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Book description

Life, on a day to day basis, is a sequence of emotional states: hope, disappointment, irritation, anger, affection, envy, pride, embarrassment, joy, sadness and many more. We know intuitively that these states express deep things about our character and our view of the world. But what are emotions and why are they so important to us? In one of the most extensive investigations of the emotions ever published, Robert Roberts develops a novel conception of what emotions are and then applies it to a large range of types of emotion and related phenomena. In so doing he lays the foundations for a deeper understanding of our evaluative judgments, our actions, our personal relationships and our fundamental well-being. Aimed principally at philosophers and psychologists, this book will certainly be accessible to readers in other disciplines such as religion and anthropology.


‘It is clearly and engagingly written, uses vivid examples throughout, and covers an impressively wide range of emotions. Roberts discusses the philosophical and neurological literature on emotion, as well as many literary case studies. He makes a strong case for the importance of emotions to ethics. In fact, anyone who believes otherwise will have a hard time responding to Roberts because of the enormous number of examples and arguments presented in this book.’

Linda Zagzebski - University of Oklahoma

‘… a strong and sustained piece of work that presents a truly original and thought-provoking analysis of emotions …’

Nick Haslam - University of Melbourne

‘The clarity, subtlety, breadth, and depth of Roberts’s book are richly rewarding and make it essential reading. It is no exaggeration to say that it is a milestone in the development of the philosophical analysis of emotions.’

Source: Journal of Moral Philosophy

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