Kant's Understanding of the Relation Between Reason and Passion/Emotion

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The explanation of human behavior can be characterized as a challenging task. Usually, human actions are based on specific causes, but this rule is not always applicable, as for example in the case of automated human responses to certain events.


Kant has tried to explore the reasons of human actions, as these reasons are related to emotions. In his study, the Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals Kant presents the key characteristics of the above relationship. It seems that reason, as a critical element of human decisions/ actions, is closely related to emotions, even if this relationship is not easily distinguished, as explained below. In the third Chapter of the Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant focuses on the importance of will, as a reflection of the freedom of each individual to decide. It is also in this chapter that reason, as an approach used for understanding the external world, is described. Emotions are also evaluated, as elements affecting human behavior. In order to understand the relation between reason, or cause, and emotions it would be necessary to understand the criteria on which human behavior is based; reference should be made especially to the concepts of freedom and causality, as related to will on which human behavior is highly based. At this point the following fact should be highlighted: reason may have two different contexts: cause, as a factor influencing freedom, is related to morality; reason, is a term that can be also used for showing the criteria on which the understanding of external world is based. ...
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