Not Passions Slave: Emotions and Choice

Paperback | April 5, 2006

byRobert C. Solomon

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The idea that we are in some significant sense responsible for our emotions is an idea that Robert Solomon has developed for almost three decades. Here, in a single volume, he traces the development of this theory of emotions and elaborate it in detail. Two themes run through his work: thefirst presents a "cognitive" theory of emotions in which emotions are construed primarily as evaluative judgments. The second proposes an "existentialist" perspective in which he defends the idea that, as we are responsible for our emotions. Indeed, sometimes it even makes sense to say that we"choose" them. While the first claim has gained increasing currency in the literature, his claim about responsibility for emotions has continued to meet with considerable resistance and misinterpretation. The new emphasis on evolutionary biology and neurology has (mistakenly) reinforced thepopular prejudice that emotions "happen" to us and are entirely beyond our control. This volume is also a kind of intellectual memoir of Solomon1s own development as a thinker. The essays written in the 1980s elaborate the themes of the "intentionality" of emotion and the claim that emotions are "judgments"; in this period, he is also increasingly preoccupied with how emotionsvary and are identified in a variety of cultures. In the 1990's, his interests evolve to consider the social and political role of emotions and theories about emotion. The final section presents his current philosophical position on the seeming "passivity" of the passions. Despite his own criticalassessment of his earlier work, he continues to argue that, in the final analysis, we are responsible for our emotions and existential quality of our lives.

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The idea that we are in some significant sense responsible for our emotions is an idea that Robert Solomon has developed for almost three decades. Here, in a single volume, he traces the development of this theory of emotions and elaborate it in detail. Two themes run through his work: thefirst presents a "cognitive" theory of emotion...

Robert C. Solomon is at University of Texas, Austin.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.68 inPublished:April 5, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195179781

ISBN - 13:9780195179781

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Table of Contents

1. Emotions and Choice (1973)2. On Physiology and Feelings (1976)3. The Rationality of Emotions (1977)4. Nothing to be Proud of (1980)5. Emotions' Mysterious Objects (1984)6. Getting Angry: The Jamesian Theory of Emotion in Anthropology (1984)7. On Emotions as Judgments (1988)8. Back to Basics: On the Very Idea of "Basic Emotions" (1993, rev. 2001)9. The Politics of Emotion (1998)10. Against Valence ("Positive" and "Negative" Emotions) (2001)11. Thoughts and Feelings: What Is a "Cognitive Theory" of the Emotions and Does It Neglect Affectivity? (2001)12. On the Passivity of the Passions (2001)NotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"The twelve essays by Robert C. Solomon that comprise Not Passion's Slave serve as a kind of intellectual memoir of their author, who has, for the last thirty years, been at the heart of a revival of philosophical interest in the emotions."--Times Literary Supplement