SOC327 2017 Tut2 – Wed 1530

We have long conceived of a separation between mind and body in western society, with supremacy of mind over body. This basic idea that reason should dominate is captured in the classic statement by Descartes ‘cogito ergo sum’, ‘I think, therefore I am’. However, if your thoughts are affected by your bodily feelings, or even your perceptions of how the society around you sees you, then what are you? What are your thoughts? Are they really separate from your body and your feelings? And do we have a better understanding of the relationship between reason and emotion as a society today? Compare Disney’s take on the role of emotions in human action in 1943 and in 2015 (and note that the producers of the 2015 ‘Inside Out’ film considered including ‘logic’ as an emotion, but later decided to drop it). Which of these depictions makes more sense to you?

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32 Comments

  1. The conventional approach of the mind having supremacy over the body seems a dated westernised sociological theory of thought and follows the concept of “I think, therefore I am”. This conventional approach is highlighted by Disney’s 1943 animation, which encourages the idea of reason having supremacy over our emotions. The animation depicts how damaging emotion can be if we don’t listen to reason and allow emotion to dominate our minds. This film highlights how reason is an important aspect in how we logically go about our everyday lives and in moments we have to take decisive action. However, to solely have reason and rationality alone is unbalanced and almost impossible without the influence of emotion. As even in rational states, “…reason and rationality require emotional guidance” (Barbalet 1998, p.39). Therefore, the critical perspective over the conventional approach, is a more cohesive social theory that “…holds that reason and emotion are not necessarily opposed”, but work together conclusively (Barbalet 1998, p.38). This can be seen within the 2015 film of ‘Inside Out’, which highlights how important all of our emotions are in working together to go about our everyday lives. This film is affective, in the way it represents the importance of emotion within the human body. However, it does not represent the equal importance of reason in conjunction to emotion.

    The progression of social theories from the conventional, to the critical and then the radical approach discussed by Barbalet, highlight how society today, seems to have a better understanding of how the body and mind are continuous and hold equal importance within reason and emotion.

    #S327UOW17 #Tut2 #Wed1530

  2. After ‘scratching my head’ on this issue, a light bulb (finally) went off! As I stood basking in this metaphorical light bulb’s glow, it occurred to me that two of Barbalet’s three approaches to reason and emotion were evidenced in these two clips; the ‘conventional approach’, adopted within the 1945 clip; and the ‘radical approach’, adopted within the 2015 clip extracted from Disney’s Inside Out.

    The producers of the 1945 clip adopt a ‘conventional approach’ by opposing reason and emotion as two conflicting characters ‘battling it out’ in various stages of life. Reason is calm and stoic, whereas Emotion is erratic and unstable. Furthermore, as Weber argued, emotions are represented in this approach as “mental experiences [which are] interjected into us”. This too can be seen within the 1945 clip. For example, when the character of Emotion takes control of the man, his actions are represented as uncontrollable inappropriate feelings, arising from the base emotion of sexual desire. Whereas when Reason is in control, he makes decisions which accord with the normal conventions of society, and thus suppresses these type of emotions.

    However, views on how reason and emotion interact have undergone considerable change in recent years. This change is reflected in the 2015 clip. This clip may be aligned with Barbalet’s ‘radical approach’ to emotion and rationality. In this clip it shows that reason and emotion are interconnected. This is best exemplified by the different characters representing the various emotions inside Riley’s mind. Although emotions are still depicted as separate and controlling, they are ultimately connected with rationality, and thus reason. This inter-connectivity is represented through the role that Sadness plays in allowing Riley to make rational decisions, such as returning home to her parents, and the communication of her feelings.

    Overall, I support the radical approach. I view rationality as an extension to emotion. Just as Sadness allows Riley to make rational decisions, so too can emotions. Barbalet uses the example of trust. For example, I trust my employer will pay my salary at the end of the fortnight, and based on this trust, I go to work. This is a rational decision based on rational emotion. However, in the end one must apply a ‘balancing act’ which depends on how much emotion is felt, in what circumstance, and by whom.

    @matias_shannon

    • It was interesting reading your reply Shannon as it highlighted perspectives that I agree with and it also helped me expand on my own thoughts.
      You mentioned how the Disney clips exemplify the changes that have occurred concerning understandings of emotion and thought.
      To extend on your point, this allows us to answer one of the questions posed by the OP. It can be stated that as a society we have a better understanding of the relationship between emotion and reason due to the contrast of Disney’s 1943 and 2015 representations of emotion and reason.

      However, the choice by Disney to eliminate the character of ‘logic’ as an emotion poses reflection and questions whether our understanding is sound concerning logic and emotion (Romano 2016). As Barbalet (1998, p. 31) outlines, emotion interacts with rationality and is not seen in the conventional sense of being directly opposed to it. For example, emotion can succeed at creating rational judgements as well as providing ‘direction’ for reason.
      Can this confirm that logic and reason can be their own forms of emotion?

      Another point to consider within this debate is the consideration of somatic markers. Somatic markers propel survival instincts or emotional responses in order to ensure the best possible situation for ourselves. This can be comprehended as a form of rational response, especially when applied to situations which involve immediate threat and danger. Emotion can promote and contain rationality.

      Therefore, if emotions constitute rational judgement isn’t it fair to say that logic can be determined as an emotional response? As Disney looked at the incorporation of logic as an emotion, can we too consider the perspective that reason is emotionally founded?

