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What Is an Emotion?

Classic and Contemporary Readings

Second Edition

Edited by Robert C. Solomon

Publication Date - January 2003

ISBN: 9780195159646

320 pages
6-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches


What is an Emotion?, 2/e, draws together important selections from classical and contemporary theories and debates about emotion. Utilizing sources from a variety of subject areas including philosophy, psychology, and biology, editor Robert Solomon provides an illuminating look at the "affective" side of psychology and philosophy from the perspective of the world's great thinkers. Part One of the book features five classic readings from Aristotle, the Stoics, Descartes, Spinoza, and Hume. Part Two offers classic and contemporary theories from the social sciences, presenting selections from such thinkers as Charles Darwin and Sigmund Freud alongside recent work from Paul Ekman, Catherine Lutz, and others. Part Three presents some of the extensive work on emotion that developed in Europe over the past century. Part Four includes essays representing the discussion of emotions among British and American analytic philosophers. The volume is enhanced by a comprehensive introduction by the editor and a multidisciplinary bibliography.
What is an Emotion? is appropriate for any course in which the nature of emotion plays a major role, including philosophy of emotion, philosophy of mind, history of psychology, emotion and motivation, moral psychology, and history and psychology of consciousness courses. The second edition provides much more material on emotions in the sciences and more from recent philosophical theories, encompassing recent shifts in theorizing on three fronts: the wealth of new information on the central nervous system and the brain; new developments in cross-cultural research and anthropology; and the recent emphasis on "cognition" in emotion, both in philosophy and the social sciences. New selections include work by Antonio Damasio, Ronald De Sousa, Paul Ekman, Nico Frijda, Patricia Greenspan, Paul Griffiths, Richard Lazarus, Catherine Lutz, Martha Nussbaum, and Michael Stocker.

Previous Publication Date(s)

January 1984

Table of Contents

    Introduction: "What Is an Emotion?".
    From Rhetoric
    From On the Soul
    From Nicomachean Ethics
    The Stoics
    From Early Stoics
    From Seneca, De Ira
    From Galen, On the Doctrines of Hippocrates and Plato
    René Descartes
    From The Passions of the Soul
    Benedict Spinoza
    From Ethics
    David Hume
    From A Treatise of Human Nature
    Charles Robert Darwin
    From The Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals
    William James
    From What Is an Emotion?
    Walter B. Cannon
    From Bodily Changes in Pain, Hunger, Fear and Rage
    John Dewey
    From The Theory of Emotion
    Sigmund Freud
    From The Unconscious
    Anxiety (From General Lectures on Psychoanalysis)
    Stanley Schachter and Jerome E. Singer
    From Cognitive, Social, and Physiological Determinants of Emotional State
    Paul Ekman
    From Biological and Cultural Contributions to Body and Facial Movement in the Expression of Emotions
    Richard Lazarus
    Appraisal: The Minimal Cognitive Prerequisites of Emotion
    Nico Frijda
    Emotions are Functional, Most of the Time
    Catherine Lutz
    From Unnatural Emotions
    Antonio Damasio
    From The Feeling of What Happens
    Franz Brentano
    From On the Origin of Our Knowledge of Right and Wrong
    Max Scheler
    From Formalism in Ethics and Non-Formal Ethics of Values
    Martin Heidegger
    Charles Guignon, Moods in Heidegger's Being and Time
    Jean-Paul Sartre
    From The Emotions: A Sketch of a Theory
    Gilbert Ryle
    From The Concept of Mind
    Errol Bedford
    From Emotions
    Anthony Kenny
    From Action, Emotion and Will
    Robert C. Solomon
    From Emotions and Choice
    Cheshire Calhoun
    Cognitive Emotions?
    Ronald De Sousa
    From The Rationality of Emotion
    Michael Stocker
    The Irreducibility of Affectivity
    Patricia Greenspan
    Reasons to Feel
    Martha Nussbaum
    Emotions as Judgements of Value and Importance
    Paul Griffiths
    From What Emotions Really Are