This book takes the reader on a philosophical quest to understand the dark side of emotions. The chapters are devoted to the analysis of negative emotions and are organized in a historical manner, spanning the period from ancient Greece to the present time. Each chapter addresses analytical questions about specific emotions generally considered to be unfavorable and classified as negative.
The general aim of the volume is to describe the polymorphous and context-sensitive nature of negative emotions as well as changes in the ways people have interpreted these emotions across different epochs. The editors speak of 'the dark side of the emotions' because their goal is to capture the ambivalent - unstable and shadowy - aspects of emotions.
A number of studies have taken the categorial distinction between positive and negative emotions for granted, suggesting that negative emotions are especially significant for our psychological experience because they signal difficult situations. For this reason, the editors stress the importance of raising analytical questions about the valence of particular emotions and focussing on the features that make these emotions ambivalent: how - despite their negativity - such emotions may turn out to be positive. This opens up a perspective in which each emotion can be understood as a complex interlacing of negative and positive properties.
The collection presents a thoughtful dialogue between philosophy and contemporary scientific research. It offers the reader insight by illuminating the dark side of the emotions.
Nicolò Valentini obtained his doctorate in Philosophy at the University of Trento, Italy. He was a visiting scholar at the University of Exeter and Columbia University in New York (USA). He is currently working on the relation between olfaction and emotion and the moral and aesthetic value of disgust.
Sara Dellantonio is a Senior Researcher at the University of Trento, Italy. Her main interests are in Philosophy of Psychology and the Cognitive Sciences. She obtained her doctorate at the University of Bremen (Germany) and has been a visiting scholar at Columbia University in New York (USA) and at the University of Cardiff (UK). She has authored a number of articles and book chapters. Together with Luigi Pastore she recently authored a book for Springer on "Internal perception. The Role of Bodily Information in Concepts and Word Mastery".
Paola Giacomoni, Sara Dellantonio, Nicolò Valentini - Introduction
Anna Beltrametti (University of Pavia) - Philosophical fear and tragic fear
Martina Di Stefano (University of Trento, PHD Student) - The pathos of ridicule in Plato's Dialogues
Fulvia De Luise (University of Trento) - Shame and self-consciousness in Plato's Symposium: Reversing the meaning of a social emotion
Silvia Gastaldi (University of Pavia) - Envy and competition in Aristotle's Rhetoric
Andrea Aldo Robiglio (University of Leuven)- Aquinas on the benefits of disgust for the sound use of reason
Emanuele Coccia (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris) -
The normative code of emotions: Christian mythology and the construction of a normative psychology
Paola Giacomoni (University of Trento)- An optimistic anger?
Barbara Carnevali (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris) - Glory, The race for prestige in the Hobbesian model
Maddalena Mazzocut-Mis (University of Milano)- The pleasure of weeping: The novelty of research
Caterina Maurer (University of Trento)- Blushing with shame: The feeling of the discordance between what I am and what I ought to be in Hegel's Philosophy of Subjective Spirit
Nicolò Valentini (University of Trento, PHD student)- The subtle interplay between disgust and morality: Miasma as a case study
Alessandro Grecucci (University of Trento), - How shame guides our lives. Historical, Philosophical and Psychological perspectives
Pastore, Luigi (University of Bari), Dellantonio, Sara (University of Trento) - The negative effects of the missing emotion awareness: The case of alexithymia