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Reflections On How We Live$
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Annette Baier

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199570362

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199570362.001.0001

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Feelings That Matter

Feelings That Matter

(p.157) 9 Feelings That Matter
Reflections On How We Live

Annette C. Baier

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the idea that emotions are reactions to a person's perceived matter of importance, whether good or ill. According to David Hume, passions are categorized into pleasant and unpleasant emotions. Pleasant emotions show relief and joy, while unpleasant emotions display boredom, grief, and guilt. Hume notes that uncertainty and mixture of contrary passions from simultaneous different causes can intensify an emotion. One example is a man who gets news on both the loss of a lawsuit and birth of his son, which results in an alternation of extreme joy with extreme distress.

Keywords:   emotions, David Hume, contrary passions, unpleasant emotions, pleasant emotions

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