Emotions in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy by Simo Knuuttila

By Simo Knuuttila

Feelings are the focal point of excessive debate either in modern philosophy and psychology, and more and more additionally within the heritage of rules. Simo Knuuttila provides a finished survey of philosophical theories of emotion from Plato to Renaissance instances, combining rigorous philosophical research with cautious old reconstruction. the 1st a part of the publication covers the conceptions of Plato and Aristotle and later historical perspectives from Stoicism to Neoplatonism and, additionally, their reception and transformation by way of early Christian thinkers from Clement and Origen to Augustine and Cassian. Knuuttila then proceeds to a dialogue of historic issues in medieval inspiration, and of recent medieval conceptions, codified within the so-called college psychology from Avicenna to Aquinas, in 13th century taxonomies, and within the voluntarist strategy of Duns Scotus, William Ockham, and their fans. Philosophers, classicists, historians of philosophy, historians of psychology, and an individual drawn to emotion will locate a lot to stimulate them during this interesting publication.

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Plato thought that believing an opinion and enjoying a pleasure are both intentional states of the soul. The former can be characterized as taking something as true and the latter as finding something enjoyable. If a pleasure is discussed from the point of view of the representational content of feeling, it is easily understood that a pleasure can be regarded as true or false (36c–38a). When Plato says that wicked people in anticipating future events ‘for the most part enjoy false pleasures’ (40c), he seems to mean that the contents of their present enjoyments are formed by false thoughts about future experiences (pleasures).

Aristotle’s conception of the good human life included a positive evaluation of attaching oneself to contingent things which are not wholly under our control. 40 The Academy’s interest in the emotions appears in some passages of Aristotle’s early logical writings. 5, 126a8–10, he exemplifies a topical rule by stating that ‘shame exists in the reasoning part, fear in the spirited part, distress in the appetitive part, for pleasure is also in this, and anger in the spirited part’. 7, 113a35–b3, the appetitive faculty and the spirited faculty are said to have contrary acts.

5; the medieval discussions of Aristotle’s theory are studied in R. Saarinen, Weakness of the Will in Medieval Thought: From Augustine to Buridan, Studien und Texte zur Geistesgeschichte des Mittelalters, 44 (Leiden: Brill, 1994). 10, 433a22–5; and the comments in M. C. Nussbaum, Aristotle’s De Motu Animalium: Text with Translation, Commentary and Interpretative Essays (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1978), 334–6, and Cooper (1999), 241–4. 46 A. Nehamas, ‘Pity and Fear in the Rhetoric and the Poetics’, in A.

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