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The Emotions: A Philosophical Introduction [Paperback]

Julien Deonna , Fabrice Teroni

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Book Description

April 21, 2012 0415614937 978-0415614931

The emotions are at the centre of our lives and, for better or worse, imbue them with much of their significance. The philosophical problems stirred up by the existence of the emotions, over which many great philosophers of the past have laboured, revolve around attempts to understand what this significance amounts to. Are emotions feelings, thoughts, or experiences? If they are experiences, what are they experiences of? Are emotions rational? In what sense do emotions give meaning to what surrounds us?

The Emotions: A Philosophical Introduction introduces and explores these questions in a clear and accessible way. The authors discuss the following key topics:

  • the diversity and unity of the emotions
  • the relations between emotion, belief and desire
  • the nature of values
  • the relations between emotions and perceptions
  • emotions viewed as evaluative attitudes
  • the link between emotions and evaluative knowledge
  • the nature of moods, sentiments, and character traits.

Including chapter summaries and guides to further reading, The Emotions: A Philosophical Introduction is an ideal starting point for any philosopher or student studying the emotions. It will also be of interest to those in related disciplines such as psychology and the social sciences.

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Editorial Reviews


"... an exemplary introduction to the philosophy of emotion. It skilfully leads the reader through the thicket of contemporary philosophical work on emotion in a way that is at once introductory and challenging. This is an impressive achievement. But it is also itself a significant contribution to that body of philosophical work. … The book is a pleasure to read and is an ideal work to use in a postgraduate or final year undergraduate course on emotion." – Joel Smith, Disputatio

"Deonna and Teroni offer a well-researched and concise overview of a vast topic in philosophy and psychology. … A well-written and fair treatment of major theories, this volume is a good beginning for advanced students with some background in philosophy in general and philosophy of mind in particular. It also serves as a short, up-to-date reference for professionals who work in the philosophy of emotion. Summing Up: Highly recommended." - CHOICE

"Quite simply the best introduction to the philosophy of the emotions on the market. The book is beautifully written, and would be ideal for an advanced undergraduate or graduate course on the emotions, but in fact all scholars working on this topic will have things to learn from it. I recommend it very highly." - Tim Crane, University of Cambridge, UK

"Deonna’s and Teroni’s argumentation is subtle and muscular; their prose is engaging and accessible; and their novel account of the relation of emotions to value is particularly notable. Not only informative, but exciting to read." - Ronald de Sousa, University of Toronto, Canada

"Exceptionally wide-ranging, yet tightly structured, sophisticated in discussion, yet succinctly and lucidly written. Accessible to newcomers and enlarging to those already engaged in philosophising about the emotions." - David Pugmire, University of Southampton, UK

"An eminently readable book, which will certainly prove indispensable for neophytes and specialists alike." - Christine Tappolet, University of Montréal, Canada

"The positive account of emotions Deonna and Teroni provide is a viable contender, well worth taking seriously. I highly recommend the book." - Bennett Helm, Franklin and Marshall College, USA

"This is an excellent volume. The work is original, important and timely, and will no doubt receive a wide audience." - Michael Brady, University of Glasgow, UK

"This is a wonderful, engaging introduction to the philosophy of emotion. The book has a fast pace and a challenging style. Yet, its subject matter represents first-class scholarship." - Nico H. Frijda, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

"To sum up: the book offers an ambitious and detailed summary and discussion of ... important debates on emotions." - Robert Zaborowski, University of Warmia and Mazury & Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland in Metapsychology


About the Author

Julien A. Deonna is Assistant Professor at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Geneva, Switzerland and at the Swiss Centre for Research in the Affective Sciences. He works on theories of emotions and moral psychology. He is co-author of In Defense of Shame (2011).

Fabrice Teroni is postdoctoral Assistant at the Philosophy Department at Bern University, Switzerland and Senior Researcher at the Swiss Centre for Research in the Affective Sciences. He works on theories of emotions and memory. He is co-author of Defense of Shame (2011).

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