The modern day world is highly demanding and compels people to take difficult decisions. A plethora of values are available in a multiplicity of situations and the populace has to select from a number of options, which seem to be equally adequate for the task on hand. On several occasions, it becomes obvious that acting in a moral manner may not be palatable . A greater risk is entailed in taking decisions on an emotional basis, rather than adopting a rational approach. In general, an approach that combined rational and emotional choices was found to be ideal.
It had been the practice to disregard emotions in the process of decision making; and most of the theories in this area advocated the employment of reason. However, the recent trend has been to take into account the benefits that could accrue from using emotions in the decision making process, especially, when significant risk or ambiguity is involved . Some authorities like Epstein, had proposed an essential contrast in the dissemination of information. His conjecture was that a person perceives and comprehends reality by two processes.
One of them is based on reason and makes copious of logic and rational analysis, whereas the other process, relies on the experiential knowledge of that person and is mainly guided by affect . He also contended that affect is limited to the collection of information and has no significant role to play in the decision making process. Epstein further states that the appropriate employment of logic or reason, generally results in people changing their opinion regarding other individuals and things.
These results can be construed to indicate interaction between these seemingly divergent processes, upon which the decision making process is based . Inter Alia it had also been proposed that a contemplation of the reasons would make them more tolerable, thereby bringing about a transformation in outlook and assessment. As such, the final decision taken depends upon a combination of logical and emotional choices . Sellars was a scholar who contributed a lot to the difference between reason and causation. An entity can be classified as knowledge, only if it is possible to substantiate what one assumes about it.
Such a decision is based on reason and not emotion. Therefore, a thing is classified as knowledge, only if it can be justified by reason. Hence, a belief that is true should be possible to establish on the basis of reason. Many a time, chance plays an appreciable role in establishing that a presumption turns out to be true, however, this is insufficient for being categorized as knowledge . Some scholars have contended that it is the application of practical wisdom to life, which distinguishes the virtuous from the ordinary folk.
Emotions that promote self assessment fall within the domain of the cognitivist theory of emotions. Furthermore, this theory assesses and recommends various strategies to manage them in an optimal manner. This theory indicates the final stage in the move from regarding feeling as the principal part of emotion to regarding thought as crucial . In general, it is circumstances, which determine the emotions that a person experiences. Nevertheless, it is not the circumstances alone, which result in human emotions. The underlying causative factor is cognition about a circumstance.
As the cognition changes, the emotion also undergoes a change . Despite the fact that the reality can be known and comprehended by not only reason but also by emotion, the fact remains that their manner of functioning are quite different. An eminent researcher, Buck, held forth, that emotion lends itself to communication on the spur of the moment. However, when it comes to communication by means of rational messages, the transmission is by means of symbols . The sharing of spontaneous communication is unpremeditated and unrelated to any suggestion.
The only prerequisites are the obtention of knowledge by association. On the other hand, communication of the symbolic variety is shared by society, deliberate and suggestive. This means of communication descriptive knowledge and entails the learning of symbols. Such symbols correlate to what they describe by means of a random but academic association . As such, emotion and reason are mutually opposed to each other. Even the language used in alluding to the emotion is in significantly different from the language used to address reason.
Moreover, emotion and reason are supposed to be antithetical to each other. Nevertheless, the truth is far more complicated and muddled. The notion that emotion lends its support to reason has gained considerable currency and is accepted far and wide by scholars in this field of study . Furthermore, it is quite likely that reason and emotion go hand in hand and as such, constitute different views on something that is essentially the same. Nevertheless, the greatest adherents are to be found, in respect of the belief that emotion harms reason.
If this view is considered to be true, then it becomes imperative to believe that emotion is to be either ignored or given the least possible importance. Descriptions of successful ideas and acts, which had relied on reason, deliberately circumvent favorable allusions to emotion. If at all emotion is alluded to in such contexts, it is only to magnify its harmful effects . However, this is not the complete picture, if on the one hand people are diverted from their objectives due to the effect of emotions; then on the other hand, emotions reinforce and reinstate their goals.
In other words, emotions give direction to reason. This makes them merely dissimilar. Therefore, in the modern paradigm, it can be stated that motivation for an action emerges from emotions, whereas its implementation is the province of reason. Where emotion is involved, reason is unbiased. In the absence of suitable guidance from emotion, reason results in incoherent aims. This point of view has led to the conjecture that emotion is essential for rational behavior . In the opinion of one school of thought, judgment has two components.
The first is reason, which constitutes the rational and systematic portion; and emotion, the second part, has an impact on judgment and conduct. However, other equally prominent researchers have opined that emotion and reason are crucially affect social influence and that both of them have the capacity to engender radical change in attitudes and conduct. It has been suggested, and very significantly, by the majority of the researchers in this field; that emotion and reason should be supplanted by other critical concepts like attitude as the chief cognitive process, in the decision making process .
This reveals that considerable debate had transpired amongst philosophers, scholars and others in this regard. David Hume opined that reason can be considered as a slave to the emotions. Opposing this view, Kant established the vitality of reason in moral decisions. In addition, Antonio Damsio, the author of Descartes’ Error, found fault with both these theories, since reason and emotion are not opposing processes . No man can ignore his conscience.
In other words, human beings are moral creatures. The foundation of moral life is emotions, because they clearly tell a person whether a particular course of action is morally correct. Moreover, emotions have a major role to play in the decision making process and they also engender interaction with other human beings. Emotions that cause a person to assess himself are very important in taking decisions. They have highlighted the manner in which a person relates to the world that he lives in .