Emotional Lexicons: Continuity and Change in the Vocabulary of Feeling 1700-2000

Hardcover | March 13, 2014

EditorUte Frevert

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Emotions are as old as humankind. But what do we know about them and what importance do we assign to them? Emotional Lexicons is the first cultural history of terms of emotion found in German, French, and English language encyclopaedias since the late seventeenth century. Insofar as thesereference works formulated normative concepts, they documented shifts in the way the educated middle classes were taught to conceptualise emotion by a literary medium targeted specifically to them. As well as providing a record of changing language use (and the surrounding debates), manyencyclopaedia articles went further than simply providing basic knowledge; they also presented a moral vision to their readers and guidelines for behaviour. Implicitly or explicitly, they participated in fundamental discussions on human nature: Are emotions in the mind or in the body? Can we "read" another person's feelings in their face? Do animals have feelings? Are men less emotional than women? Are there differences between the emotions of childrenand adults? Can emotions be "civilised"? Can they make us sick? Do groups feel together? Do our emotions connect us with others or create distance? The answers to these questions are historically contingent, showing that emotional knowledge was and still is closely linked to the social, cultural,and political structures of modern societies.Emotional Lexicons analyses European discourses in science, as well as in broader society, about affects, passions, sentiments, and emotions. It does not presume to refine our understanding of what emotions actually are, but rather to present the spectrum of knowledge about emotion embodied inconcepts whose meanings shift through time, in order to enrich our own concept of emotion and to lend nuances to the interdisciplinary conversation about them.

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Emotions are as old as humankind. But what do we know about them and what importance do we assign to them? Emotional Lexicons is the first cultural history of terms of emotion found in German, French, and English language encyclopaedias since the late seventeenth century. Insofar as thesereference works formulated normative concepts, t...

Ute Frevert is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and a Scientific Member of the Max Planck Society. From 2003 to 2007 she was professor of German history at Yale University and previously taught History at the Universities of Konstanz, Bielefeld, and the Free University in Berlin. Her research interests include...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.01 inPublished:March 13, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199655731

ISBN - 13:9780199655731

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Table of Contents

1. Ute Frevert: Defining Emotions: Concepts and Debates over Three Centuries2. Monique Scheer: Topographies of Emotion3. Anne Schmidt: Showing Emotions, Reading Emotions4. Pascal Eitler: The 'Origin' of Emotions - Sensitive Humans, Sensitive Animals5. Bettina Hitzer: Healing Emotions6. Nina Verheyen: Age(ing) with Feeling7. Benno Gammerl: Felt Distances8. Christian Bailey: Social Emotions9. Margrit Pernau: Civility and Barbarism: Emotions as Criteria of Difference10. Ute Frevert: Emotional Knowledge - Modern Developments