Philosophy and the Passions

Toward a History of Human Nature

By (author) Michel Meyer Translated by Robert F. Barsky

Hardback - £82.95

Publication date:

01 November 2000

Length of book:

320 pages


Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271020310

The subject of the passions has always haunted Western philosophy and, more often than not, aroused harsh judgments. For the passions represent a force of excess and lawlessness in humanity that produces troubling, confusing paradoxes.

Michel Meyer provides new insight into an age-old dilemma: Does passion torture people because it blinds them, or, on the contrary, does it permit them to apprehend who and what we really are?

“The subject of emotions in philosophy is very much on the front burner in many areas today, including such diverse disciplines as cognitive science, ethics, and the philosophy of rhetoric. Meyer’s book is thus right on the money. It is sensible in its quasi-historical structure, imaginative in its insights, especially at the intersection of emotions, rationality, rhetoric, and logic, which is one of the author’s primary concerns. I recommend it to English-speaking philosophers who are interested in the subject of emotions and in what is currently going on on the other side of the English Channel.”

—Robert C. Solomon, University of Texas, Author of The Passions