    • It was interesting reading your reply Shannon as it highlighted perspectives that I agree with and it also helped me expand on my own thoughts.
      You mentioned how the Disney clips exemplify the changes that have occurred concerning understandings of emotion and thought.
      To extend on your point, this allows us to answer one of the questions posed by the OP. It can be stated that as a society we have a better understanding of the relationship between emotion and reason due to the contrast of Disney’s 1943 and 2015 representations of emotion and reason.

      However, the choice by Disney to eliminate the character of ‘logic’ as an emotion poses reflection and questions whether our understanding is sound concerning logic and emotion (Romano 2016). As Barbalet (1998, p. 31) outlines, emotion interacts with rationality and is not seen in the conventional sense of being directly opposed to it. For example, emotion can succeed at creating rational judgements as well as providing ‘direction’ for reason.
      Can this confirm that logic and reason can be their own forms of emotion?

      Another point to consider within this debate is the consideration of somatic markers. Somatic markers propel survival instincts or emotional responses in order to ensure the best possible situation for ourselves. This can be comprehended as a form of rational response, especially when applied to situations which involve immediate threat and danger. Emotion can promote and contain rationality.

      Therefore, if emotions constitute rational judgement isn’t it fair to say that logic can be determined as an emotional response? As Disney looked at the incorporation of logic as an emotion, can we too consider the perspective that reason is emotionally founded?

      Anna Henry @AnnaHenry113

  3. The conventional approach of the mind having supremacy over the body seems a dated westernised sociological theory of thought and follows the concept of “I think, therefore I am”. This conventional approach is highlighted by Disney’s 1943 animation, which encourages the idea of reason having supremacy over our emotions. The animation depicts how damaging emotion can be if we don’t listen to reason and allow emotion to dominate our minds. This film highlights how reason is an important aspect in how we logically go about our everyday lives and in moments we have to take decisive action. However, to solely have reason and rationality alone is unbalanced and almost impossible without the influence of emotion. As even in rational states, “…reason and rationality require emotional guidance” (Barbalet 1998, p.39). Therefore, the critical perspective over the conventional approach, is a more cohesive social theory that “…holds that reason and emotion are not necessarily opposed”, but work together conclusively (Barbalet 1998, p.38). This can be seen within the 2015 film of ‘Inside Out’, which highlights how important all of our emotions are in working together to go about our everyday lives. This film is affective, in the way it represents the importance of emotion within the human body. However, it does not represent the equal importance of reason in conjunction to emotion.

    The progression of social theories from the conventional, to the critical and then the radical approach discussed by Barbalet, highlight how society today, seems to have a better understanding of how the body and mind are continuous and hold equal importance within reason and emotion.
    #S327UOW17 #Tut2 #Wed1530

  4. The conventional approach of the mind having supremacy over the body seems a dated westernised sociological theory of thought and follows the concept of “I think, therefore I am”. This conventional approach is highlighted by Disney’s 1943 animation, which encourages the idea of reason having supremacy over our emotions.

  5. The conventional approach of the mind having supremacy over the body seems a dated westernised sociological theory of thought and follows the concept of “I think, therefore I am”. This conventional approach is highlighted by Disney’s 1943 animation, which encourages the idea of reason having supremacy over our emotions. The animation

  6. Disney’s film on reason and emotion (1945) illustrates emotions as opposing reason, taking on a conventional approach. This film supports the idea of emotions subverting thoughts and reasoning (Descartes, cited in Barbalet 1998). Whereas; the Film ‘Inside Out’ (2015) portrays emotion as complex and multifaceted; having a major influence on our reasoning.
    ‘Inside Out’ supports the critical approach. De Sousa views emotion and reason as not opposing each other; but rather part of the ‘mechanisms’ of our reasoning (cited in Barbalet 1998, p. 39). Schnall (2014) reinforces this belief that our perception is affected by how we are feeling.
    Therefore, ‘Inside Out’ makes more sense to me as it shows a more accurate view on emotions and reasoning. We are complex beings and cannot function without reasoning alone. Whilst I see Descartes’ ‘cogito ergo sum: I think therefore I am’ as valid; as human beings, we should not simply be defined by this.

    #S327UOW17 #Tut2 #Wed1530

  7. I perceive thought and emotion to be separate entities and consider reason to be complementary to the feelings we experience. I believe this interrelation can dictate and shape our behaviour and decision making whilst also having a major influence upon the way we think and perceive ourselves.

    According to Barbalet (1998), Descartes considered our emotions to be a compelling force capable of leading an individual away from their rational decisions and reasoning. Similarly, Weber regarded emotions to be “spontaneous and impulsive forces which distract a person from their purposes” (Barbalet, 1998, p. 37). Here, both Descartes and Weber understand emotion as something that will create disorder among rational human conduct and consider it to be the complete antithesis of rationality.

    Dr Shnall’s TEDTalk offers a more optimistic view on the interactions between cognition and emotion, however. She discusses how our perception may be entirely coloured by the emotions we feel and experience. Shnall claims our ability to harness our emotions can assist in overcoming obstacles and issues. For example, an individual recalling a moment or memory when they felt their most powerful or in control, or calling to mind a person whose presence has always engendered feelings of empowerment and support can change the way we relate to and perceive a problem, essentially making it easier to conquer.

    I can sympathise with each interpretation of how emotion influences thought and human conduct. I have experienced times when my feelings have clouded my better judgement and prevented rational decision making, as well as incidences where I have drawn upon more positive and uplifting emotions to complete a task or handle a situation. I believe that both the context of the situation and the kind of emotion being felt can alter your perception and govern how you will interpret and react to a given situation. As the director of Inside Out argues, you can’t choose what emotions you feel, but what you do with them is your choice.

