About Passionate Reason

I am L.E. Henderson. I write fantasy novels, and Passionate Reason is my personal blog. I cover a range of topics from writing to video games.

My title refers to the needless conflict between reason and emotion, and the problems this causes.

William Butler Yeats saw this conflict. He wrote, “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” In other words, people who are full of fiery passion often act irrationally. And the people who do think – and admit uncertainty – often lack the passion to act.

There have to be ways to unify passion with reason. For some, this means getting to know people who are different. For others it means seeing opposing viewpoints by reading.

For me, writing focuses my effort to understand the world. Point of view, for example, is a way to see outside myself. Imagining being someone else creates empathy. Even the most basic writing principles can lead to clearer thinking – or reason. Writing with apt word choices is a good way to test my ideas.

Irrational ideas, well expressed, show their true colors quickly. The better writing becomes, the more it exposes bigotry or a stubborn unwillingness to see the world as it is.

My blog does not stay strictly with this theme. As a personal blog, it covers whatever topic I am obsessed with at the moment: creativity, books, video games, or my life in South Florida.

However, my attempt to view the world with both passion and reason is a recurrent theme and obsession.

It would be better to combine passion and reason, rather than having a lopsided relationship where either one or the other wins. If people who think clearly would be passionate too, and if people who only feel would use logic, people would make better decisions and there would be less suffering.

The blog covers things the author is passionate about: writing, critical thinking, creativity, liberal social ideals, books, the fantasy and sci-fi genres, and video games.

4 thoughts on “About Passionate Reason

  1. I’m intrigued, so I’ll follow along 🙂 Love the Yeats quote and I believe we can have both, too. I’ve always considered myself an idealistic and pragmatic person. Why not?

  2. Passionate reason is an excellent term, and a great title for your blog, as all of your writings are brimming with both rationality and feeling. I completely agree with you as well that reason and emotion need not be simply contrasting phenomena. While sometimes it is necessary to let one or the other take the reins, oftentimes one can invoke or even drive the other. For me the two definitely coexist. And of course I can’t help but notice the parallel with the etymology of ‘philosophy’ (love of wisdom) since love and passion are sometimes taken as synonymous and reason ought to lead to wisdom if done right 🙂

    • I love what you said, “All of your writings are brimming with both rationality and feeling.” Thanks Cliff! Such an awesome compliment coming from a formal logic ninja!

      I think I’m obsessed with reason because I so often catch myself being irrational, and irrationality can be punishing if it goes unchecked. There are definitely days I feel like I should go back and read “Bivalent Logic” for therapeutic purposes if nothing else. 🙂

      I also appreciate your point that “philosophy” means love of wisdom. I never thought about that in relationship to the term Passionate Reason, but it makes sense.

      Thanks so much for reading and for sharing your thoughts. I always enjoy reading your comments! 🙂

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