- Series: The Passionate Life
- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press (April 5, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195179781
- ISBN-13: 978-0195179781
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.7 x 6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,844,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Not Passion's Slave: Emotions and Choice (The Passionate Life)
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"Solomon's work makes an important contribution to the attempt to move beyond the divorce between emotion and reason, a divorce embraced by both Hume and Kant, albeit in radically different ways. The strength of Solomon's arguments certainly provide robust support not only for his cognitive theory of the emotions but also for this contention that virtually all of our experience is to some degree affective."--Kevin E. O'Reilly, The Review of Metaphysics
About the Author
Robert C. Solomon is at University of Texas, Austin.
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Bob's knowledge, intelligence, wit, and enthusiasm for life shine through all of his writings. I highly recommend him.
Recently, authors such as Paul Griffiths in his book What Emotions Really Are and Jesse Prinz (author of Gut Reactions) have singled out Solomon as the crudist of the cognitivist theorists of emotion. Is this fair? Well the honest answer based on a thorough reading of Solomon's corpus is sometimes yes and sometimes no! Yes, sometimes he does offer hostage to fortune by, on his own admission, wanting to be a radical in the philosophy of the emotions: arguing that we choose our emotions and that emotions ARE judgments.
No, in that he is quite clear in his later writings that the choice isn't straightforwardly under the individual's control and that the judgments which he claims constitute the emotion do not have to be propositional. His opponents fail to take on board these later qualifications.
This collection contains some of the late papers and anyone who knows Solomon purely via critics such as Griffiths and/or via his own early book, The Passsions, might well be surprised at the contents. OK, so he might still have provided a theory that is ultimately flawed, but he was moving in the right direction. And he cetainly was not the crude cognitivist found in the caricatures provided by critics. For sure, the arguments of 'cognitivists' have got more subtle recently (see for example Phil Hutchinson's Shame and Philosophy and Robert C. Roberts' Emotions). And Solomon did have a tendency to polemicise and play the radical; but he is essential reading for anyone interested in the subject.