  8. My thoughts on this, are that the Conventional approach is both annoyingly consistent, and out dated. I stand with the idea that emotion and reason are both key factors in the modern day individual, both of equal importance. If I had to debate the mind/body I would give examples like; Relationships need both emotion and rationality, you need emotion to guide your feelings into finding someone that you actually like/care for, where if you just use rationality to create some kind of idea on what your ideal partner is, then you will probably end up alone or unhappy. This relates to the readings points about the ‘The Critical Approach’, its emotion picking up the slack for what reason lacks. I think in today’s society we do have more of an understanding, but we still have people backing up the Conventional approach, so we’re in a form of stalemate. I think that the old school Disney take on the role emotions play, shows support to the Conventional approach. Reason being, emotion is depicted as a disruptive factor and in need of reason to guide it. The 2015 Disney film inside out however bases its storyline behind the ideas of emotion and the role they play in individuals. I think the one which speaks to me more is Inside out, that being because I’m from a generation where a lot of ideologies changed, compared to some my parents might have shared. The 2015 inside out depicts emotions guiding the young individual, and therefore having a critical role in their being, where the 1943 Disney film’s depiction in my opinion, stands with those old school ideologies.

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  9. Barbalet’s Conventional Approach is witnessed within the 1943 Disney Animation where emotions and rationality are deemed to be opposites. Emotion being depicted as an uneducated caveman whereas rationality is deemed to be more of an educated prude. This attitude is reflective of the age of Enlightenment where reason was seen as individual’s intellectual potential. The Convential Approach argues individuals are not responsible for their emotions as they are not based on thinking therefore emotions are to be suppressed. This is supposed in the attitudes portrayed by 1943 Disney animation where reason was in charge leaving emotion irrelevant.

    A more sympathetic approach towards emotion is seen within the 2015 video ‘Inside Out’ in which ‘emotion supports rationality by providing it with salience and goal formation’. Barbalet discusses The Critical Approach as emotions and reason are not opposed but simply different. They both deem to serve unique function, yet both serve the desires of the individual. This can be witnessed as the emotions within the 2015 movie seem to work together as a team to create a voice of reason within their individual’s mind.

    With that in mind I find myself asking what is so different between Barbalet’s Critical Approach and the Radical Approach? Emotions and rationality in both theories appear to be continuous the only difference to be the radical approach arguing that rationality is only identified through emotion and thus the separation of the two is not possible.

    Barbalet aligned his own position with the Radical Approach and as do I. Without the role of emotion in practical rationality ‘then, is it to permit action which would only inhibited if it were to rely on logic of calculation alone’. In comparison to Disney’s 2015 film where emotions are interconnected to create the voice of reason within Riley’s mind.

    Sarah King, @sarrrbearrrr58 
    sk729@uowmail.edu.au
    #S327UOW17 #Tut2 #Wed1530

  10. To me, the film inside-out shows a whole bunch of different thoughts/feelings/emotions almost working together to describe or guide an outcome in the individuals life. Whereas the Disney clip relates more to Barbalet’s conventional approach of emotion and rationality working together to guide the outcome, inside-out displays a more complex multi-dimensional way of combining all different types of emotions to guide the outcome rather than reasoning and emotion, i would have to favour the film inside-out over the disney clip.

  11. The focus of traditionalist approaches to how the body works with emotions, and how emotions work with bodies cannot really be taken in the same way that it did during their original times of writing. Changes to society through further research, revision, and the general experience and expression of a population can show show outdated these first approaches can be.

    As seen in the first video above, the environment you are in has a vital role in what set of emotions you will feel. From here, perceptions of yourself through how you think others perceive you will ultimately determine your emotion, how matter how confident or headstrong you think you may be – thoughts and feelings will depend on the person. Then the question of who you are is felt the most, whereby an ‘out of body experience’ to see how you are being judged is a scenario people go through. Today we have a better understanding of this seemingly universal concept – a truly symbiotic relationship of the emotions working with the body is thought through Jack Barbalet’s rational critique of ‘radical’ ‘backgrounded emotions’ that do not disturb foreground thinking/emotions, but operate without disturbance in the background (1998, p.45-54).

    Personally, there is no reason to not believe that the body can work in conjunction and harmony with emotions, that both have an inextricably bound role to produce how the person is then presented to the world – rationally, irrationally etc.

    #S327UOW17 #Tut4 #Wed1530

  12. During the lecture held in Week Three, we discussed René Descartes’ statement, “Cogito ergo sum: I think, therefore I am.” (Barbalet 1998, p. 33) and how this relates to Barbalet’s three approaches in relation to reason and emotion (Barbalet 1998, p. 29). Week Three’s lecture directed our attention to a short animation produced by Disney in 1943 titled Reason and Emotion. The short film revolves around the ‘conventional approach’ and showcases how Reason and Emotion strongly oppose each other throughout the main character’s decision-making processes (Disney 1943).

    Upon making decisions, the film presents Reason as a level-headed figure who then attempts to guide Emotion, a figure who is impulsive and hasty (Disney 1943). This further reinforces Barbalet’s view in regards to how reason can be interrupted due to the way emotion interrupts an individual’s thoughts and processes (Barbalet 1998, p. 34). For example, in Reason and Emotion (Disney 1943) upon interrupting Reason, Emotion chooses to approach a woman in an unsuitable and inappropriate manner, as previously stated by Reason. This is the type of situation in which an individual’s decision-making process is taken over by their body as opposed to their mind (Barbalet 1998, p. 34). If Reason had remained in control, the mind would have avoided the possibility of that situation occurring. As a result of Emotion taking over, the decision-making process was thrown into disorder (Barbalet 1998, p. 34).

