Compassion

Author: Paul Gilbert, PhD
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135231656
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In Compassion, ten scholars draw on literature, psychoanalysis, and social history to provide an archive of cases and genealogies of compassion. Together these essays demonstrate how "being compassionate" is shaped by historical specificity and social training, and how the idea of compassion takes place in scenes that are anxious, volatile, surprising, and even contradictory.

Political Emotions

Author: Janet Staiger
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136956026
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Political Emotions explores the contributions that the study of discourses, rhetoric, and framing of emotion make to understanding the public sphere, civil society and the political realm. Tackling critiques on the opposition of the public and private spheres, chapters in this volume examine why some sentiments are valued in public communication while others are judged irrelevant, and consider how sentiments mobilize political trajectories. Emerging from the work of the Public Feelings research group at the University of Texas-Austin, and cohering in a New Agendas in Communication symposium, this volume brings together the work of young scholars from various areas of study, including sociology, gender studies, anthropology, art, and new media. The essays in this collection formulate new ways of thinking about the relations among the emotional, the cultural, and the political. Contributors recraft familiar ways of doing critical work, and bring forward new analyses of emotions in politics. Their work expands understanding of the role of emotion in the political realm, and will be influential in political communication, political science, sociology, and visual and cultural studies.

Distant Suffering

Author: Luc Boltanski
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521659536
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Distant Suffering, first published in 1999, examines the moral and political implications for a spectator of the distant suffering of others as presented through the media. What are the morally acceptable responses to the sight of suffering on television, for example, when the viewer cannot act directly to affect the circumstances in which the suffering takes place? Luc Boltanski argues that spectators can actively involve themselves and others by speaking about what they have seen and how they were affected by it. Developing ideas in Adam Smith's moral theory, he examines three rhetorical 'topics' available for the expression of the spectator's response to suffering: the topics of denunciation and of sentiment and the aesthetic topic. The book concludes with a discussion of a 'crisis of pity' in relation to modern forms of humanitarianism. A possible way out of this crisis is suggested which involves an emphasis and focus on present suffering.

Reading the Early Modern Passions

Author: Gail Kern Paster
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812218728
Format: PDF, ePub
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How translatable is the language of the emotions across cultures and time? What connotations of particular emotions, strongly felt in the early modern period, have faded or shifted completely in our own? If Western culture has traditionally held emotion to be hostile to reason and the production of scientific knowledge, why and how have the passions been lauded as windows to higher truths? Assessing the changing discourses of feeling and their relevance to the cultural history of affect, Reading the Early Modern Passions offers fourteen interdisciplinary essays on the meanings and representations of the emotional universe of Renaissance Europe in literature, music, and art. Many in the early modern era were preoccupied by the relation of passion to action and believed the passions to be a natural force requiring stringent mental and physical disciplines. In speaking to the question of the historicity and variability of emotions within individuals, several of these essays investigate specific emotions, such as sadness, courage, and fear. Other essays turn to emotions spread throughout society by contemporary events, such as a ruler's death, the outbreak of war, or religious schism, and discuss how such emotions have widespread consequences in both social practice and theory. Addressing anxieties about the power of emotions; their relation to the public good; their centrality in promoting or disturbing an individual's relation to God, to monarch, and to fellow human beings, the authors also look at the ways emotion serves as a marker or determinant of gender, ethnicity, and humanity. Contributors to the volume include Zirka Filipczak, Victoria Kahn, Michael Schoenfeldt, Bruce Smith, Richard Strier, and Gary Tomlinson.

