I know I talk about this person all the time, but Dr. Parks has come through again. A couple of weeks ago, I got a message in my inbox from Dr. Parks telling me he found a book I would like (and the author’s blog). As with most recommendations from him, I took his advice and purchased the book How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer. It’s about—well you may have guessed—how we make decisions. Although his work is based in neuroscience, Lehrer’s content is very approachable through the use of everyday case studies and situations we can all understand. Therefore, you don’t have to be a neuroscientist to know what he’s talking about. I’m probably about 1/8 through the book, but I came across this quote and wanted to share.
The process of thinking requires feeling, for feelings are what let us understand all the information that we can’t directly comprehend. Reason without emotion is impotent.
Plato believed true reasoning meant thought needed to be devoid of emotions and feeling. That philosophy has largely carried over into Western tradition, as we often equate level-headedness, calmness, and logical thinking as the best ways to make decisions. However, when some of the most crucial decisions are made, those people can’t explain why they made them. Intuition, emotions, and feelings all play roles as well.