    Arguably, in today’s society, individuals are, at times, much more likely to apply Barbalet’s ‘radical approach’ (Barbalet 1998, p. 45). Unlike the ‘conventional approach’, where reason and emotion strongly oppose each other, the ‘radical approach’ focuses on how a relationship between reason and emotion can successfully and continuously function as a team (Barbalet 1998, p. 45). The increasing influence of the ‘radical approach’ is evident in the 2015 Disney film titled Inside Out in which Riley’s emotions have a direct relationship with reason and rationality. This is expanded through the different emotions which are presented as the other characters within Riley’s head (Disney 2015). The five main emotions are personified in the form of characters known as Joy, Anger, Sadness, Disgust, and Fear – all work as a team to ensure that Riley’s decision-making processes run smoothly and successfully. Despite being distinctively different emotions, all five of them correlate with choosing rational outcomes, which then relates to reason (Disney 2015). For example, after running away from home, it is Sadness who encourages Riley to reach out to her parents and highlight her emotions about adjusting to life in a new city (Disney 2015). By doing this, their bond and trust is strengthened and she can work towards increasing her certainty about their new future (Barbalet 1998, p. 49).

    From a personal perspective, the ‘radical approach’ makes much more sense (Barbalet 1998, p. 45). There are situations in which reason outweighs emotion and there are circumstances in which both reason and emotion have equally important roles. Whilst reason is very much a key component in decision-making, there are cases in which emotions simply cannot be ignored and can be a part of the same process (Barbalet 1998, p. 45).

    Reference List

    Barbalet, J 1998, ‘Emotion and rationality’, Emotion Social Theory Social Structure Rationality, pp. 29-61

    Inside Out 2015, Animated Film, Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Pictures, California, United States

    Reason and Emotion 1943, Short Animation, Walt Disney, California, United States

  13. During the lecture held in Week Three, we discussed René Descartes’ statement, “Cogito ergo sum: I think, therefore I am.” (Barbalet 1998, p. 33) and how this relates to Barbalet’s three approaches in relation to reason and emotion (Barbalet 1998, p. 29). Week Three’s lecture directed our attention to a short animation produced by Disney in 1943 titled Reason and Emotion. The short film revolves around the ‘conventional approach’ and showcases how Reason and Emotion strongly oppose each other throughout the main character’s decision-making processes (Disney 1943).

    Upon making decisions, the film presents Reason as a level-headed figure who then attempts to guide Emotion, a figure who is impulsive and hasty (Disney 1943). This further reinforces Barbalet’s view in regards to how reason can be interrupted due to the way emotion interrupts an individual’s thoughts and processes (Barbalet 1998, p. 34). For example, in Reason and Emotion (Disney 1943) upon interrupting Reason, Emotion chooses to approach a woman in an unsuitable and inappropriate manner, as previously stated by Reason. This is the type of situation in which an individual’s decision-making process is taken over by their body as opposed to their mind (Barbalet 1998, p. 34). If Reason had remained in control, the mind would have avoided the possibility of that situation occurring. As a result of Emotion taking over, the decision-making process was thrown into disorder (Barbalet 1998, p. 34).

    Arguably, in today’s society, individuals are, at times, much more likely to apply Barbalet’s ‘radical approach’ (Barbalet 1998, p. 45). Unlike the ‘conventional approach’, where reason and emotion strongly oppose each other, the ‘radical approach’ focuses on how a relationship between reason and emotion can successfully and continuously function as a team (Barbalet 1998, p. 45). The increasing influence of the ‘radical approach’ is evident in the 2015 Disney film titled Inside Out in which Riley’s emotions have a direct relationship with reason and rationality. This is expanded through the different emotions which are presented as the other characters within Riley’s head (Disney 2015). The five main emotions are personified in the form of characters known as Joy, Anger, Sadness, Disgust, and Fear – all work as a team to ensure that Riley’s decision-making processes run smoothly and successfully. Despite being distinctively different emotions, all five of them correlate with choosing rational outcomes, which then relates to reason (Disney 2015). For example, after running away from home, it is Sadness who encourages Riley to reach out to her parents and highlight her emotions about adjusting to life in a new city (Disney 2015). By doing this, their bond and trust is strengthened and she can work towards increasing her certainty about their new future (Barbalet 1998, p. 49).

    From a personal perspective, the ‘radical approach’ makes much more sense (Barbalet 1998, p. 45). There are situations in which reason outweighs emotion and there are circumstances in which both reason and emotion have equally important roles. Whilst reason is very much a key component in decision-making, there are cases in which emotions simply cannot be ignored and can be a part of the same process (Barbalet 1998, p. 45).

    Reference List

    Barbalet, J 1998, ‘Emotions and rationality’, Emotion Social Theory Social Structure Rationality, pp. 29-61

    Inside Out 2015, Animation Film, Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Pictures, California, United States

    Reason and Emotion 1943, Short Animation, Walt Disney Pictures, California, United States

    #S327UOW17 #Tut2 #Wed1530

  14. The 2015 Disney movie “Inside Out” shows how our emotions work together to complete us, which is in stark contrast to the 1945 clip reflecting the idea that reason and emotion are opposed.
    After reading Barbalet (1998), and his three approaches to the relationship between emotion and reason – the conventional approach, the critical approach and the radical approach, this really got me wondering which I felt was the most likely. When I get emotional about something, I often make quick decisions which I later come to regret however other decisions made after more thought still involve the influence of emotions. I am unable to separate emotion and reason completely but would be influenced also by whether this was taking place in public or in privacy.
    Using an example of the purchasing of a new house, we see a classic scenario where emotions can dominate. While this seems on the surface like a straight forward/rational idea, one where you set a budget, find a location and get a loan, however, if you dig deeper, all the emotions of such an event can cause all the best laid plans to go askew. Come auction day, getting caught up in the moment can see buyers paying far more for a property than they intended or could afford. The rush of excitement in the moment can overrule any rational plans previously made.
    A number of factors such as setting, culture, gender and gender expectations can all influence our emotions which in turn influences our ability to be rational or see reason.

