Reveals how emotions came into being as a distinct psychological category. They replaced such concepts as appetites, passions, sentiments and affections, which had preoccupied thinkers as diverse as Augustine, Aquinas, Hume, and Darwin.
Today there is a thriving 'emotions industry' to which philosophers, psychologists and neuroscientists are contributing. Yet until two centuries ago 'the emotions' did not exist. In this path-breaking study Thomas Dixon shows how, during the nineteenth century, the emotions came into being as a distinct psychological category, replacing existing categories such as appetites, passions, sentiments and affections. By examining medieval and eighteenth-century theological psychologies and placing Charles Darwin and William James within a broader and more complex nineteenth-century setting, Thomas Dixon argues that this domination by one single descriptive category is not healthy. Overinclusivity of 'the emotions' hampers attempts to argue with any subtlety about the enormous range of mental states and stances of which humans are capable. This book is an important contribution to the debate about emotion and rationality which has preoccupied western thinkers throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and has implications for contemporary debates.
Table of Contents
Note on quotations x
1 Introduction: from passions and affections to 1 (25)
2 Passions and affections in Augustine and 26 (36)
3 From movements to mechanisms: passions, 62 (36)
sentiments and affections in the Age of Reason
4 The Scottish creation of 'the emotions': 98 (37)
David Hume, Thomas Brown, Thomas Chalmers
5 The physicalist appropriation of Brownian 135 (45)
emotions: Alexander Bain, Herbert Spencer,
6 Christian and theistic responses to the new 180 (24)
physicalist emotions paradigm
7 What was an emotion in 1884? William James 204 (27)
and his critics
8 Conclusions: how history can help us think 231 (21)
about 'the emotions'
Bibliography 252 (27)