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TOK Current Events Presentation

Exploring the role of emotions in the natural sciences

Salma Salih

on 4 November 2012

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Transcript of TOK Current Events Presentation

Overview of situation: -Organ transplantation: moving of an organ from one body to another for the purpose of replacing the recipient's damaged or absent organ.

-Transplantation raises a number of bioethical issues: definition of death, when and how consent should be given for an organ to be transplanted and payment for organs for transplantation. Salma Salih Growing market for human organs:
Exploitation of the poor Significance of KI: -Natural Sciences are commonly assumed to be "emotion-less"-but it's done by humans who have emotions

-What are the benefits/disadvantages of using emotion as a way of knowing?

-How do we deal with scientific issues that trigger our emotions?
Personal Relevance: -Aspiring to be a doctor

-How do I define my emotional boundaries?

-Would these boundaries apply to other areas of knowledge as well? Other parts of my life? Knowledge Issue: What is the role of emotion in the natural sciences?
-Growing black market of human organs

-People selling their organs are exploited by unethical brokers and recipients This scar on a Bangladeshi woman is the result of selling a kidney. Emotion as a Way of Knowing Emotional Energy: -Emotions provide us with the energy to engage in intellectual activity: apprenticeship, persistence

-The passion for a subject are what allows us to sustain all the years of hard work Emotions as a source of knowledge: Our life would crumble apart if we had no emotions; emotions are what help us make rational decisions about things by narrowing down our options so that we can choose between a manageable numbers of them. Emotions as an obstacle
to knowledge: Likely to influence the way we see and think about the world, strong emotions can sometimes distort the three other ways of knowing: Can be colored by strong emotions, “love is blind”, emotional coloring can make us aware of some aspects of reality to the exclusion of others If you hold your beliefs with too much passion it can prevent you being open-minded and lead to a “my theory right or wrong” attitude A person in the grip of a powerful emotion is likely to use slanted and emotive language Language: Reason: Perception: Only way to escape this is by questioning prejudiced assumptions or consider other ways of looking at things Powerful emotions
Biased perception
Fallacious reasoning
Emotive language Irrational behavior: -Emotions can lead us to make poor decisions, some emotions are short sighted and they can easily blind us to the consequences

-E.g giving in to temptation Stoic philosophy: Advocated apathy: without passion, to observe the world objectively Emotional Intelligence: -Positive view of emotions: emotions are vital for intelligent action, most successful decisions are a mixture of reason and emotion, in which neither is completely in control

-Emotionally intelligent people are able to read other people’s emotions correctly, without the ability to divine the emotions felt by others, we would lose many opportunities to learn from their experience, we’d have to learn everything the hard way Emotions would not have evolved as we did if they were not useful Evolutionary Argument: Value of basic emotions: like fear, allows animals to react to signs of danger (adrenaline, stop digestive system, send blood to mind and muscles, dilate pupils fight or flight response) Physically our brains are composed differently than other animals, as our neocortex is larger and envelops the limbic structures that mediate basic emotions Intuition: Core intuitions: our most fundamental intuitions about life, the universe and everything
•Reason: laws of logic are intuitively correct
•Perception: self-evident
•Romanticism: emphasize on emotions as a way of knowing

-Problem: different people have conflicting intuitions

-The intuitions we have in various areas of knowledge such as science and ethics
•We sometimes appeal to intuition to justify our knowledge claims in various areas of knowledge
•Problem with ethical intuitions: different people at different times have had different intuitions about what is right or wr -Natural intuition does not always help us understand the world because it’s too fallible but expert intuition is different
•Based on talent and a vast mental database of background knowledge
Natural vs. Educated Intuition: Subject-Specifi Intuition: Universality of Emotions: -Universal, not necessarily a word for them in every language but they still exist

-Contradicts cultural theory of emotion: emotions are learned behaviors transmitted culturally, much like languages, must first see others being joyful before you can feel joy

-Common emotional heritage: binds humanity together, share the same basic emotional repertoire

Very few special conditions needed for it to develop Primary Emotions Culturally Specific Emotions:
-Not innate
-Only develop when special conditions are in place V.S Less innate than basic emotions but more innate than culturally specific ones
Higher Cognitive Emotions Evaluating its Role in the
Natural Sciences: Observation
the basic scientific method
Observation: Pros: -Relevance:
Emotions help identify the importance of our observation so we are not flooded by meaningless observations Cons: Expectation, we believe in something so much that we actually believe it’s there when it really isn’t The observer effect, the act of observation can sometimes affect what we observe, fallibility of perception Testing Hypothesis: We tend to look for evidence that confirms their beliefs and overlook evidence that does not support our already held beliefs Confirmation Bias Allegiance to the paradigm: Thomas Kuhn (1970):Scientists work within a research tradition called a paradigm.

-Provides clues to the questions worth investigating, dictates what evidence is admissible and prescribes the tests and techniques that are reasonable. Although the paradigm provides direction to the research it may also stifle or limit investigation. Some ideas have likely been rejected because they don’t fit the paradigm (e.g germ theory of disease) -But Kuhn would argue that the blinders created by allegiance to the paradigm help keep scientists on track
-It is impractical to question all your assumptions-how would you get anywhere if you had nowhere to start?
Conclusion: -Emotional Energy

-Differentiate between observations

-Universal trait

-Progression: Emotional Intelligence HOWEVER We should not let it control our reasoning or observation, there should be a balance of both to avoid rationalizations and hasty gerneatlizations. Connections to Other Areas of Knowledge: Arts History Ethics Bibliography: -http://www.macroevolution.net/market-for-human-organs.html#.UIaXOcXMgsI



-"Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma" by Richard van de Lagemaat
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