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  15. The disney clip shows emotion and rational as opposing which is the way I was raised in my family. I was told that being led by animal instincts and indulgence was bad because it was not behaving sensibly (rational). When I watched the clip I was intrigued by the little boy. They chose to dress him like Tarzan and depict him as wild. Opposing, the voice of reason wore glasses and was clearly educated. This stood out for me.

    In the second movie ‘Inside out’, it really was clear to me that we are sensoring ourselves and our emotions more than ever. This movie just placed labels on things we should and should not feel. In the modern world we live in it appears we are less able to recognise background emotions for what they are. It also appears that things have not changed that much, it just easier to hide behind the labels and the expectations of our society.

    Simmel’s argument (baralet, p.55), is the closest to my own viewpoint which is rationality drives out irrationality and displaces emotion.
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  16. Barbalet’s approaches to understanding the differences between rationality and emotion are a perfect example of how perceptions between the two have been understood and expanded over time. Previous perceptions (Hippocrates, Descartes etc.) follow the conventional approach, which is also profoundly featured in Disney’s short film ‘Reason and Emotion’ (1943), emphasising the importance of reason’s role in regulating the emotion of an individual. Whilst, this short film serves as outmoded war propaganda, it accurately depicts Barbalet’s first approach and the theories surrounding dualism.

    In contrast, Barbalet’s critical approach is featured within ‘Inside Out’ (2015); the characters involved have been thoughtfully constructed to complement the five emotions represented (joy, sadness, anger, disgust and fear). I respect the decision the producers made to remove ‘logic’ as a sixth character, as the integration of logic is found within the thought of the main character. The film shows how emotions and logic are used in tandem to maintain the complexities faced in life.

    However, it wasn’t until I watched Schnall’s TEDxTalk (2014), that my understanding of emotion and thought expanded, now accounting for perception. She explains how our thoughts and actions are subjective depending on how one feels at a certain time. This rationale fits perfectly within Barbalet’s radical approach, contending that both rationality and emotion is continuously under consideration.

    I like to feel that I use reason/logic over my emotions, however, I agree that my thought pattern can be subjective to how I perceive a situation. I don’t believe that rationality and emotion are separate, rather concurring with Barbalet’s overall theory that both not only complement each other but allow us to take action.

  17. The 1943 depiction of emotion, in the Disney propaganda clip, reflects the dominant views of the time regarding the relationship between emotion and reason. As reflected by Barbalet (1998, p. 29) this approach, the conventional, holds that emotion and reason are opposing forces. Disney’s take on emotion in 1943 reflects that, similar to today, Western society places higher value on rational actions rather than emotional ones (Patulny 2017). The depiction of emotions as having negative impacts on the lives of the many can be seen in the animation, which follows another dominant concept that is integral to the conventional argument (Barbalet 1998, p. 38). Barbalet (1998) argues that by allowing ones emotions to control their actions, one loses their individuality and becomes ‘subject to a common emotionality of the mass’. This view is reflected within the animation, and further reflects the alignment of key features of the clip with the conventional approach.

    Whilst Western society still places value on rational thought over emotional thought/actions, the release of the 2015 film ‘Inside Out’ is evidence of the shift in dominant belief towards the critical approach. This theory argues that emotional and rational thinking are compliments of the other, giving “direction” and allowing for goals to become action (Patulny 2017). The personification of Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust in the film and their actions, reflects how emotion can be used to guide individuals towards the desired rational outcome (Barbalet 1998, p. 39).

    As discussed previously, Western society still places value on rational thought, however, in my opinion we are gradually shifting away from this notion. Rather, we are starting to see the value of rational and emotional thought. As the critical approach argues, in order to satisfy goals and have purpose in our lives one needs both reason and emotion to be truly satisfied. For this reason I find that the representation of emotions in the film ‘Inside Out’ to be more accurate, compared to its 1943 counterpart. For example, the 1943 animation uses the Nazi movement as an example of the negative impact of emotional thinking on the lives of individuals. However, I have an issue with this example being used in this way. The animation suggests that the Nazis used fear, an emotional response, to manipulate the German people away from reason and towards violence. However, I don’t believe that such actions are as clear-cut as suggested in the animation. Whilst fear was certainly used to manipulate the German people, I do not believe that this was a purely emotional reaction. Rather, I argue that it was both a rational and emotional response, as at the time it was rational to fear the Nazi regime. Thus for this reason, the depiction of emotion and reason in the film ‘Inside Out’ makes more sense to me.

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  18. In the 1943 Disney movie, we see the conventional approach highlighting the opposition between emotion and reason. The characters in this film seemed more “proper” and “composed” when reason was in the driver’s seat. However, as soon as emotion took over, these characters took on personalities that were not readily accepted by the society around them. I believe this film successfully narrated the points Barbalet intended to make regarding the conventional approach in his excerpt “Emotion and Rationality”. Through this, we see that humans are critiqued based on how well they think so that there is a direct reason/intention for everything that person does. Yet, these intentions are often thrown away when emotion takes over control. On the other hand, the 2015 Disney movie takes on a more critical approach in regards to the relationship between reason and emotion. Through this approach, we see that emotion and reason mutually support each other as they work towards a common outcome. Reason provides key goals for an individual. Emotion guides us towards overcoming certain limitations our preconceived goals may bring up.

