True to Our Feelings What Our Emotions Are Really Telling Us

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-10-02
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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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. Solomon provides a guide to cutting-edge scientific research, as well as to what philosophers and psychologists have said on the subject, but 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 judgments 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.

Author Biography

The late Robert C. Solomon was 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 was the author of more than forty books and did several video and audio "Superstar Teacher" courses for the Teaching Company.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
Emotional Strategies: An Existentialist Perspective
Anger as a Way of Engaging the Worldp. 13
Why It Is Good to Be Afraidp. 29
Varieties of Fear and Anger: Emotions and Moodsp. 39
Lessons of Love (and Plato's Symposium)p. 51
We Are Not Alone: Compassion and Sympathyp. 63
Extremes of Emotion: Grief, Laughter, and Happinessp. 72
Self-Reproach in Guilt, Shame, and Pridep. 90
Nasty Emotions: Envy, Spite, Jealousy, Resentment, and Vengeancep. 101
Toward a General Theory: Myths about Emotions
What an Emotion Theory Should Dop. 117
Myth 1: Emotions Are Ineffablep. 127
Myth 2: Emotions Are Feelingsp. 137
Myth 3: The Hydraulic Modelp. 142
Myth 4: Emotions Are "in" the Mindp. 150
Myth 5: Emotions Are Stupid (They Have No Intelligence)p. 159
Myth 6: Two Flavors of Emotion, Positive and Negativep. 170
Myth 7: Emotions Are Irrationalp. 180
Myth 8: Emotions Happen to Us (They Are "Passions")p. 190
The Ethics of Emotion: A Quest for Emotional Integrity
Emotions as Evaluative Judgmentsp. 203
Emotions, Self, and Consciousnessp. 218
Emotional Experience ("Feelings")p. 232
The Universality of Emotions: Evolution and the Human Conditionp. 245
Emotions Across Culturesp. 252
Happiness, Spirituality, and Emotional Integrityp. 263
Annotated Bibliographyp. 271
Indexp. 281
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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