Statistical Panic

Author: Kathleen Woodward
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822392313
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In this moving and thoughtful book, Kathleen Woodward explores the politics and poetics of the emotions, focusing on American culture since the 1960s. She argues that we are constrained in terms of gender, race, and age by our culture’s scripts for “emotional” behavior and that the accelerating impoverishment of interiority is a symptom of our increasingly media-saturated culture. She also shows how we can be empowered by stories that express our experience, revealing the value of our emotions as a crucial form of intelligence. Referring discreetly to her own experience, Woodward examines the interpenetration of social structures and subjectivity, considering how psychological emotions are social phenomena, with feminist anger, racial shame, old-age depression, and sympathy for non-human cyborgs (including robots) as key cases in point. She discusses how emerging institutional and discursive structures engender “new” affects that in turn can help us understand our changing world if we are attentive to them—the “statistical panic” produced by the risk society, with its numerical portents of disease and mortality; the rage prompted by impenetrable and bloated bureaucracies; the brutal shame experienced by those caught in the crossfire of the media; and the conservative compassion that is not an emotion at all, only an empty political slogan. The orbit of Statistical Panic is wide, drawing in feminist theory, critical phenomenology, and recent theories of the emotions. But at its heart are stories. As an antidote to the vacuous dramas of media culture, with its mock emotions and scattershot sensations, Woodward turns to the autobiographical narrative. Stories of illness—by Joan Didion, Yvonne Rainer, Paul Monette, and Alice Wexler, among others—receive special attention, with the inexhaustible emotion of grief framing the book as a whole.

When I Was a Child I Read Books

Author: Marilynne Robinson
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 0374709416
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Marilynne Robinson has built a sterling reputation as a writer of sharp, subtly moving prose, not only as a major American novelist, but also as a rigorous thinker and incisive essayist. In When I Was a Child I Read Books she returns to and expands upon the themes which have preoccupied her work with renewed vigor. In "Austerity as Ideology," she tackles the global debt crisis, and the charged political and social political climate in this country that makes finding a solution to our financial troubles so challenging. In "Open Thy Hand Wide" she searches out the deeply embedded role of generosity in Christian faith. And in "When I Was a Child," one of her most personal essays to date, an account of her childhood in Idaho becomes an exploration of individualism and the myth of the American West. Clear-eyed and forceful as ever, Robinson demonstrates once again why she is regarded as one of our essential writers.

The Geopolitics of Emotion

Author: Dominique Moisi
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 0385525362
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In the first book to investigate the far-reaching emotional impact of globalization, Dominique Moïsi shows how the geopolitics of today is characterized by a “clash of emotions.” The West, he argues, is dominated and divided by fear. For Muslims and Arabs, a culture of humiliation is quickly devolving into a culture of hatred. Asia, on the other hand, has been able to concentrate on building a better future, so it is creating a new culture of hope. Moïsi, a leading authority on international affairs, explains that in order to understand our changing world, we need to confront emotion. And as he makes his case, he deciphers the driving emotions behind our cultural differences, delineating a provocative and important new perspective on globalization. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Political Emotions

Author: Martha C. Nussbaum
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674728297
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Martha Nussbaum asks: How can we sustain a decent society that aspires to justice and inspires sacrifice for the common good? Amid negative emotions endemic even to good societies, public emotions rooted in love--intense attachments outside our control--can foster commitment to shared goals and keep at bay the forces of disgust and envy.

Against Empathy

Author: Paul Bloom
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0062339354
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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New York Post Best Book of 2016 We often think of our capacity to experience the suffering of others as the ultimate source of goodness. Many of our wisest policy-makers, activists, scientists, and philosophers agree that the only problem with empathy is that we don’t have enough of it. Nothing could be farther from the truth, argues Yale researcher Paul Bloom. In AGAINST EMPATHY, Bloom reveals empathy to be one of the leading motivators of inequality and immorality in society. Far from helping us to improve the lives of others, empathy is a capricious and irrational emotion that appeals to our narrow prejudices. It muddles our judgment and, ironically, often leads to cruelty. We are at our best when we are smart enough not to rely on it, but to draw instead upon a more distanced compassion. Basing his argument on groundbreaking scientific findings, Bloom makes the case that some of the worst decisions made by individuals and nations—who to give money to, when to go to war, how to respond to climate change, and who to imprison—are too often motivated by honest, yet misplaced, emotions. With precision and wit, he demonstrates how empathy distorts our judgment in every aspect of our lives, from philanthropy and charity to the justice system; from medical care and education to parenting and marriage. Without empathy, Bloom insists, our decisions would be clearer, fairer, and—yes—ultimately more moral. Brilliantly argued, urgent and humane, AGAINST EMPATHY shows us that, when it comes to both major policy decisions and the choices we make in our everyday lives, limiting our impulse toward empathy is often the most compassionate choice we can make.