In Defense of Sentimentality (The Passionate Life) by Robert C. Solomon

By Robert C. Solomon

Philosophy has as a lot to do with emotions because it does with concepts and considering. Philosophy, as a result, calls for not just emotional sensitivity yet an figuring out of the feelings, now not as curious yet marginal mental phenomena yet because the very substance of existence. during this, the second one ebook in a sequence dedicated to his paintings at the feelings, Robert Solomon offers a safeguard of the sentiments and of sentimentality opposed to the historical past of what he perceives as an extended background of abuse in philosophy and social suggestion and artwork and literary feedback. The name piece reopens a vintage debate in regards to the position of sentimentality in paintings and literature. In next chapters, Solomon discusses not just such "moral sentiments" as sympathy and compassion but additionally grief, gratitude, love, horror, or even vengeance. He additionally defends, with acceptable warning, the "seven lethal sins." the feelings, a minimum of a few emotions--are necessary to a well-lived lifestyles. they're or will be virtues, good points of the human with no which civilized lifestyles will be incredible.

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They don’t have any blemishes on their perfect cuteness. They are, accordingly, false characters and our feelings are distorted. ’’17 But the reply to this objection is, first of all, that all emotions are distorting in the sense intended. Anger looks only at the offense and fails to take account of the virtue of the antagonist; jealousy is aware only of the threat and not of the wit and charms of the rival; love celebrates the virtues and is not appreciative of the vices of the beloved; envy seeks only the coveted object and remains indifferent to questions of general utility and the fairness of the desired redistribution.

But nowhere has the unruly and threatening power of the emotions been more at odds with what has often been called ‘‘reason’’ than in the realm of justice, where both compassion and its vicious ‘‘negative’’ counterpart, vengefulness, have been condemned as disruptive, irrelevant and, at worst, downright dangerous. The arguments tend to focus on the alleged ‘‘capriciousness’’ and ‘‘prejudice’’ of emotions, although, alternatively, they are attacked for their ‘‘intractability’’ and their stupidity.

In Defense of Sentimentality [ 19] Two Sympathy and Vengeance The Role of Feelings in Justice FOR NICO FRIJDA AND SHULA SOMMERS Shula Sommers’s psychological investigations were, for her and for those who knew her, a political philosophy. Emotions were not for her epiphenomena in our mental lives, merely curious intrusions that escaped the usual cognitive and motivation categories. Passions were a way of living, the very essence of a life well lived—to love, to hate, to feel about life and not just to study it.

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