A Natural History of Human Emotions

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Grove Press, 2004 - History - 410 pages
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Why does a tribal member in Papua, New Guinea, when shown a picture of a scowling Caucasian face, recognize the feeling expressed as anger? While the many details of our lives, from the way we dress to what we eat, vary greatly across geographic distances, all humans are born with the same basic templates that allow us to identify and react to human emotion. Using Charles Darwin's survey of emotions as a starting point, Stuart Walton's "A Natural History of Human Emotions" examines the history of each of our core emotions -- fear, anger, disgust, sadness, jealousy, contempt, shame, embarrassment, surprise, and happiness -- and how these emotions have influenced both cultural and social history. We learn that primitive fear served as the engine of religious belief, while a desire for happiness led to humankind's first musings on achieving a perfect utopia. "A Natural History of Human Emotions" is a provocative examination of human feelings and a fascinating take on how emotions have shaped our past.
 

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User Review  - name99 - LibraryThing

I consider this book to be something of a misrepresentation. The jacket and the first few pages imply a scientific tour of the emotions, but what we actually get is a literary and historical tour ... Read full review

A natural history of human emotions

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

From Laurel and Hardy's comedic surprise to the social unrest reflected in art and music, historians, anthropologists, and philosophers have long investigated the gamut of human emotions; here their ... Read full review

Contents

TO FEAR
3
ANGER
43
DISGUST
85
SADNESS
127
JEALOUSY
169
CONTEMPT
205
SHAME
241
EMBARRASSMENT
279
SURPRISE
315
HAPPINESS
345
BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTES
380
INDEX
399
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