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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
- Refined emotions
- Imagining in emotion
- Seeing as
- 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
- Framing empathy
- PART III Memotions
- The threat of irrelevance
- Retracting emotions
- Emotions with multiple points of view: never trust someone
- who doesn't laugh -- or someone who laughs too much
- The variety of moral emotions
- Emotional learning
- PART IV Families of emotions
- The ideas and the questions
- Shame, regret, embarrassment, remorse
- Shame-like versus regret-like
- Looking backward and looking inward
- Gaps in the pattern: shame versus guilt
- Two kinds of pride
- The smug family
- Dark humour, radical possibilities
- Shaping our emotions
- A virtue of imagination