Another great example in the Shakespearian tragedy “King Lear”. Lear let his emotions of the moment; anger, rage and disbelief overrule his better judgment. When his daughter did not give him the answer he wanted to hear he did not realise that it did not mean she didn’t love him. She did love, more then her sister but she didn’t want to play by his rules. If emotions had not got in the way, he would not have disowned her and then been left out in the cold to fend for himself by his other horrible daughters.
Lear used emotion as knowledge and it only led to bad decisions that he later regretted , along with tragedy. If he had taken the time to think over his decision, calm down and disregard how his emotions made him feel, he probably would have made a better decision. Let’s also look at Hamlet. From the beginning of the play you can see that emotions played a major part in Hamlet’s life. After he learned that his father’s death was at the hands of his uncle he vowed to seek revenge. This was a decision made by the emotions that he was feeling at the time.
He was outraged at what his uncle had done and also in a state of mourning and missing his father. From there on he let emotions interfere and keep him from directly killing his uncle. He tried to use madness as a disguise. You may be wondering if this works but I would have to say no. By hiding behind madness it led him to go mad, scare loved ones and to make bad decisions. If Hamlet had not let emotion get in the way of the task at hand , he would have saved himself a lot of trouble and spared many innocent lives.
Most of Shakespeare’s plays show people battling with McMullin 4 emotions, making decisions based on them and then deeply regretting these decisions. In conclusion, with all of these examples I am not saying that I do not believe emotions can enhance reasoning as a way of knowledge but, I would have to agree that we often make good decisions based on how we feel. When we are younger we depend on emotions to communicate what we want or need. We depend on our parents ability to use emotions as a way of knowing what we want.
It is almost impossible to keep emotions from interfering at all, for everything we do is based on emotion but we should try to keep it from interfering too much and being the sole cause of our decision. Also, if you are trying to make a group decision it helps to convince others if you are passionate. If you let your emotions show others will agree based on their emotions. But on the other hand emotion can definitely undermine reasoning as a way of knowledge.
Emotion can not be used as knowledge and if they are, it can led to bad decisions that we will later regret when we have time to calm down and think them over. My opinion would be that emotion both enhances and undermines reasoning as a way of knowing. It can be both helpful and hurtful and you have to be very careful when making decisions based on it. I would suggest to use emotion not as knowledge, but as a tool along with knowledge. We have to make decisions with both our heads and hearts!