    As I sit here pondering these questions, I can’t help but acknowledge how our answers have been and continue to be socially constructed. In lecture, we talked about how this may be due to how the legacies of Plato and Descartes leave us with the idea that the mind is above the body/emotion. Yet, I believe that continuing with this mindset is incredibly damaging and limiting. We must be willing to acknowledge that the radical approach makes most sense in how the two are related. Emotion and reason work with each other in a continuous relationship. The two are interconnected and affect how we navigate our daily lives. I believe that there are a prescribed set of social norms that individuals are subconsciously required to follow. Individuals are successful in following these norms through the incorporation of the emotion and reason spectrum.

  19. It is very interesting that many people, including scientists and theorists, separate the mind from the body. Whether they value the mind or body more, to me, is irrelevant. I believe that the body acts as a result of the mind. The mind is stimulated by bodily experiences. The two have an inextricable link which allow a human to function both rationally and emotionally. As @carlyjames051 points out on this blog, the conventional approach of the mind holding supremacy over the body seems much a much outdated and westernized sociological theory.

    The Disney film (1943) clearly emphasizes Reason as a calm, and level-headed persona, and Emotion as irrational and impulsive. This echoes Barbalet’s conventional approach which states that emotions are opposite to rationality. The Disney film further echoes Barbalet’s sentiments which in summary state: “The best thing to do with the emotion which subverts reason is to suppress it.”

    Listen Out (2015) communicates a more common understanding of the interrelationship between the mind and the body in our contemporary society. This echoes Barbalet’s rational approach which argues that we are experiencing emotions even while we are rationally calculating. This is seen through the different emotions which are presented through the personification of five emotions: Joy, Anger, Sadness, Disgust, and Fear. These five characters who embody their respective emotion work symbiotically in order to achieve rational outcomes for the protagonist.

    This radical approach, to me, is definitely a more accurate understanding of the relationship between the mind and the body, emotions and rationality. However, I critique it because despite the argument that rationality and emotionality work continuously and simultaneously, it is arguable that in out modern society that those who are “too emotional” or do not act “rationally” are frowned upon. It appears that rationality is more socially accepted. Does anybody else agree with this?

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  20. Disney’s 1943 film views emotion as irrational and as producing negative outcomes. It places emotion in opposition to reason and highlights how the two wage war against each other within the individual. The films characterisation of emotion as always being ‘bad’ versus reason as always being ‘good’ captures the idea that reason has supremacy over emotion. This theory is summed up by Barbalet (1998) as the ‘conventional theory’. Barbalet explains that the conventional theory places rationality (or reason) in opposition with emotion. Emotion is seen to hinder and disrupt rational thought and thus emotion is to be suppressed (1998:33-34). Inside Out, however, provides a more complex approach to understanding how our emotions work to inform and influence our actions. In this film, emotions interact within Riley’s mind to provide reason. This idea aligns more closely with what Barbalet describes as the ‘radical theory’. Here, emotion and reason are inextricably linked and work together continuously. They are ‘not opposed phenomena but distinct names for aspects of a continuous process’ (1998:45). In the 1943 film, reason and emotion are portrayed as two completely seperate and different entities. Inside Out, however, does not portray any distinction between reason and emotion. Instead the characters are portrayed as emotions that work together to give Riley reason. This depiction of emotion and reason makes more sense to me because I think emotion and reason are always working with each other in a cyclical, continuous fashion and not in opposition to each other as is shown in Disney’s earlier 1943 film.

  21. Disney’s 1943 film views emotion as irrational and as producing negative outcomes. It places emotion in opposition to reason and highlights how the two wage war against each other within the individual. The films characterisation of emotion as always being ‘bad’ versus reason as always being ‘good’ captures the idea that reason has supremacy over emotion. This theory is summed up by Barbalet (1998) as the ‘conventional theory’. Barbalet explains that the conventional theory places rationality (or reason) in opposition with emotion. Emotion is seen to hinder and disrupt rational thought and thus emotion is to be suppressed (1998:33-34). Inside Out, however, provides a more complex approach to understanding how our emotions work to inform and influence our actions. In this film, emotions interact within Riley’s mind to provide reason. This idea aligns more closely with what Barbalet describes as the ‘radical theory’. Here, emotion and reason are inextricably linked and work together continuously. They are ‘not opposed phenomena but distinct names for aspects of a continuous process’ (1998:45). In the 1943 film, reason and emotion are portrayed as two completely seperate and different entities. Inside Out, however, does not portray any distinction between reason and emotion. Instead the characters are portrayed as emotions that work together to give Riley reason. This depiction of emotion and reason makes more sense to me because I think emotion and reason are always working with each other in a cyclical, continuous fashion and not in opposition to each other as is shown in Disney’s earlier 1943 film.

