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Emotion plays a big role in gaining knowledge even though when we do not realize it. Therefore, I agree with the quote, “There can be no knowledge without emotion. We may be aware of a truth, yet until we have felt its force, it is not ours.” by Arnold Bennett, an English novelist. First of all, with the part, “There can be no knowledge without emotion1”, it can be proved by our experience. For example, we know about plate tectonics but until you feel it, you can’t have knowledge. Earthquakes prove that the plate tectonics are moving towards each other, away from each other or slide past each other.
Since I live in Japan, earthquakes can be felt often and I have the knowledge of what it is like to be in an area with lots of earthquakes. Also, for example, we can prove that we have knowledge from genes. Sometimes, I feel that I have the same characteristic as my mother when I am talking to my pets. I talk with them in a softer voice than when we talk to other people. Also, my mother’s family loves animals and I was also brought up with an animal always beside me.
Finally I can also see evidence from learning physics. I learned that the energy is transferred into other energies. Before, I wondered why bouncy balls bounced lower each time. When I learned about the energies, I gained the knowledge that the potential energy was transferred into heat, sound and other energies. From gaining these truths and experiencing it, it gives us knowledge of what it is like. By experiencing these things, it influences our emotion and gives us the knowledge.
Though some people disagree that knowledge can be gained without emotion, I argue that the statement is not true. Though when you learn something, until you have realized what it is and accepted the information, then it is not knowledge. We have to know the information to gain the knowledge so to gain the knowledge we have to experience it. For example, I know the truth that floods occur and the consequences as well as the effects of it but since I have not experienced it before, I do not have the knowledge of what it is like to be in an area, which flooded. Furthermore, by learning biology, I know that there are diseases such as thrombosis, a blood clotting disease but since I have not experienced it I do not what it feels like to have thrombosis.
As a result, I do not yet have the knowledge. Knowledge can be gained by other ways of knowing such as reason, sense perception and language. Though I agree with this, I think these all involve the ways of knowing of emotion. When we have a reason to gain knowledge, we gain the knowledge by realizing it and experiencing it. When we gain knowledge by sense perception it is done by experiencing something and realizing what is going on in our surroundings. Finally for language, we are experiencing it since we are talking or listening to the language. Since all these involve the action of experiencing, it all involves emotion.
If someone did things unconsciously, I wonder if they can get knowledge. People who sleepwalk have been seen eating, dressing, driving cars, and many other things. Their brain is not fully shut down. Sleepwalking occurs before they are in the state of rapid eye movement, or the moment they are dreaming.2 They have their eyes open to recognize their surroundings. Therefore, I think they are using their sense perception when they are sleepwalking. Though they may not remember it when they wake up and get confused but I think their brain remembers it since the brain is not fully shut when people sleepwalk. Therefore knowledge is gained from experiencing things even if they are sleepwalking which is done unconsciously.
Reflexes are also done unconsciously. They are done because we have the knowledge of what to do best to have the least damage to ourselves. That is why we pull our hands back when we touch something hot to reduce the possibility of burning our hand. We try to reduce it because we have the knowledge of what is going to happen if we do not. If we do not take our hand back, we know we are going to burn our hand and feel the pain. When I wake up, I have the reflex of stopping the alarm clock because I have the knowledge that I have to wake up to go to school. This reflex was done because I had the emotion that I did not want to go to school since I had to wake up at six o’clock in the morning.
Therefore as a conclusion, I agree to an extent with the quote by an English novelist, Arnold Bennett of “There can be no knowledge without emotion. We may be aware of a truth, yet until we have felt its force, it is not ours.” Emotion is connected to the other ways of knowing and everything we do in our lives. Experiencing things give knowledge to us which gives us emotion whether we do things consciously or unconsciously.