Sunday, March 25, 2012

Essential Reading: The Emotions


The following is a list of ten essential works on “the emotions.” Of course the belief that they are fundamental is the judgment of yours truly, although the authors listed here often cite each other, which speaks to their respective assessments of what is worthy among the plethora of titles now available on this topic. I have focused on philosophical approaches, yet all of the authors could be said to be cognizant of the relevant research in the natural and social sciences. I’ve left out the few titles one can find on the emotions in English from the vantage point of Asian philosophies, and several excellent works that treat the emotions and aesthetics are also conspicuously absent. Should anyone want the latest version of my bibliography on the emotions you can write to me for a copy.
  • Ben-Ze’ev, Aaron. The Subtlety of Emotions. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press (A Bradford Book), 2000.
  • de Sousa, Ronald. The Rationality of Emotion. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1987.
  • Elster, Jon. Alchemies of the Mind: Rationality and the Emotions. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
  • Fisher, Philip. The Vehement Passions. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002.
  • Goldie, Peter. The Emotions: A Philosophical Exploration. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press, 2000.
  • Nussbaum, Martha C. The Therapy of Desire: Theory and Practice in Hellenistic Ethics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994.
  • Nussbaum, Martha C. Upheavals of Thought: The Intelligence of Emotions. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2001.
  • Roberts, Robert C. Emotions: An Essay in Aid of Moral Psychology. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
  • Solomon, Robert C. True to Our Feelings. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.
  • Wollheim, Richard. On the Emotions. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1999.
And in particular for my law friends: Bandes, Susan A., ed. The Passions of Law. New York: New York University Press, 1999.

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