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An investigation introducing two Ways of Knowing: Reason and Emotion

It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this.Bertrand Russell (1950)


[Emotion] has the advantage of being open to all, the weak and the lowly, the illiterate and the scholar. It is seen to be as efficacious as any other method and is sometimes said to be stronger than the others, since it is its own fruition, while other methods are means to some other ends.

Bhagavad Gita

Essential Questions


Lesson 1

Hypothetical-Deductive Game (Dombrowski p81) or Scissors game presentation and discussion

Argument construction- terminology and logic-

This could be extension task
The IB Genie (Dombrowski pp65-7) illustration of how reason reveals new knowledge.

What is induction? When do we use it? When does it let us down? Mathematical induction. How induction works in Science. Induction versus deduction:

Testing inductive arguments:
The problem of induction - jumping to conclusions based on insufficient evidence- this exercise illustrates how we often jump to conclusions on the basis of insufficient evidence. In the same way, there is no hard and fast rule about how many observations must be made before we can make a generalisation.

Problems of traditional logic (see Abel p52-7).

Lesson 2
Lesson 3

Starter: Class constructs cloud of emotion words.
Read short story by Li Xun (1920), identify emotions of participants
Discuss classification of emotions
Emotional collage activity - creative projects, each student illustrates an emotion. Peer assessment.

1 Error in this Lesson

Student Emotion Collages

The Heart has its Reasons audio programme (30 min) - students' preparation for this topic. Write notes.
Mindmap: How do we interpret our knowledge? Begin with Reason and Emotion branches. Whole class activity online or poster.
Emotion and knowledge: Emotions- nature or nurture? Do emotions cause physical changes? or do physical symptoms cause emotions?
Emotion- does it act as an obstacle to knowledge?

Lesson 4

The role of reason in decision-making: Radiolab podcast "Choice" (1 hour) - student HW to listen to it.
The role of emotion in decision-making: Does emotion play any part in choosing a breakfast cereal?: Radiolab podcast 'Overcome by emotion'

What is intuition? What is introspection? When do we disregard explanations we find intuitively appealing?

Watch Twelve Angry Men

7 Errors in this Lesson


Lesson 5
Lessn 6
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