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Publisher's Summary

Conventional wisdom suggests there is a sharp distinction between emotion and reason. Emotions are seen as inferior, disruptive, primitive, and even bestial forces. These 24 remarkable lectures suggest otherwise-that emotions have intelligence and provide personal strategies that are vitally important to our everyday lives of perceiving, evaluating, appraising, understanding, and acting in the world.

Take a tour of Professor Solomon's more than three-decade-long intellectual struggle to reach an understanding of emotions, which he argues are, "the key to the meaning of life." A distinguished philosopher himself, Professor Solomon's lectures unfold as a rich dialogue with other philosophers, including Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Adam Smith, Nietzsche, William James, Freud, Heidegger, and Sartre.

In your exploration, you'll address such questions as: how do we distinguish emotions from feelings, such as heartache? What is the meaning of our emotions, and how do they serve to enrich and guide our lives? Are there a determinable number of basic emotions that serve as building blocks for the range of emotions we experience? Is an emotion such as jealousy a genetic trait shared by all humans - or is it something learned? As you listen to these lectures, prepare to think: Think about your own emotions; think about what you observe in others; think about the enormous body of research and conjecture on this fascinating topic as Professor Solomon takes you on a challenging and stimulating journey. The more we puzzle over the nature of emotions, the deeper the mystery becomes. It is a mystery that is by no means solved, but one that repays in careful, philosophical analysis.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2006 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2006 The Great Courses

What listeners say about The Passions: Philosophy and the Intelligence of Emotions

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  • Paola
  • 09-24-17

fascinating

Wonderful audiobook. Continuously challenging commonly held opinions with new, interesting thoughts. Not on abstract theories, but concerned with concepts and ieas that impact on daily life. Perfectly clear to a novice to the field. A warm, humble, friendly voice - arguing his way along with down-to-earth examples - too sad he is no longer alive.

5 people found this helpful

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  • ShaneG
  • 02-27-17

Fantastic

Absolutely brilliant set of lectures, very interesting questions posed and a lot of arguments given to explain and defend his stance

6 people found this helpful

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  • Tom
  • 10-31-17

deeply philosophical, and very interesting.

longer than I expected, but a great perspective on emotions. a philosophical approach to discussing. possibly a great companion to 'self comes to mind's by Antonio dimassio

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jonty
  • 02-07-21

Mostly okey but has racist and sexist undertones

Claiming that races have a predisposition to addiction to substance abuse is wrong; so think about this, well take peoples land, freedom culture and identity?

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  • Kelli
  • 06-28-20

A great speaker

A really great listen. With an easy to listen to voice and easy to understand explanations.

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  • Holly Parker
  • 06-06-17

Riveting listening

Absolutely loved listening to this series if lectures, from an academic perspective they are engaging and accessible to the listener, outlining the complex nature of several emotions while tracking the temporal development of critical thinking through Aristotle, Kant, Hume and beyond.

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  • LC
  • 09-17-17

A load of waffle

Just a load of naive waffle and stories, mostly made up, with no evidence or logical evaluation of the ideas being proposed. Instead they are generally stated as established because "I have just told a nice story that seemingly supports it, therefore it is proven"

2 people found this helpful

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  • George
  • 04-12-20

Good start, needs more thought put in

I disagreed with the basic tenents of analysis here. Still a good starting point. A better distinction between the physiological response and the perceptions on emotions would give a higher definition of the complexity of emotions.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-04-20

Easy to listen, alive lectures!

Outstanding overview of history and (kind of) evolution.. of human awareness of emotional intelligence. Author emphasizes to all emotions personally, and takes perspectives of philosophy, religion, science and social norms. I'm grateful for great lectures, amazing!

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  • Binula
  • 09-23-19

A great introduction to the philosophical facets of our emotions, their meaning and their significance

A great summary of current philosophical thought on a number of emotions and a comprehensive discussion on their role in our lives. The book is well set out, easy to read (listen to) and the ideas are expressed clearly and concisely. This was the first book I’ve read that discusses emotions through a predominantly philosophical lens, in contrast to a purely scientific one, which I found fascinating and insightful.

1 person found this helpful