To what extent are our intellectual positions removed from our hearts?

“Let us not pretend to doubt in our philosophy what we do not doubt in our hearts,” wrote the U.S. philosopher Charles S. Peirce in his book Some Consequences of Four Incapacities.

“Our philosophy” and “our hearts” are separated here in a way that addresses the habits of thought among Peirce’s contemporaries. But Peirce seems to be saying that the distinction between “our philosophy” and “our hearts” is not actually that distinct. His statement strikes me as an argument with a singular point: that we are singular beings, not compartmentalized beings operating in separate realms.

My thoughts jump to this description of Soren Kierkegaard’s philosophy as described by William Barrett in his book Irrational Man: “…my existence is not at all a matter of speculation to me, but a reality in which I am personally and passionately involved. I do not find this existence reflected in the mirror of the mind, I encounter it in life; it is my life, a current flowing invisibly around all my mental mirrors.”

So I wonder if heart and critical thinking can operate entirely separate from each other. There is plenty more to say on this. What do you think? Comment below.


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