1st Edition


  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after March 8, 2022
ISBN 9780367321062
March 8, 2022 Forthcoming by Routledge
288 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations

USD $44.95

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Book Description

Emotions have long been of interest to philosophers, with deep historical roots going back to the Ancients. They have also become one of the most exciting areas of current research in philosophy, the cognitive sciences and beyond.

In this book Charlie Kurth explains the philosophy of the emotions, structuring the book around seven fundamental questions: What are emotions? Are emotions natural kinds? Do animals have emotions? Are emotions epistemically valuable? Are emotions the foundation for value and morality? Are emotions the basis for responsibility? Do emotions make us better people?

In the course of exploring these questions, he also discusses cutting-edge empirical research on emotion, feminist approaches to emotions and their value, as well as methodological questions about how to theorize about the emotions. The book also contains in-depth discussions of specific emotions like compassion, disgust, anxiety and curiosity, and highlights emerging trends in emotion research.

Including suggestions for further reading and a glossary of key terms, Emotion is ideal for those studying and researching the philosophy of the emotion as well as ethics, epistemology and the philosophies of mind and psychology.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: The Philosophical Significance of Emotion

2. Metaphysics: What are emotions?

3. Philosophy of Science: Are emotions natural kinds?

4. Comparative Cognition: Do Animals have Emotions?

5. Epistemology: Are Emotions Epistemically Valuable?

6. Metaethics: Are Emotions the Foundation for Value and Morality?

7. Agency: Are Emotions the Basis of Responsibility?

8. Virtue: Do Emotions Make Us Better People?

9. Conclusions and Extensions: Where Do We Stand, Where are We Headed?




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Charlie Kurth is an Associate Professor of Philosophy, Western Michigan University, USA. He is the author of The Anxious Mind: An Investigation into the Varieties and Virtues of Anxiety (2018), and co-editor of the Synthese topical collection "Worry and Wellbeing: Understanding the Nature, Value, and Challenges of Anxiety".


'From their metaphysics and epistemology to their contact with the philosophy of science, meta-ethics, feminist philosophy, the study of animals, and more, the emotions are one of the widest reaching topics in philosophy. Kurth displays an impressive command over this terrain: with clarity and precision, he guides the reader through both classic views and the most up-to-date research in the field. The initiated and the newcomer alike will come away with a deeper understanding of the emotions.' - Alex Grzankowski, Birkbeck, University of London, UK

'With exemplary clarity and lucidity, Kurth provides a tour of the most debated issues in contemporary philosophy of emotion. Not only does he discuss the major theories of emotion; he also discusses how emotions relate to various areas of philosophical and scientific inquiry. The book is thus not just about the question of what emotions are; it's about ways emotions might constitute important aspects of our lives. Essential reading for anyone curious to know more about emotions.' - Hichem Naar, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany