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True to Our FeelingsWhat Our Emotions Are Really Telling Us$
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Robert C. Solomon

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195368536

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195368536.001.0001

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Emotions Happen to Us (They Are “Passions”)

Emotions Happen to Us (They Are “Passions”)

Chapter:
(p.190) Myth Eight Emotions Happen to Us (They Are “Passions”)
Source:
True to Our Feelings
Author(s):

Robert C. Solomon

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195368536.003.0018

It sometimes seems to be one of the phenomenological “data” of our experience of emotions that emotions happen to us; and sometimes, they do. But as we give up the hydraulic metaphor and its variants in favor of a more rational, more cognitively and evaluatively rich model of the emotions, we find ourselves less enamored of this “passivity” conception of the passions as well. This chapter argues that most of our emotions, most of the time, are not entirely beyond our control. They do not just happen to us, but we are responsible for them. We practice them, cultivate them, and in many cases choose them, even if unconsciously.

Keywords:   emotions, passions, control, passivity

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