The Navigation of Feeling: A Framework for the History of Emotions / Edition 1

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In The Navigation of Feeling: A Framework for the History of Emotions, William M. Reddy offers a new theory of emotions which both critiques and expands upon recent research in the fields of anthropology and psychology. Exploring the links between emotion and cognition, between culture and emotional expression, Reddy applies this theory of emotions to the processes of history. He demonstrates how emotions change over time, how emotions have an important impact on the course of events, and how different social orders either facilitate or constrain emotional life. In an investigation of Revolutionary France, where sentimentalism in literature and philosophy had promised a new and unprecedented kind of emotional liberty, Reddy's theory of emotions and historical change is successfully put to the test.
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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Attesting to revolutions in thinking about emotions in cognitive psychology; anthropology; and literary criticism, Reddy (Duke U.) draws on each field to decipher the meaning of emotions, their relation to cognition, and often overlooked social and political implications. The author critiques poststructuralist theories of emotion, then applies the navigating emotion metaphor to the history of sentimentalism and Romanticism in pre- and post-Revolution 18th- 19th century France, and to studies of 46 civil cases from judicial archives of that period. Details on sampled cases are appended. French passages are translated by the author. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From the Publisher
"Reddy opens up a new phase in the interdisciplinary field of emotion studies by raising questions and providing some answers as well about (collective) emotional change and its limits." American Journal of Sociology

"A masterful overview...immensely valuable." Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"Brilliant and wonderful: this is a book of profound scholarship that will become central to the fast growing interdisciplinary interest in emotions. Reddy bridges psychology, anthropology and history to explore the fascinating idea that emotion is the process that manages the concerns that are most intimate to humankind." Keith Oakley, University of Toronto

"This is an unusual work, stimulating and productive....Reddy's intuition that emotions should not be simply differentiated in kind from 'thought' is brilliantly developed....[T]his book deserves a serious reading, and I believe it will become a must-read book in any anthropology of the self and emotion." Fred R. Myers, New York University

"The Navigation of Feeling is a highly original, boldly-argued book....Reddy's lucid theoretical interventions force us to reconsider our understanding of the self and human nature, as well as language and its relation to culture. The Navigation of Feeling represents a daring, new direction in humanistic scholarship that should be of interest to scholars across many fields." Mary Louise Roberts, Stanford University

"...a delight to read..." Philosophy in Review

"...a valuable contribution to emotion literature." Canadian Social Studies, Jane Lee-Sinden

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521004725
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 396
  • Sales rank: 489,333
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

William M. Reddy is a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fulbright Fellow, a Fellow of the National Humanities Centre, and a visiting professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris. He is the author of three previous books: The Invisible Code: Honor and Sentiment in Postrevolutionary France, 1815–1848 (University of California Press, 1987); Money and Liberty in Modern Europe: A Critique of Historical Understanding (Cambridge University Press, 1987); The Rise of Market Culture: The Textile Trade and French Society, 1750–1900 (Cambridge University Press, 1984).

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Table of Contents

Pt. I What Are Emotions?
1 Answers from Cognitive Psychology 3
2 Answers from Anthropology 34
3 Emotional Expression as a Type of Speech Act 63
4 Emotional Liberty 112
Pt. II Emotions in History: France, 1700-1850
5 The Flowering of Sentimentalism (1700-1789) 141
6 Sentimentalism in the Making of the French Revolution (1789-1815) 173
7 Liberal Reason, Romantic Passions (1815-1848) 211
8 Personal Destinies: Case Material of the Early Nineteenth Century 257
Conclusion 315
App. A Detailed Review of Anomalous Cases from the Gazette des Tribunaux Sample 335
App. B Detailed Review of Anomalous Cases from the Tribunal Civil de Versailles Sample 345
References 349
Index 369
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