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The Navigation of Feeling
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  • 6 b/w illus. 2 tables
  • Page extent: 396 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.545 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 152.4
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: BF531 .R44 2001
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Emotions
    • Sentimentalism--France--History--18th century

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521004725 | ISBN-10: 0521004721)

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

$34.99 (G)

The Navigation of Feeling critiques recent psychological and anthropological research on emotions. William M. Reddy offers a new theory of emotions and historical change, drawing on research from many academic disciplines. This new theory makes it possible to see how emotions change over time, how emotions have a very important impact on the shape of history, and how different social orders either facilitate emotional life or make it more difficult. This theory is fully explored in a case study of the French Revolution.


Preface; Part I. What are Emotions?: 1. Answers from cognitive psychology; 2. Answers from anthropology; 3. Emotional expression as a type of speech act; 4. Emotional liberty; Part II. Emotions in History: France 1700–1850: 5. The flowering of sentimentalism (1700–89); 6. Sentimentalism in the making of the French Revolution (1789–1815); 7. Liberal reason, romantic passions (1815–48); 8. Personal destinies: case material of the early nineteenth century; Conclusion; Appendix A: detailed review of anomalous cases from the Gazette des Tribunaux sample; Appendix B: detailed review of anomalous cases from the Tribunal Civil de Versailles sample; References; Index.


"Reddy opens up a new phase in the interdisciplinary field of emotion studies by raising questions and providing some answers as well about (collective) emotional change and its limits." American Journal of Sociology

"A masterful overview...immensely valuable." Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"Brilliant and wonderful: this is a book of profound scholarship that will become central to the fast growing interdisciplinary interest in emotions. Reddy bridges psychology, anthropology and history to explore the fascinating idea that emotion is the process that manages the concerns that are most intimate to humankind." Keith Oakley, University of Toronto

"This is an unusual work, stimulating and productive....Reddy's intuition that emotions should not be simply differentiated in kind from 'thought' is brilliantly developed....[T]his book deserves a serious reading, and I believe it will become a must-read book in any anthropology of the self and emotion." Fred R. Myers, New York University

"The Navigation of Feeling is a highly original, boldly-argued book....Reddy's lucid theoretical interventions force us to reconsider our understanding of the self and human nature, as well as language and its relation to culture. The Navigation of Feeling represents a daring, new direction in humanistic scholarship that should be of interest to scholars across many fields." Mary Louise Roberts, Stanford University

"...a delight to read..." Philosophy in Review

"...a valuable contribution to emotion literature." Canadian Social Studies, Jane Lee-Sinden

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