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2011年03月21日

(2011-03-21 21:02:26)
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杂谈

Intellectual Truth

TOPIC ISSUE: “Even assuming it's possible to reach an answer through an intellectual process as to the right thing that should be done, it will only be followed through if it's accepted emotionally.”

[Answer | Word Count: 561]

Yes, we human beings pride ourselves for our ability to reason. But how much further can we get? In fact, inwardly we are still impulsive monkeys who just learned the first thing to fight our emotions. We may try and succeed in controlling our emotions and deducing any conclusion via only an intellectual process, but it will be not worth it to do so.

First off, we are emotional animals. How come everybody likes pop-music, movies and soap operas, but few people like math? Maybe it's because popular entertainments help you release your hidden feelings while math is pure reasoning without emotional factors, and pure reasoning is not so attractive to us. Deep inside, we are all emotional. If you were a surgeon, you might perform the operation much more careful if the patient was your relative; if you were a engineer, you might change the blue-print from the optimum design only to fit your taste; even if you were a physicist, you might not believe your own discovery if it is really hard to emotionally accept,” just like some of the real-life unlucky physicist did in the history. No matter how rational your job looks, it would not cover the truth it is an emotional animal that undertakes it.

But it's not saying we just indulge ourselves and turn ourselves into wild beasts. We train our brain hard so that we are able to control the burst of our emotions. We go to schools, take courses and repeatedly remind ourselves to be rational, noting that impulsive acts often causes troubles, and constant emotion explosions are childish behavior deviating us away from the road to success. After about two decades, maybe, we finish our process of “growing up” and finally think we have the ability to control our emotions. We know we can not leave without apology when feeling the call of nature in conducting conferences, or we know even if the person you hate the most is standing right in front of you, you are not supposed to pull a dagger and just start to stab him/her. But thats all trivial in compare to the skills we learned to analyze a problem and reach the answer using an intellectual process, and limit the participating of raw emotions.

While the burst of emotions may be controlled, learning facts without emotionally accepting it would be effort-intensive and unproductive. “The biggest tragedy in learning Mathematics (and perhaps other science too) is, you've memorized the most beautiful and magical theorem, and you've study hard over every step of its most rigorous derivation, however, you've failed to directly ‘feel’ it.” said George Polya, the famous Hungarian Mathematician and Educator. By the stressed word “feel” I think he too was emphysizing the irreplaceable role of “accepting emotionally” in scientific study. Even though we can do science in the most rational and intellectual way, it doesn't mean we should disregard the importance of introducing emotional thinking. Recall all the greatest discovery in the history, I dare say most of the glorious ones are found by intuition or impulse rather than pure logic.

We may reach an answer through an intellectual process with little emotional motivation, but it is unnatural and inadvisable. What we should do is to well control our emotions, so that neither will it overwhelm us, nor will our imagination and intuition be restricted.

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