Philosophical analysis of the relation between reason and emotion with special reference to music education and creativity
Chege, Fatuma Nyaguthii
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In Music Education, the concept of Reason and that of Emotion are implicitly regarded as synonymous to the notion of 'ideas' and that of 'feelings' respectively. This is evident in the music syllabi for primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education in Kenya, whereby, 'ideas' and 'feelings' are portrayed as self-evident concepts. Music educators are therefore, expected to comprehend and to apply these concepts appropriately in the practice of their profession. However, it is not clear how 'ideas' and 'feelings' which are conceptualized differently are to be treated within the context of Music Education. The basic position of this thesis is that, the concept of ~deas' is based on the fundamental concept of Reason and that, Emotions beiong to the category of 'feelings' that- are relatively most crucial in view of music creativity. It is also the standpoint of this thesis that a moment of complementarity between our Reason and our Emotions is a fundamental condition for creativity. Our study therefore endeavours to demonstrate that there is a synthetic relation between Reason and Emotions in any creative undertaking. First, the thesis develops a conceptual framework which serves as a point of reference for the entire study. Second, an analysis of the concept of Reason as a mental quality that manifests itself in our ·various abilities to perform certain tasks is given. Since the functional qualities of Reason are multifarious, we have only addressed ourselves to nine ways which exemplify Reason as a human ability. Third, the concept of Emotion is elucidated as a mental quality that manifests itself as the basic impetus for our various activities. This study adopts three categories of Emotions namely Emotions Proper, Moods and Agitations. Emotions Proper are experienced as momentary and intense. They are also directed towards a specific object or a situation. Moods are experienced as Emotions that linger on in the consciousness. Agitations, like Emotions Proper, are momentary and intense but they have a causal relationship with objects or situations. Fourth, the conceptual differences between Reason and Emotion are highlighted. Qualities that are shared by Reason and Emo~ion are also highlighted. This brings us to our basic under~aking in this study whereby Reason and Emotion are brought together by way of synthesis. In this part of the study, we argue that Emotions have a certain power of force that makes us act, albeit not in any structured manner. We also argue that Reason has the controlling strength by which our activities are clearly guided and clearly directed towards something that is specific. However, unlike Bmotion, Reason lacks the so crucial ana initial impulse that prompts our activities. Emotion also lacks the controlling quality ~hat guides our creative act~vities. It follows from the foregoing that Reason and Emotion are necessarily complementary qualities in any human activity that is creative. We contend that a person is in a creative mode of being if he actively and innovatively responds to the complimentariness of his Reason and his Emotion. Such a person then, responds to the initial impulse that emanates from Emotion and he also responds to the sustained control that is.provided by Reason. Fifth, the synthetic relationship between Reason and Emotion in our creative modes of being is explicitly applied as an educational guide for the proper interpretation and implementation of the music syllabi. (xiii) Finally, the thesis concludes by rejecting the vague use of the terms 'ideas' and 'feelings' as juxtaposed concepts in music education. We maintain that the rec i.prcca.Lne ss of Reason and Emotion is the foundation of creativity that music education seeks to enhance.