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The History of Emotions: A Very Short Introduction

Thomas Dixon

May 2023

ISBN: 9780198818298

152 pages
Paperback
174x111mm

Very Short Introductions

Price: £8.99

Emotions are complex mental states that resist reduction. Intimate and private, yet gaining substance and significance from their social and cultural context, their history is plural. It occupies the intersection of history of ideas, of the body, of subjectivity, and social and cultural history. This book explores its many facets.

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Description

Emotions are complex mental states that resist reduction. Intimate and private, yet gaining substance and significance from their social and cultural context, their history is plural. It occupies the intersection of history of ideas, of the body, of subjectivity, and social and cultural history. This book explores its many facets.

  • Sheds new light on emotions in the present by tracing their ancestries in the past
  • Explains key concepts in conversation with other disciplines, including philosophy, psychology, political thought, gender studies, and affect theory
  • Covers philosophical theories of passions and emotions from Ancient Greece and China to the present
  • Original historical perspectives on a range of key feelings, including sorrow, terror, happiness, rage, revenge, friendship, and love
  • Part of the Very Short Introductions series - over ten million copies sold worldwide

About the Author(s)

Thomas Dixon, Queen Mary University of London

Thomas Dixon is Professor of History and Director of the Centre for the History of the Emotions at Queen Mary University of London. His research and teaching explore the intellectual and cultural histories of passions, emotions, love, altruism, tears, and weeping, especially in Britain. His books include From Passions to Emotions: The Creation of a Secular Psychological Category (2003), The Invention of Altruism: Making Moral Meanings in Victorian Britain (2008), and Weeping Britannia: Portrait of a Nation in Tears (2015). His broadcast work has included histories of friendship and of solitude for BBC Radio 4, and an award-winning podcast series, “The Sound of Anger”, made as part of a Wellcome Trust research project on emotional health.

Table of Contents

    Preface
    Acknowledgements
    List of illustrations
    1:The pulse of the past
    2:A map of woe
    3:From passions to emojis
    4:Terror and the pursuit of happiness
    5:All the rages
    6:Looking for love
    References and further reading
    Index