By Robert C. Solomon
The concept we're in a few major feel accountable for our feelings is an concept that Robert Solomon has constructed for nearly 3 many years. the following, in one quantity, he strains the improvement of this idea of feelings and problematic it intimately. issues run via his paintings: the 1st provides a "cognitive" idea of feelings during which feelings are construed essentially as evaluative judgments. the second one proposes an "existentialist" point of view during which he defends the concept, as we're answerable for our feelings. certainly, occasionally it even is sensible to claim that we "choose" them. whereas the 1st declare has received expanding forex within the literature, his declare approximately accountability for feelings has endured to satisfy with significant resistance and misinterpretation. the hot emphasis on evolutionary biology and neurology has (mistakenly) bolstered the preferred prejudice that feelings "happen" to us and are fullyyt past our control.This quantity is additionally a type of highbrow memoir of Solomon?s personal improvement as a philosopher. The essays written within the Eighties intricate the topics of the "intentionality" of emotion and the declare that feelings are "judgments"; during this interval, he's additionally more and more preoccupied with how feelings fluctuate and are pointed out in a number of cultures. within the 1990's, his pursuits evolve to think about the social and political position of feelings and theories approximately emotion. the ultimate part provides his present philosophical place at the seeming "passivity" of the passions. regardless of his personal severe review of his prior paintings, he maintains to argue that, within the bottom line, we're accountable for our feelings and existential caliber of our lives.
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Extra info for Not Passion's Slave: Emotions and Choice (The Passionate Life)
But unlike feelings, emotions are rational, presupposing a system of purposiveness, logic, and intelligence that far more resembles the structures of rational action than the phenomena of bodily feelings. ) It is often thought that rationality resides solely in reflective thought, in the articulate calculations of a mathematician or a statesman. But we all know well enough to trust certain rational "intuitions" in ourselves, in a chess strategist, or a Napoleon, which seem to dispense with reflection altogether but yet follow an indisputable logic.
Thus, I have noted that Freud and a great many other psychologists augment the Jamesian claim that an emotion is simply an affect (that is, simply a feeling) with some version of the hydraulic theory that would allow that an emotion also has a role in the dynamics of the personality (for example, as energy or instinct, as motive or cognitive appraisal). However predictable the association of feelings and emotion, the feelings no more constitute or define the emotion than an army of fleas constitutes a homeless dog.
As if every passion didn't contain its quantum of reason. Friedrich Nietzsche "I didn't mean it; I didn't know what I was doing. I acted without thinking; I acted irrationally. " How often we hear that! And, without attempting a refutation, we sense its falsity, the hollow desperation that accompanies a feeble and halfhearted excuse. "I was emotionally upset"; that is the touchstone of a cop-out plea of momentary insanity. But we know better; not only did you "mean it," but that single ephemeral "lapse," as you call it, was more full of meaning than the years of labored inhibition that preceded it.