Saturday, July 30, 2011

Affective Sphere, Heart at its Center, Inferior to Intellect?

I just started reading The Role of the Heart by Dietrich Von Hildebrand and so far it is interesting in how he points out that philosophically the affective sphere, the heart at its center, is considered to be inferior to that of one's intellect.   Von Hildebrand claims that there is a misunderstanding of affective sphere due to the varying wide range of experiences that we experience from our heart - from bodily feelings to holy joy to deep contrition - but why is the intellect considered superior to our heart among philosophers?  We have examples in scripture of the affective sphere, such as the holy joy of St. Simeon when holding the infant Jesus, or the contrition of St. Peter after his denial of Jesus so why is the heart considered inferior to the intellect?

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