In defense of sentimentality
Philosophy has as much to do with feelings as it does with thoughts and thinking. Philosophy, accordingly, requires not only emotional sensitivity but an understanding of the emotions, not as curious but marginal psychological phenomena but as the very substance of life. In this, the second book in a series devoted to his work on the emotions, Robert Solomon presents a defense of the emotions and of sentimentality against the background of what he perceives as a long history of abuse in philosophy and social thought and art and literary criticism. The title piece reopens a classic debate about the role of sentimentality in art and literature. In subsequent chapters, Solomon discusses not only such "moral sentiments" as sympathy and compassion but also grief, gratitude, love, horror, and even vengeance. He also defends, with appropriate caution, the "seven deadly sins." The emotions, at least some emotions--are essential to a well-lived life. They are or can be virtues, features of the human condition without which civilized life would be unimaginable.
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In Defense of Sentimentality
The Role of Feelings in Justice
Moral Sentiment Theory Revisited
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action Adam Smith aesthetic Alcibiades argue argument Aristophanic Aristotle art horror Barthes Barthes's beauty behavior belief beloved called Carroll character Christian cognitive compassion conception concern contrast course courtly love dangerous defend deny desire discourse disgust emotion empathy envy erotic essential evoke example experience expression fact fear feeling gratitude grief grieving horror films human Hume idea Immanuel Kant insist insofar instance involves Kant kitsch and sentimentality least loss lover lover's discourse loving someone lust Martha Nussbaum matter means Milan Kundera moral sentiment theory motives nature Nietzsche object obvious one's oneself opposed ourselves pain particular passions Paul Ekman perhaps person philosophy pity Plato Plato's problem pleasure provoked question rational real horror reasons for love relationship religion ritual romantic love seems self-indulgence self-interested sexual shared sins Smith social Socrates sort spirituality suffering suggest sure sympathy trans understanding vengeance vice virtue ethics wrong York