“This psychological battle between intellect and intuition was played out in almost every episode of Star Trek in the characters of the ultrarational Mr. Spock and the hyperemotional Dr. McCoy, with Captain Kirk as the near perfect synthesis of both. Thus, I call this balance the Captain Kirk Principle: intellect is driven by intuition, intuition is directed by intellect.” Michael Schermer —The Captain Kirk Principle (Scientific American)
Star Trek meets Aristotle’s rhetorical strategies: Kirk = ethos (character); Spock = logos (logic); McCoy = pathos (emotion). I think of Kirk as a man of action, who pays attention to his gut (among other organs in that vicinity) whenever the logic of Spock and the emotions of McCoy gave him conflicting advice. Schermer’s explanation doesn’t quite account for Kirk’s warp-drive libido.