Valuing Emotions

Valuing Emotions

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This 1996 book is the result of a uniquely productive union of philosophy, psychoanalysis and anthropology, and explores the complexity and importance of emotions. Michael Stocker places emotions at the very centre of human identity, life and value. He lays bare how our culture's idealisation of rationality pervades the philosophical tradition and leads those who wrestle with serious ethical and philosophical problems into distortion and misunderstanding. Professor Stocker shows how important are the social and emotional contexts of ethical dilemmas and inner conflicts, and he challenges philosophical theories that try to overgeneralise and over-simplify by leaving out the particulars of each situation. In offering a realistic account of emotions and an in-depth analysis of how psychological factors affect judgments of all kind, this book will interest a broad range of readers across the disciplines of philosophy and psychology.show more

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"Stocker's new book is a pleasure to read, as he is open in entertaining counterarguments and is generous in crediting the work of others. Indeed, there is no other book that I know of which makes the argument in favor of philosophers rethinking their views of emotions as fairly, cogently, and wisely. Stocker and Hegeman have written an enlightening and stimulating book that pursues the reader to reexamine prevailing views of emotions among philosophers. Stocker and Hegeman have made a significant contribution in this book in defending the idea that 'the unfelt life is not worth living'(186)." Elliot L. Jurist, Metaphilosophy LLC and Blackwell Publishers Ltd. "Stocker has written a rich and provocative book. Its range and fertitlity is much greater than I can convey in this review. There are interesting dicussions of pleasure...And throughout, Stocker presses disquieting questions of contemporary theorists of emotion and value. Philosophers, even and perhaps especially those whom Stocker means to confound, will benefit from perusing its pages." John Deigh, The Philosophical Reviewshow more

Table of contents

Part I. Preliminary Material: 1. The irreducibility of affectivity; 2. How emotions reveal value; Part II. Emotions and Value: Some Epistemological and Constitutive Relations: 3. Emotional problems suggest epistemological problems (with Elizabeth Hegeman); 4. Do these connections show emotions important for value, or do they show something else?; 5. Emotions are important for evaluation and value; 6. Emotions as constituents and as added perfections; 7. How emotions help with evaluative knowledge (with Elizabeth Hegeman); Part III. Case Studies: Philosophical and Other Complexities of Emotions: 8. The interdependence of emotions and psychology (with Elizabeth Hegeman); 9. Affectivity and self-concern; 10. The complex evaluative world of Aristotle's Angry Man (with Elizabeth Hegeman); 11. Some final conclusions.show more

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