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Recent years have seen an enormous amount of philosophical research into the emotions and the imagination, but as yet little work has been done to connect the two. In his engaging and highly original new book, Adam Morton shows that all emotions require some form of imagination and goes on to fully explore the link between these two important concepts both within philosophy and in everyday life. We may take it for granted that complex emotions, such as hope and resentment, require a rich thinking and an engagement with the imagination, but Morton shows how more basic and responsive emotions such as fear and anger also require us to take account of possibilities and opportunities beyond the immediate situation. Interweaving a powerful tapestry of subtle argument with vivid detail, the book highlights that many emotions, more than we tend to suppose, require us to imagine a situation from a particular point of view and that this in itself can be the source of further emotional feeling. Morton goes on to demonstrate the important role that emotions play in our moral lives, throwing light on emotions such as self-respect, disapproval, and remorse, and the price we pay for having them. He explores the intricate nature of moral emotions and the challenges we face when integrating our thinking on morality and the emotions. This compelling and thought-provoking new book challenges many assumptions about the nature of emotion and imagination and will appeal to anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the role that these concepts play in our lives. The book also has far reaching implications that will spark debate amongst scholars and students for some time to come.
Adam Morton is visiting emeritus professor at the University of British Columbia.
Table of Contents
PART I The range of emotions
Imagining in emotion
Emotions and thinking
Keeping mood and emotion distinct
Categories of emotion
PART II Imagining vile emotions
Imagining vile emotions
Imagining minds: emotions and perspectives
Imagining a point of view
Imagining fictional characters: fiction and philosophy
Invisible everyday failures
Imagining awful actions
Sympathy versus empathy
PART III Memotions
The threat of irrelevance
Emotions with multiple points of view: never trust someone
who doesn't laugh -- or someone who laughs too much