DescriptionRecent years have seen an enormous amount of philosophical research into the emotions and the imagination, but as yet little work has been done to connect the two. In his engaging and highly original new book, Adam Morton shows that all emotions require some form of imagination and goes on to fully explore the link between these two important concepts both within philosophy and in everyday life.
We may take it for granted that complex emotions, such as hope and resentment, require a rich thinking and an engagement with the imagination, but Morton shows how more basic and responsive emotions such as fear and anger also require us to take account of possibilities and opportunities beyond the immediate situation. Interweaving a powerful tapestry of subtle argument with vivid detail, the book highlights that many emotions, more than we tend to suppose, require us to imagine a situation from a particular point of view and that this in itself can be the source of further emotional feeling. Morton goes on to demonstrate the important role that emotions play in our moral lives, throwing light on emotions such as self-respect, disapproval, and remorse, and the price we pay for having them. He explores the intricate nature of moral emotions and the challenges we face when integrating our thinking on morality and the emotions.
This compelling and thought-provoking new book challenges many assumptions about the nature of emotion and imagination and will appeal to anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the role that these concepts play in our lives. The book also has far reaching implications that will spark debate amongst scholars and students for some time to come.
Part I The range of emotions
Refined emotions 3
Imagining in emotions 8
Seeing as 17
Emotions and thinking 22
Keeping mood and emotion distinct 29
Categories of emotion 44
Part II Imagining vile emotions
Imagining what we shouldn’t feel 53
Imagining minds: emotions and perspectives 56
Imagining a point of view 63
Imagining invented characters: fiction and philosophy 83
Invisible everyday failures 88
Imagining awful actions 94
Sympathy versus empathy 101
The tradeoff 108
Part III Memotions
The threat of irrelevance 117
Retracting emotions 122
Emotions with multiple points of view 128
The variety of moral emotions 134
Emotional learning 142
Part IV Families of emotions
The ideas and the questions 157
Shame, regret, embarrassment, remorse 159
Shame-like versus regret-like 164
Looking backward and looking inward 175
Gaps in the pattern: shame versus guilt 180
Two kinds of pride 184
The smug family 189
Dark humour, radical possibilities 194
Shaping our emotions 198
End: a virtue if imagination 206
Gregory Currie, University of Nottingham
"Adam Morton is a pioneering and original thinker whose provocative and insightful work on emotion and imagination has pushed the field in important new directions. It's exciting to have a book-length treatment of these issues from such an interesting and creative mind."
Tamar Gendler, Yale University
"Morton takes us on a journey of the imagination into the imagination. His kaleidoscope of examples compels us to believe that emotions involve the imagination in sometimes unexpected, but always fascinating ways. A great read!"
Heidi Maibom, Carleton University