While human beings might be rational animals, they are emotional animals as well. Emotions play a central role in all areas of our lives and if we are to have a proper understanding of human life and activity, we ought to have a good grasp of the emotions. Michael S. Brady structures Emotion: The Basics around two basic, yet fundamental, questions: What are emotions? And what do emotions do? In answering these questions Brady provides insight into a core component of all our lives, covering:
- the nature of emotion;
- emotion, knowledge, and understanding;
- emotion and action;
- emotions and social groups;
- emotion, morality, and art.
In this concise and insightful introduction, Brady explains why we are often better off as a result of emotion rather than reason being in the driving seat, as our lives, both individual and social, would be significantly impoverished without the emotions. With a glossary of key terms and suggestions for further reading, Emotion: The Basics is an ideal starting point for anyone seeking a full introduction to the philosophical study of emotion.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 The Nature of Emotion
How to do philosophy (of emotion)
Three theories of emotion
A different theoretical perspective
Chapter 2 Emotion, Knowledge, and Understanding
Emotion, attention, and understanding
Emotion and intellectual virtue
Chapter 3 Emotion and Action
Emotions and decisions
Motivation, dispositions, and desires
The role of feeling in motivation
Chapter 4 Emotions and Social Groups
Love and commitment
Pride and the communication of virtue
The social value of group emotion
Chapter 5 Emotion, Morality, and Art
Emotion and morality
The arts and emotion
Michael S. Brady is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Glasgow, UK. He works on the philosophy of emotion and its links with moral philosophy and epistemology, and has published and edited a number of books in these areas.
'This is an excellent book: lucidly and engagingly written, packed with appealing examples, and persuasively argued. While developing his own thesis, Brady takes care throughout to draw his readers into the debate, providing them with the tools to think about the issues for themselves. The result is a stimulating and illuminating introduction to the philosophy of emotion.'
Carolyn Price, The Open University, UK