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Emotion Vs. Reason in the Human Sciences

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savannah mesel

on 25 April 2017

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Transcript of Emotion Vs. Reason in the Human Sciences

The People V O.J Simpson
The famous 1994 court case "The People Vs. O.J Simpson" was a highly publicized court case where celebrity football player O.J Simpson was charged with the double homicide of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and another man
Despite a bounty of evidence proving Simpson's guilt, the trial was long and arduous.
Simpson was later charged for robbery and kidnapping instead of homicide.
Sigmund Freud contd.
Freud's personal opinions towards women affected his psychological theories and developments in psychoanalysis
He saw women as inferior to men, and developed the theory that women were the cause of hysteria and mental dysfunction in their husbands and offspring
In my opinion, Freud's theories were driven by emotion instead of reason.
How does reason affect decision making within the human sciences?
Reason is the concept of being able to make decisions and form opinions using logic
Reason should be considered one of the predominant ways of knowing within the human sciences, especially in political science
When logic is not applied to the law, the law in its self fails to establish precedent
Back to OJ
Throughout the entire O.J Simpson trial, Simpson was seen as either a hero or a villain by anyone who watched.
The evidence was overwhelming, but law enforcement and jurors gave him special treatment that was not logical
The prosecutors and defense were driven by emotion and not reason. Despite the evidence that Simpson did it, Robert Shapiro and Robert Kardashian continued to insist on his innocence.
Looking at the crime logically, it is quite apparent that O.J "did it".
Knowledge Issue
To what extent does emotion hinder reason and understanding within the human sciences?
How does emotion limit what we can know within the human sciences?
Sigmund Freud is famous for the opinion that the unconscious mind was made up of three parts: id, superego, and ego
These three parts were believed by Freud to drive our unconscious thoughts, and how we perceived the world around us
A less commonly known theory of Freuds is his belief in "Penis Envy"
Freud was studying psychology in the early 1900's, when prejudice against women was worse than it is today.
Emotion Vs. Reason in the Human Sciences
Just to Make Things Clear
The Human Sciences: Political Science & Psychology
Emotion: a mental sensation stemming from surroundings or situations
Reason: the ability to think, understand, and form logical opinions
How does emotion limit what we can know within the human sciences?
Schema: A schema is a cognitive framework or concept that helps organize and interpret information.
Schemas can be useful because they allow us to take shortcuts in interpreting the vast amount of information that is available in our environment.
These mental frameworks also cause us to exclude important information and instead focus only on things that confirm our pre-existing beliefs and ideas.
Schemas can contribute to stereotypes and make it difficult to retain new information that does not conform to our established ideas about the world.
Other Perspectives
A common example of emotion being held to a higher standard than reason is the controversial subject of abortion
Pro-life supporters tend to use emotional rhetoric to plea for support of their cause to save fetuses
Pro-choice supporters tend to use more scientific evidence, but also use emotion to appeal for the support of women
The major problem with this is that such strong emotional attachments to an issue can hinder understanding.
How emotion hindered reason in the OJ case

The controversy surrounding the LAPD racial conflicts at the time fueled Simpson's defense with the doubt they needed to win over the American people as well as the jury.
The emotional atmosphere at the time only fueled the fire as the media ran with the story
People who loved him as a football player already had a preconceived notion, and this made it more difficult to try him.
Conclusion
Emotion hinders reason in the human sciences by skewing our perspective on knowledge issues
This problem can cause problems with unreliability within the human sciences.
Emotion can overpower reason in the human sciences
Can we avoid the bias?
If we are more aware of emotional bias, it can be counteracted in court cases
Theories must be reviewed by more than one individual
We have to continue to consciously develop our knowledge and keep open minds
Learning both sides of controversial issues
Eliminating emotion as much as possible
Other Perspectives
Common opinion is that emotions keep our morals in check
Utilitarian argument is that reason should overpower emotion
Do emotions really equate to morality?
Sources
"Sigmund Freud." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 09 Feb. 2017.
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