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As the subtitle suggests, Evans is less concerned with the emotions themselves (although he has plenty to say about them) than with the approaches scientists have taken to understand what makes us tick. Anthropologists, linguists, philosophers, and psychologists have contributed to the science of emotions, though with sometimes contradictory findings. Whereas language, as the famed postulate holds, precedes thought, linguists have found instances of emotions for which some languages have no words, but whose speakers feel them all the same. And although social scientists once held that the emotions were the product of cultural conditioning, it is now apparent that they're hard-wired into the human psyche, universal and constant. Those discoveries, Evans writes, force a revaluation of some long-held notions, such as C.S. Lewis's influential belief that romantic love was an invention of medieval Europe--and that unemotional creatures such as Star Trek's Spock are intellectually superior to creatures like us, enslaved by the monkey mind.
Calm, self-assured, and instructive, Evans's little book makes a fine companion to more popular studies of the emotions, such as Victor Johnson's Why We Feel and Terry Burnham and Jay Phelan's Mean Genes. --Gregory McNamee
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
This is definitely a book intended for popular audience. Very easy to read and to follow. I thought the range of topics was interesting but also since it is a poppy book, the... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Arina Pismenny
Joy, distress, anger, fear, surprise, and disgust. Love, guilt, shame, embarrassment, pride, envy, and jealousy. Read morePublished on December 18, 2011 by Sam Adams