True to Our Feelings: What Our Emotions Are Really Telling Us

Overview


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 ...

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Overview


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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195306729
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/28/2006
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet 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.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Part I: Emotional Strategies: An Existentialist Perspective
1. Anger as a Way of Engaging the World
2. Why It Is Good to Be Afraid
3. Varieties of Fear and Anger: Emotions and Moods
4. Lessons of Love (and Plato's Symposium)
5. We Are Not Alone: Compassion and Sympathy
6. Extremes of Emotion: Grief, Laughter, and Happiness
7. Self-Reproach in Guilt, Shame, and Pride
8. Nasty Emotions: Envy, Spite, Jealousy, Resentment, and Vengeance
Part II: Toward a General Theory: Myths about Emotions
9. What an Emotion Theory Should Do
10. Myth 1: Emotions Are Ineffable
11. Myth 2: Emotions Are Feelings
12. Myth 3: The Hydraulic Model
13. Myth 4: Emotions Are "in" the Mind
14. Myth 5: Emotions Are Stupid (They Have No Intelligence)
15. Myth 6: Two Flavors of Emotion, Positive and Negative
16. Myth 7: Emotions Are Irrational
17. Myth 8: Emotions Happen to Us (They Are "Passions")
Part III: The Ethics of Emotion: A Quest for Emotional Integrity
18. Emotions as Evaluative Judgments
19. Emotions, Self, and Consciousness
20. Emotional Experience ("Feelings")
21. The Universality of Emotions: Evolution and the Human Condition
22. Emotions Across Cultures
23. Happiness, Spirituality, and Emotional Integrity
Annotated Bibliography
Index

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