I agree with Kierkegaard to the extent that there are internal and external truths. I do not agree in how internal truths are defined as is self evident from my post.
I am 'name-dropping' in order to list alternative understandings of the word truth because I doubt that many people on the forum have the need to consider what truth actually means in any philosophical sense. The links I provided were for elucidation rather than argumentation.
Appeal to emotion is only a fallacy in certain ontological and epistemological conditions. This is a drum I keep banging as a result of reading something by Ratzinger. Because I say something is interesting does not mean I am appealing to it for authority. I am saying it is interesting because I think it is interesting:
Common to the whole Enlightenment is the will to emancipation, first in the sense of Kant's <sapere aude>ódare to use your reason for yourself. Kant is urging the individual reason to break free of the bonds of authority, which must all be subjected to critical scrutiny. Only what is accessible to the eyes of reason is allowed validity. This philosophical program is by its very nature a political one as well: reason shall reign, and in the end no other authority is admitted than that of reason. Only what is accessible to reason has validity; what is not reasonable, that is, not accessible to reason, cannot be binding either.
Now please, be less patronising.
My question to the table is: Do you see emotion and logic as a dichotomy? If so do you see them in opposition? Where do things like faith and aesthetics (or even the concept of instinct) fall upon this spectrum? Are they part of one or the other, or do they stand independent? And how appropriate is their invocation?
I do not regard emotion and logic as being comparable, but then this might be a matter of definition / understanding:
Logic, at least as I understand it, deals with what validity of inferences.
Emotions are... well. I'm not sure what they are. Judgements? A form of knowledge? Are emotions really the same thing as feeling? I have no idea.
Rationality, however, is another question entirely. I do not conflate rationality with logic.
Rationality and emotion are often at odds: emotional responses tend to stop us acting as rational actors.
At the same time those things that allow us to 'do' rationality' and 'emotion' are probably the same structures in the brain. At least that's what Antonio Damasio would have us believe (here's the TLS review
). I've not read the whole book, but the chapters I did appear to suggest that damage to the post-central gyrus and prefrontal cortex dramatically curtail both rational and emotional responses.
Emotion, aesthetic, instinct, and faith are related in that they are all 'non-rational'. I have no particuarly strong feelings about aesthetics, beyond thinking Kant's First Moment notion odd - that the pleasure we take in seeing something beautiful is a disinterested one, one does not relate in a desire to possess. Maybe I'm just very greedy. The only comment I have in relation to instinct was reading "An Instinct for Dragons" (Apparently, dragon mythology arises from the fear that primates had for snakes, large reptiles, and birds of prey). It's a nice idea but entirely non-falsifable given the lack of early hominid brains.
Drawing from the shakey foundation of Damasio and poor Mr Gage, I suspect that rationality and non-rationality are both features of brain wiring. As such, I don't think that rational and nonrational are necessarily better or worse - they're different modes of 'thinking', perhaps even different epistemological paradigms.
As to when to invoke them? It would depend on the context and purpose. I would very rarely find myself moved by aesthetics. But then I have yet to hear someone claim that human rights are beautiful, but could easily imagine someone describing the TCA cycle as such. Or at least elegant. Your audience and your objective will determine when and how to evoke them.
As I've said in a number of threads, arguments about the basis of human rights usually come down to non-rational ways of thinking. They clearly work quite well. We've managed to hoodwink most of the world into believing that these things exist and that they're somehow special