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True to Our Feelings: What Our Emotions Are Really Telling Us [Kindle Edition]

Robert C. Solomon
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

We live our lives through our emotions, writes Robert Solomon, and it is our emotions that give our lives meaning. What interests or fascinates us, who we love, what angers us, what moves us, what bores us--all of this defines us, gives us character, constitutes who we are.

In True to Our Feelings, Solomon illuminates the rich life of the emotions--why we don't really understand them, what they really are, and how they make us human and give meaning to life. Emotions have recently become a highly fashionable area of research in the sciences, with brain imaging uncovering valuable clues as to how we experience our feelings. But while Solomon provides a guide to this cutting-edge research, as well as to what others--philosophers and psychologists--have said on the subject, he also emphasizes the personal and ethical character of our emotions. He shows that emotions are not something that happen to us, nor are they irrational in the literal sense--rather, they are judgements we make about the world, and they are strategies for living in it. Fear, anger, love, guilt, jealousy, compassion--they are all essential to our values, to living happily, healthily, and well. Solomon highlights some of the dramatic ways that emotions fit into our ethics and our sense of the good life, how we can make our emotional lives more coherent with our values and be more "true to our feelings" and cultivate emotional integrity.

The story of our lives is the story of our passions. We fall in love, we are gripped by scientific curiosity and religious fervor, we fear death and grieve for others, we humble ourselves in envy, jealousy, and resentment. In this remarkable book, Robert Solomon shares his fascination with the emotions and illuminates our passions in an exciting new way.

Editorial Reviews


"Not only does Solomon's philosophical perspective and writing style give the text depth and thoughtfulness, it alos provides psychology, especially clinical psychology, with a means of deepening and broadening its questions and analyses."--Janet Etzi, Journal of Phenomenological Psycholgoy

"Solomon is widely known for his work on the emotions and his ability to bring philosophy to a wider audience. In this volume he once again proves to be an interesting, accessible writer.... Recommended."--CHOICE

"For anyone unfamiliar with Solomon's work, it will make an excellent introduction, a fine expression of the passion which he identified with a certain ideal conception of happiness, wisdom, and the good life."-Ronnie de Sousa, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

About the Author

Robert C. Solomon is Quincy Lee Centennial Professor of Business and Philosophy and Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. A past president of the International Society for Research on Emotions, he is the author of more than forty books, including The Passions, The Joy of Philosophy, Spirituality for the Skeptic, Not Passion's Slave and In Defense of Sentimentality (Volumes 1 and 2 of a three-volume series, The Passionate Life). He lectures and gives seminars around the world and has done several video and audio "Superstar Teacher" courses for the Teaching Company.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2504 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (February 1, 2001)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0036ZBNKM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #683,289 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
66 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended January 1, 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Background: Robert Solomon, University of Texas, Austin, philosopher in the Anglo-American method and Continental leanings, re-introduced "emotions" or "the passions" into the vocabulary of the theories of mind, particularly with his seminal (and substantially revised) "The Passions: Emotions and Meanings of Life" (1976/1993). He has since written extensively on this subject, including his evolving essays in "Not Passion's Slave: Emotions and Choice" and his superb "Love: Emotion, Myth, and Metaphor." His own "philosophy" that borrows heavily from Continental Thought is "The Joy of Philosophy" which is a true joy to read, re-introducing those topics that are most meaningful in our daily lives (not connotative/denotative, but meaningful).

As has been a theme throughout all his writings, our emotions are not a subordinate, but the dominant, feature of our mental lives. Plato and Christianity clearly depreciated the West's understanding and value of these "things" we call variously emotions, passions, feelings, etc. Not until Hume did the passions receive the attention they deserved, only to fall into obscurity again with positivism, analyticity, and ideologies. Solomon resurrected them in the 1970s, and has awakened others (e.g., de Souza, Nussbaum, Davidson, et alia) to an energized interest in these curious "things." Alas, even psychology (yes, psychology) has re-awakened itself to these "oddities" they too had marginalized.

This Book: If one is already acquainted with Solomon's other writings, especially those mentioned above, the present one, "True to Our Feelings," will not offer any revelatory insights.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very good book November 23, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book seems to follow a lecture series that Dr. Solomon does. It's an interesting book from a philosophers perspective. Dr. Solomon refers to philosophers but also current research into emotions. The style of his writing is informal and he never talks down to his reader. Sadly, Dr. Solomon passed away. His style is engaging and informative. Although Dr. Solomon claims emotions are intelligent he does not mean in the way Daniel Goldman does in his book Emotional Intelligence. Dr. Solomon's theory is that emotions are engagements with the world. Emotions can tell you alot about yourself and how you view the world.
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4.0 out of 5 stars intelligence in the emotions June 9, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Codifies the intuitive notion that emotions are not just feelings which we have no control over but that there is intelligence to them which can help guide and direct us to better decisions and a more rewarding life. This book helps to clarify our sometimes whimsical inclinations so that we understand them better and understand ourselves better. A very interesting and helpful book to improve our knowledge. I liked it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Professor Solomon has expired December 17, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed Solomon's writing on existentialism and likewise on his writing about emotions. This book was also well-written and interesting. I regret that he will no longer be an author.
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More About the Author

G. Lee Bowie received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Stanford University and has taught at University of Michigan, University of Mass, Amherst College, and Hampshire College. Currently he is Professor of Philosophy at Mount Holyoke College. Meredith W. Michaels received a Ph.D. in philosophy (with Clancy Martin), ETHICS AND EXCELLENCE, THE JOY OF PHILOSOPHY, and TRUE TO OUR FEELINGS, and he was co-editor of TWENTY QUESTIONS, Fifth Edition (with Lee Bowie and Meredith Michaels), and SINCE SOCRATES (with Clancy Martin).

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