The Passions: Philosophy and the Intelligence of Emotions : The Great Courses: Understanding the Mind

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Robert C. Solomon
  • Series: The Great Courses: Understanding the Mind
  • 12 hrs and 41 mins
  • Lecture

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Meditation on emotions - Slow to start but worth the experience

This course is broken into three main section. The first seems to be long and somewhat tedious- however it is a good setup for the other two sections. Overall a good meditation on the topic of emotions.
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- oded noy

How does this have high ratings?!?

What disappointed you about The Passions: Philosophy and the Intelligence of Emotions?

This is quite possibly the most boring thing I have ever read/listened to.


Any additional comments?

I have a few dozen books from the Great Courses. The idiotic canned applause and the cringe worthy introductory music aside, I have found some good courses. This, alas, is not one of them. If you enjoy being spoken to like a third grader in a special class, maybe you will enjoy this. I swear I could summarize each 30 minute section in three sentences or less. I love this topic, but this was terrible.

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- Mazz

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-08-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses