Prior philosophers and researchers emphasized the dynamics of reason and passion for understanding action. Pascal, in 1670, exposed the contradiction between passion and reason (Genet, 1983) (Pascal, 2007) (Cottingham, 1998). Differently, Descartes, in 1649, postulated on the supremacy of reason over passion (Descartes, 1989) (Cottingham, 1998).
Hume, in 1739, advocates a theory in which reason is governed by passion. (Hume, 2004) (Beauchamp, 2009)
In his model, Hume asserts that reason does not by itself constitute grounds for an action of volition, and that reason only intervenes to explain passion's impulses to action's proceedings and thus connecting between the two elements.
Hume (2004, p.375) also states that reason can't oppose passion for directing the will for action:
''Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them''
Hume goes further arguing that passion can influence or even disregard reason on purpose to serve goals behind actions, under the prevalence of action.
By passion, Hume categorizes the following feelings:
• direct passions (desire, aversion, joy, hope and fear)
• indirect passions (pride, humility, love, hatred, vanity, envy, pity, malice, esteem, benevolence, respect and compassion)
So… Are you fooled by your emotions?
Beauchamp, T. (2009). David Hume: A Dissertation on the Passions; The Natural History of Religion Critical. (OUP Oxford).
Cottingham, J. G. (1998). Philosophy and the Good Life: Reason and the Passions in Greek, Cartesian, and Psychoanalytic Ethics (Cambridge University Press).
Descartes, R. (1989). The Passions of the Soul: Les Passions De Lame New Ed. (Hackett Publishing Co, Inc).
Genet, C. (1983). Profil d’une oeuvre : Pensées, Pascal, 1670 (Hatier).
Hume, D. (2004). A Treatise of Human Nature New edition. (Dover Publications Inc.).
Pascal, B. (2007). Blaise Pascal: Thoughts, Letters, and Minor Works (Cosimo Classics).