Emotions in ancient and medieval philosophy (review)

Journal of the History of Philosophy 46 (2):pp. 316-317 (2008)
“Studies on the emotions became popular in the analytically oriented philosophy of mind in the 1980s” , the author begins, but the status of emotion as reason’s rival or complement in the directing of human nature is, of course, of perennial interest to philosophy per se. True, the topic has acquired a certain prominence in recent decades, and this has led to useful historical investigations, although, as the author says, many more of them have been on emotions in ancient than in medieval philosophy . In four chapters, he presents a continuous history of philosophical reflection on emotion from Plato to the fourteenth-century Franciscan Adam Wodeham, and late medieval compendia. Along the way he summarizes and comments on a large number of texts in whole or in part, regularly quotes from them in English translation, and often supplies the more significant Greek and Latin terms. For discussion of ancient theories, he acknowledges reliance on works by Martha Nussbaum and Richard Sorabji, but his scholarship extends to a wide range of primary sources and other historical studies. His recognition of the bearing of both theological and medical works on his subject is noteworthy: it is a mark of the singularity of emotion—or, as it is
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DOI 10.1353/hph.0.0019
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