Passion, death, and spirituality : the philosophy of Robert by Kathleen Higgins, David Sherman

By Kathleen Higgins, David Sherman

Robert C. Solomon, who died in 2007, used to be Professor of Philosophy and Quincy Lee Centennial Professor of commercial on the college of Texas, united states. because the first publication comprehensively to envision the breadth of Solomon, s contribution to philosophy, this quantity ranks as an essential addition to the literature. It encompasses a newly released transcript of Solomon, s final speak, which spoke back to Arindam Chakrabarti on the Read more...


This ebook examines the breadth of Robert C. Solomon's contribution to philosophy, surveying the subjects of ardour, ethics and spirituality which threaded via his paintings, and how those ideas Read more...

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The theoretical commitments that underlie Solomon’s account of the emotions, and thus furnish the basis for his responsibility thesis, are themselves explained by the way in which he demarcates the relationship between the emotions and the Self. For Solomon, the emotions constitute neither irruptions into the Self nor even accretions to the Self; more fundamentally, the emotions are in large part the building blocks of the Self. As he says in The Passions: “The Self of concern is something more than [the facts used to describe it]; it, too, is surreal, constituted by us according to our values and interests… Every emotion is an act of self-creation, and the nature of emotion will remain incomprehensible without a theory of Self as background” (Solomon 1976: 84).

This appears to be a paradox, and indeed people have taken it to be so. Witness a review by a prominent intellectual journalist, Leon Wieseltier, of Dennett’s recent book Breaking the Spell (Dennett 2006), in which he accuses Dennett of contradicting himself. Wieseltier begins by quoting Dennett: Like other animals… we have built-in desires to reproduce and to do pretty much whatever it takes to achieve this goal…. But we also have creeds, and the ability to transcend our genetic imperatives. Wieseltier comments: “And then more, in the same fine antideterministic vein: ‘This fact does make us different’” (Wieseltier 2006) Notice first in passing that the smooth passage from the idea that we are “different” to the idea of “anti-determinism” is a complete non-sequitur.

There are always competing cultural narratives that would call into question the claim that certain emotions are genetically wired, which means that even if an emotion has evolved over time, it could be 32 D. Sherman due to cultural selection rather than natural selection. ) Finally, even if in theory the claim that certain basic emotions are the result of adaption is right, there is still the epistemic question of how one could identify such emotions, for “we have never met a raw, unembellished, basic emotion, one not covered over with the trappings of culture and experience” (Solomon 2003: 118).

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