of the concepts, which are: involuntary, hard to control, dynamic, and destructive.

The work of the brain resembles puzzles. A person can not get the whole picture, unless all the elements are in their places. Emotions distract from the purpose and may mislead, that is why they are seldom approved. People are motivated first to think, understand, and then feel. As the author develops his thought: “Scientists are wedded to reason, to the meticulous working out of consequences from assumptions, to the careful organization of experiments designed to check those consequences” (Asimov). Emotions can focus our attention only on the one aspect of the problem. Reason encourages us to see any situation from different angles in order to make a better and objective decision. This is one more explanation, why reason is approved in comparison to the emotion. Emotions are strictly subjective, while reason is objective. A rational person thinks about the probable consequences of every action, which is impossible when emotions take over.

In the context of decision making we can say that reason matters more. Reason and emotion can be contrasted with rational and irrational. Irrational evokes desires, and desires lead to dreams, rather than purposes.

People may behave contrary to what is right for them, deny reason under the influence of emotions, passion. It is also possible, that reason keeps emotions under control, so people can follow their “heads”, not “hearts”. This, sometimes, serves as a criterion while judging one’s character. We can call a person, who is rational, a strong one, while an emotional person is considered to be a weak one. This follows from the generalized opinion that reason is approved and the emotion is not.

We come to a conclusion, according to which reason and the emotion are two opposite notions and they are usually contrasted. It is reason that is approved and valued in society; while emotions are believed to be a weakness. The emotion is a pejorative term, because it is common, subjective, can mislead a person, has not a productive result, and does not help to make a decision. Isaac Asimov trusts reason over the emotion. It is also know to be a good idea to relax after long and strenuous thinking. Our brain does thinking and feeling, still we can choose on what terms to conduct and live. People may be able to switch from thinking to feeling in order to experience the eureka phenomena, which is “a flash of deep insight during a moment of relaxation” (Asimov). A human being is born with emotions and ability to think. It is involuntary, but one usually dominates another. Reason and the emotion are strongly connected and can coexist together, help to create and find new ways of seeing old things. Still, reason is what differs one person form another, what develops civilizations. The progress defines the meaning of reason, while emotions keep knocking the doors of rational, and sometimes, people let them in.

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