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  22. Part of the lecture in Week Two saw us look at Disney’s 1943 take on reason and emotion. This video showed us reason and emotion in regards to Barbalet’s (1998) conventional approach which holds emotion and reason as opposites and with differing roles. In the video reason is portrayed as a superior and hero-like character compared to emotion while emotion is always being placed in the ‘back-seat’. Barbalet’s (1998, p. 31) work also states that “emotions may distract persons from their purposes”. In the video when emotion overtakes reason things go wrong. The voiceover states, “Uncontrolled emotion can cause you a lot of trouble. The conflict between reason and emotion needs to be controlled”.
    Disney’s 2015 film Inside Out on the other hand looks more closely at Barbalet’s (1998, p. 38) critical approach which sees “emotion as a solution to problems that rationality cannot solve”. In the film the emotions appear to work together in a way that enables them to be rational or make reasonable decisions. “Within the critical perspective emotion is relocated from a hostile and distant position … reason and rationality require emotional guidance” (Barbalet 1998, p. 39). It is also interesting to note that while the emotions are depicted as working together they have a leader, that leader being Joy, or essentially happiness. I think this holds significance as when Joy disappears the other emotions start to freak out and try to think ‘what Joy would do’ but fail to do so.
    To me both depictions of emotion are relatable but Disney’s 2015 adaption of emotions and reason makes more sense because as “Antonio Damasio (1994, p. 165) [says] … decision-making is the ‘purpose of reasoning’ because reason is the business of selecting an appropriate and effective response option …. to deal with the exigencies of a given situation” (Barbalet 1998, p. 41). For me, decision making includes emotions and emotional responses. You have to reason with yourself to make a decision but the emotional impact the final decision will have on others and yourself will help determine the result of the decision. For example, if you don’t want to clean your room but your mum will be really angry, in turn upsetting you, if you don’t you will make the decision to ‘suffer’ for a few hours while you clean to keep everyone happy in the long run.

    Twitter: @EmilyCarlon
    Email: ec539@uowmail.edu.au

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  23. The three approaches founded by Barbalet examining the differences and/or connection between emotion and reason create a structure that allows for a greater understanding of the controversial topic of mind over body. Disneys short film ‘Reason and Emotion’ (1943), is formulated on the conventional approach, presenting reason in opposition to emotion. Furthermore, Barbalet’s conventional approach is significantly evident throughout this depiction of emotion versus rationality.

    Conversely, the 2015 Disney film ‘Inside Out’ follows Barbalet’s critical approach with emotion supporting reason. The five emotions represented in the film have been constructed in relation to the six basic primary emotions that are found across all cultures (joy, fear, sadness, disgust and anger). The exclusion of logic being a specific character within the film, allowed for this component to be included within the main character (joy). Perceptions acknowledged by Hume, Weber and Antonio, further implement the critical approach presented in the film.

    Moreover, Schnall’s TEDxTalk (2014), discusses Barbalet’s third proposition, the radical approach. The understanding of emotion and rationality being continuous is presented throughout this clip explaining the significance of perception when taking action.

    Furthermore, I believe that Disneys 2015 depiction of emotion and reason working in cohesion and having significant influence on each other is more so accurate than the 1943 war propaganda short film. Through analyzing Barbalet’s theories I believe that he was correct in stating that the two components allow for action to be made in a unified outcome.

  24. The conventional approach to emotions sees emotion as less important than rational thinking. It, therefore, encourages suppressing of emotions and displaying the rational to society. This is because emotion is considered to be impulsive and disruptive (Weber, pg. 36). The issue is that that emotions cannot be eliminated from society. Even Weber expressed critical though on the conventional approach when he acknowledged the importance of emotion in setting goals.

    Looking at the Disney video from 1943 emotions appear to be something that is constantly at battle with rational thought. The rational thought tires to protects us from our gullible emotions. This is seen when the film displays that it was the emotions of Nazi followers that convinced them to blindly follow Hitler rather than their rational thought. The audience is meant to feel encouraged follow their rational thought. 70 years on Westerns society’s approach to emotions appears to have evolved from the simplistic notions that our emotions are not relevant. Rather than fear of emotions taking over our brain the film ‘Inside Out’ (2015) depicts humans to be their emotions. Emotions are what drives us and what inevitably resolves our issues in society.

    Personally, I think the conventional approach has some merit but I could not relate at all to the film by Disney from the 1943 it appeared to put emotion as something is stupid and that emotion only comes into play when there is an issue rather than emotions being something that is positive and rational. I agree more with the Disney 2015 film that our emotions cannot be separated from our rational thought.

    Barbalet, J 1998, ‘Emotions and rationality’, Emotion Social Theory Social Structure Rationality, pp. 29-61

  25. Disney’s 1943 film depicts emotion and reason as two apposing faculties, who fight for control. They are seen as complete opposites, where reason is logical and rational, and emotion is erratic and volatile. This takes a conventional approach as outlined by Barbalet.

    ‘Inside Out’ shows emotion and reason in quite a different way. There is a continuous collaborative relationship between the emotions and reason, where all the different emotions balance each other to create a sense of reason. This shows quite a shift in the view of reason and emotion over time. Current views relate to a more radical approach as outlined in Barbalet’s writing.

    In my opinion, i can relate much more to a radical approach to reason and emotion, where the two work collaboratively in life. Reason and emotion balance each other out, and work as a partnership rather than competing with each other for dominance. When working together we’re less likely to experience the extremes of the two. Our emotions help us be empathetic, and rationality helps us dial back to a level deemed satisfactory by society’s norms and values. When the two work together collaboratively we are more likely to be emotionally intelligent humans.

