True to Our Feelings: What Our Emotions Are Really Telling Us

We live our lives through our emotions, writes Robert Solomon, and it is our emotions that give our lives meaning. What interests or fascinates us, who we love, what angers us, what moves us, what bores us—all of this defines us, gives us character, constitutes who we are. In True to Our Feelings, Solomon illuminates the rich life of the emotions—why we don't really understand them, what they really are, and how they make us human and give meaning to life. Emotions have recently become a highly fashionable area of research in the sciences, with brain imaging uncovering valuable clues as to how we experience our feelings. But while Solomon provides a guide to this cutting-edge research, as well as to what others—philosophers and psychologists—have said on the subject, he also emphasizes the personal and ethical character of our emotions. He shows that emotions are not something that happen to us, nor are they irrational in the literal sense—rather, they are judgements we make about the world, and they are strategies for living in it. Fear, anger, love, guilt, jealousy, compassion—they are all essential to our values, to living happily, healthily, and well. Solomon highlights some of the dramatic ways that emotions fit into our ethics and our sense of the good life, how we can make our emotional lives more coherent with our values and be more "true to our feelings" and cultivate emotional integrity. The story of our lives is the story of our passions. We fall in love, we are gripped by scientific curiosity and religious fervor, we fear death and grieve for others, we humble ourselves in envy, jealousy, and resentment. In this remarkable book, Robert Solomon shares his fascination with the emotions and illuminates our passions in an exciting new way.

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Anger as a Way of Engaging the World
Why It Is Good to Be Afraid
Varieties of Fear and Anger Emotions and Moods
Lessons of Love and Platos Symposium
We Are Not Alone Compassion and Sympathy
Extremes of Emotion Grief Laughter and Happiness
SelfReproach in Guilt Shame and Pride
Nasty Emotions Envy Spite Jealousy Resentment and Vengeance
MYTH FIVE Emotions Are Stupid They Have No Intelligence
MYTH SIX Two Flavors of Emotion Positive and Negative
MYTH SEVEN Emotions Are Irrational
MYTH EIGHT Emotions Happen to Us They Are Passions
The Ethics of Emotion A Quest for Emotional Integrity
Emotions as Evaluative Judgments
Emotions Self and Consciousness
Emotional Experience Feelings

Toward a General Theory Myths about Emotions
What an Emotion Theory Should Do
MYTH ONE Emotions Are Ineffable
MYTH TWO Emotions Are Feelings
MYTH THREE The Hydraulic Model
MYTH FOUR Emotions Are in the Mind
The Universality of Emotions Evolution and the Human Condition
Emotions Across Cultures
Happiness Spirituality and Emotional Integrity
Annotated Bibliography
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Acerca del autor (2007)

Robert C. Solomon is Quincy Lee Centennial Professor of Business and Philosophy and Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. A past president of the International Society for Research on Emotions, he is the author of more than forty books, including The Passions, The Joy of Philosophy, Spirituality for the Skeptic, Not Passion's Slave and In Defense of Sentimentality (Volumes 1 and 2 of a three-volume series, The Passionate Life). He lectures and gives seminars around the world and has done several video and audio "Superstar Teacher" courses for the Teaching Company.

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