Books by Subject


Emotion, Evolution and Rationality
by Dylan Evans, Pierre Cruse
Oxford University Press; (May 1, 2004)
ISBN: 0198528981
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Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain
by Antonio Damasio, Harcourt, Feb. 2003

Handbook of Emotions, Second Edition
by Michael Lewis (Editor), Jeannette M. Haviland-jones (Editor)
Hardcover - 710 pages 2nd edition (June 5, 2000)
Guilford Press; ISBN: 1572305290 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.78 x 10.32 x 7.43

Editorial Reviews
Review by William  A.  Spriggs,  May 19,  2001

Having a Good Cry: Effeminate Feelings and Pop-Culture Forms
by Robyn R. Warhol, Ohio State Univ. Press, April 2003

Touching Feeling: Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity
By Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Duke University Press, 2003

The Passions: Emotions & the Meaning of Life
by Robert C. Solomon, Hackett Pub. Co, March 2003

Upheavals of Thought: The Intelligence of Emotions
by Martha Craven Nussbaum, Cambridge University Press, March 2003


Unnatural Emotions: Everyday Sentiments on a Micronesian Atoll and Their Challenge to Western Theory
by Chatherine A. Lutz

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Alchemies of the Mind : Rationality and the Emotions
by Jon Elster
Paperback - 416 pages (April 1999)
Cambridge Univ Pr (Pap Txt); ISBN: 0521644879 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.12 x 9.03 x 6.06

In-Print Editions: Hardcover

Editorial Reviews
Book Description
Jon Elster has written a comprehensive, wide-ranging book on the emotions in which he considers the full range of theoretical approaches. Drawing on history, literature, philosophy and psychology Elster presents a complete account of the role of the emotions in human behavior. Combining methodological and theoretical arguments with empirical case-studies and written with Elster's customary verve and economy, this book will have a broad appeal to those in philosophy, psychology, economics, political science, as well as literary studies, history, and sociology.

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The Anatomy of Disgust
by William Ian Miller

Paperback - 320 pages (October 1998)
Harvard Univ Pr; ISBN: 0674031555 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.87 x 9.00 x 5.74

In-Print Editions: Hardcover

Editorial Reviews
The title of William Ian Miller's book is a play on Robert Burton's 17th-century classic
The Anatomy of Melancholy, an examination of human emotion. In his modern Anatomy, Miller narrows the focus to the function of disgust in human life. Disgust, Miller posits, is a kind of protection; just as fear causes us to flee danger or loyalty prompts us to support one another, disgust draws boundaries and insulates the individual from outside incursions--anything from the unhygienic hair in our soup to the frightening explosion of homelessness in our cities. Among his theories is one that democracy depends on the even distribution of disgust across class lines.

Mr. Miller is not afraid to explore the darker side of disgust as well--the fact that we may feel it in conjunction with contempt toward people, objects, or concepts that do not warrant it. Nevertheless, disgust serves an important role in humanity's complex emotional and social makeup, and The Anatomy of Disgust is novel in its approach to uncovering just what that role might be. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Why We Feel: The Science of Human Emotion
by Victor S. Johnston

Paperback - 224 pages (April 1999)
Perseus Books; ISBN: 073820109X ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.97 x 9.53 x 6.31
Review by John G. Martin
Notwithstanding its brevity, reading this book should not be undertaken lightly. Why We Feel is a complex but clearly argued case for the evolutionary basis and utility of emotions.

Johnston’s frankly materialistic view of the rise of consciousness and the role of emotions in ordering that consciousness is based on the idea of "emergent properties." He uses the analogy of cars in the "race of life." The only challenge for the cars in this race is a sharp corner they must make to avoid a brick wall. Those cars that negotiate the corner are used at a "robotic factory" as the basis for future car designs. In this view, the emergent property of the cars is their ability to master the corner successfully; the design changes at the factory merely attempt to maximize that already existing emergent property.

Similarly in living beings, while "nerve cells are certainly the active agents in the nervous system [the factory design changes] . . . their organization depends on the survival value of the emergent properties that arise from that organization." In other words, the continued survival of living things results from the fostering of emergent properties that promote survival in a changing environment.

Johnston delves bravely into artificial intelligence and the structure of DNA (actually, not so bravely; he is a professor of psychobiology in New Mexico), explaining both how learning machines learn through the accumulation of data useful to improve the emergent properties their creators have given them, and, in living things, how genetic changes result in the strengthening of emergent properties with survival value.

In human beings, it has often been pointed out, consciousness is this sort of emergent property. Emotions, Johnston says, are as well. Emotions guide our consciousness toward behavior that is conducive to survival, that is, to reproductive success. In fact, "the real importance of feelings—emotions as well as affects—lies in the role they play in regulating how, what, and when we learn and in determining how we reason about the world around us." Johnston makes a convincing case for this, citing a wide variety of studies and hypothetical situations that show just how large a role emotions play in human decision making.

One quibble. In closing, Johnston voices the standard grumble of the rugged truth-hunting scientist that humans can become fully conscious only when they cast off primitive notions of the supernatural and embrace themselves as moral animals, appreciating the beauty and creativity of their own minds. But just what in his creative and beautifully argued thesis precludes the existence of God? Perhaps not merely a quibble after all.

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Emotion: The Science of Sentiment
by Dylan Evans

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Hardcover - 192 pages (May 2001)
Oxford Univ Pr (Trade); ISBN: 019285433X ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.76 x 7.06 x 4.97

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Affect, Cognition, and Stereotyping : Interactive Processes in Group Perception
by Diane M. Mackie, (Editor), David Hamilton, (Editor)

Hardcover (September 1997)
Academic Pr; ISBN: 0124644104 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.94 x 9.31 x 6.27

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