    @MelHancock94

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  26. The Disney film (1943) shows reason and emotion mostly in competition with each other in how we act and behave in society. It shows the audience that it is better to be controlled by reason than emotion as depicted by the two different characters. Reason as a wise and smart person wearing glasses and Emotion as a wild person wearing jungle clothes. It shows reason as being good as we can be more rational rather than emotional which was shown as being less good and weak. It suggests we should be more “thinking” rather than “feeling”.
    This depiction of this view of reason and emotion in the Disney film (1945) can be explained by Barbalet’s conventional approach to understanding the difference between rationality and emotion. In this approach, Barbalet sees reason and emotion are at odds with one another and cannot co-exist as noted by him stating ” emotion disrupts reason, and therefore, if persons are to remain reasonable, that the influence of emotion must be removed from them’ (Barbalet p34)
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  27. Reason and emotions; I understand that within myself I see that my sense of reason is there to try to control and level out my outward behaviours when my emotions are impacting me, therefore influencing my behaviour. The clip from 1945 demonstrates the ‘conventional approach’ of how reason must operate in charge over emotions to control behaviours deemed inappropriate and excessive. This view that emotion is irrational and will overrun an individual can be viewed as that only one or the other can be in control of what the person does. Barbalet (1998, p. 29), discusses the conventional approach of emotion being a “opposite of reason” this can be identified as a theme in the 1945 clip. Inside out’s clip demonstrates emotions and reason working together and relying upon one another to influence a reaction and therefore impact Riley’s behaviours towards stimuli. This in turn impacts relationships that individuals have, which in turn creates a cycle of an individual’s perspective on themselves and others. Barbalet speaks of literature that demonstrates “emotion as rational, or at least as necessary to the enterprise of rationality” (1998, p.31) this explains the need for emotions to influence a persons thoughts, then behaviour to influence an individuals reaction to a simuli that requires a reaction. For example; in the film Inside out (2015), disgust influences Riley when going to eat something green and refusing for the idea it could be poisonous. This then reflects the ideal of “fight or flight” in reaction to stimuli. This film highlights an understanding of the importance of emotions which impacts on a persons thoughts, reason and therefore behaviours.

    Each clip demonstrates a different way of thinking and assessing how reason and emotions influence and impact on a person.

    Personally I feel that my thoughts influence my emotions and then impact on my behaviour towards a stimulus. Through reason and being aware of how each reason, emotion and thought influences my behaviour I am able to make a decision influenced on my reason and emotional status.
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  28. Barbalet (1998) states that the conventional approach suggests that emotion is the opposite of reason. However emotion and reason have a close relationship during each event. Emotion and reason may either oppose each other, support each other or seem to be continuous. Society controls the way you feel about a particular thing. Your thoughts are based on what you have been taught from a young age and what you see around you. Both nature and nurture play an important part in our upbringing. Emotions allow us to define ourselves in a situation and act accordingly. Webber states that emotion cannot be eradicated from human affairs and it has an optimistic role in clarifying intentions and ordering action. However reason is extremely important because when emotions take over, we may not act rendering to the rules set out by society. Burkitt expresses that when we act on a feeling, we are aware of what we are doing so we cannot say that feeling and thought are two separate elements. As a society today we tend to have a radical or critical approach towards emotion. When rationality is at a standstill, emotion steps in and acts accordingly. However reason is used a lot more in the context of the twenty first century than emotion is. When a person commits a crime, he is allowed to go to court and justify the reason for committing the crime but in the past few decades and centuries, people were not allowed to explain their wrong. They were immediately punished if the law thought that they had done something wrong.
    Disney in 1943 uses the propaganda cartoon to appeal to the minds of the people as they realised that emotions are extremely complex and the mind of a person can easily be influenced by their surroundings. The cartoons provoked the citizens of the United States of America to question the injustice that Hitler was carrying out. However most of the US citizens would have blindly followed the cartoon and got enlisted for World War Two. However, today humans tend to find reason and logic in all the activities that they carry out. The media is questioned and newspapers become extremely unpopular when they publish inaccurate information. Hence the film Inside Out voices how we all feel during complex situations but it also shows us how important all our emotions are for us to live happily.

  29. Barbalet (1998) states that the conventional approach suggests that emotion is the opposite of reason. However emotion and reason have a close relationship during each event. Emotion and reason may either oppose each other, support each other or seem to be continuous. Society controls the way you feel about a particular thing. Your thoughts are based on what you have been taught from a young age and what you see around you. Both nature and nurture play an important part in our upbringing. Emotions allow us to define ourselves in a situation and act accordingly. Webber states that emotion cannot be eradicated from human affairs and it has an optimistic role in clarifying intentions and ordering action. However reason is extremely important because when emotions take over, we may not act rendering to the rules set out by society. Burkitt expresses that when we act on a feeling, we are aware of what we are doing so we cannot say that feeling and thought are two separate elements. As a society today we tend to have a radical or critical approach towards emotion. When rationality is at a standstill, emotion steps in and acts accordingly. However reason is used a lot more in the context of the twenty first century than emotion is. When a person commits a crime, he is allowed to go to court and justify the reason for committing the crime but in the past few decades and centuries, people were not allowed to explain their wrong. They were immediately punished if the law thought that they had done something wrong. However we are still taught to fear and follow rules in the current society as it was practiced in the past. People have to live by a certain set of rules or they will be shunned in society.
    Disney in 1943 uses the propaganda cartoon to appeal to the minds of the people as they realised that emotions are extremely complex and the mind of a person can easily be influenced by their surroundings. The cartoons provoked the citizens of the United States of America to question the injustice that Hitler was carrying out. However most of the US citizens would have blindly followed the cartoon and got enlisted for World War Two. However, today humans tend to find reason and logic in all the activities that they carry out. The media is questioned and newspapers become extremely unpopular when they publish inaccurate information. Hence the film Inside Out voices how we all feel during complex situations but it also shows us how important all our emotions are for us to live happily.

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