“Quit being so emotional. We need to be rational right now!” Have you heard or said that before? It probably triggered some strong emotions. We’re used to thinking about our emotions as something separate from our ability to reason. We think of emotions as being irrational. But is this a rational belief? Dr. Georgia Frank challenges that assumption of irrationality, arguing that even though our emotions are impulsive, they don’t exist completely beyond reason:As Christianity spread in late antiquity, the meaning of emotions—and the expectations about how to deal with them—shifted. Watch Dr. Frank unpack some of this history in her lecture, “Feeling Christian: Re-educating the Emotions in Late Antiquity,” now available on the Institute’s YouTube channel.
“Even in our impulses, there’s some kind of thinking going on, and that’s what I want to talk about…Unlike some psychological or philosophical schools which regard the emotions as non-rational, I approach emotions as consisting of judgments; they are tied up in rationality. In addition to being cognitive and physiological, emotions also reflect one’s social and cultural context.” —Dr. Georgia Frank