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Emotialism Vs. Emotionality

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From d'Anconia Online, cross-posted to EgoSphere:

Emotionalism means "to rely on or place too much value on emotion."* Emotionality is "emotional nature or quality." * One is a practice, the other a characteristic. When reading about Ayn Rand's fictional heroes and villains, one learns that the heroes base their actions on a process of reason, while the villains base their actions on a process of non-reason--one learns that at the root of every action taken by these characters is the completion of a mental process that is either reason-based or not. One vicious form of a non-reason-based thought process is emotionalism, or, the practice of using emotions alone as a basis for action. Engaging in emotionalism is quintessential James Taggart. Clearly, however, that emotionalism is wrong doesn't mean that emotionality as such is wrong. Why would a characteristic of man be wrong? That's like saying "having ten fingers is wrong." Yet I've encountered a few...

http://ObjectivismOnline.com/blog/archives/000472.html

Edited by softwareNerd
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The reason vs. emotion dichotomy is pretty commonly held. Perhaps one reason for this is because it is commonly experienced as a dichotomy.

E.g., "I really know I should exercise, but I just don't have the enthusiasm", "I lost my cool and screamed at him, and now I'm in a worse situation than before", "I really want to do that, but I know it's bad for me/wrong", "I know I ought not to feel jealous in this situation, but I do!", "I knew he'd be violent again, but I got carried away and let him move back in".

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I suppose if the person is being rational, they should examine the emotion. On the other hand, if they're being irrational, the emotion may be telling them the right thing; and they really must examine their reasoning. So, the contradiction between reason and emotion is a sign that one needs to examine either or both, in order to reconcile the two.

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