Emotions didn't exist?
Dixon, Thomas Dixon, Thomas, 1864–1946, American novelist, b. Shelby, N.C., grad. Wake Forest College. A militant Southerner, he is best known for his novel The Clansman (1905), on which the movie The Birth of a Nation (1915) was based. . (2003).
From passions to emotions: The creation of a secular psychological category. New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of : Cambridge University Press Cambridge University Press (known colloquially as CUP) is a publisher given a Royal Charter by Henry VIII in 1534, and one of the two privileged presses (the other being Oxford University Press). . Hard cover. x + 287 pp. $60.00. ISBN ISBN
International Standard Book Number
ISBN International Standard Book Number
ISBN n abbr (= International Standard Book Number) → ISBN m 0-521-82729-9.
Dr. Thomas Dixon is a British Academy The British Academy is the United Kingdom's national academy for the humanities and the social sciences. It was established by Royal Charter in 1902, and is a fellowship of more than 800 scholars. The Academy is self-governing and independent. Postdoctoral Fellow at the Faculty of Divinity and a Fellow of Churchill College, University of Cambridge.
Emotions did not exist 200 years ago. With that provocative statement the author grabs the reader's attention for an instructive tour of history. Many readers will experience the tour as a trip through unfamiliar territory, but will find the journey to be of great value for the integrative task.
The English word "emotion" is a relatively recent word that replaced a variety of terms previously used to describe this arena of human experience: affections, appetites, passions, and sentiment. Dixon's thesis is that the linguistic move to "emotion" represents a movement from the theological to the secular, from nuanced categories to a frustratingly over-inclusive category, and from a balanced view to a negative view. Dixon describes his work as revisionist re·vi·sion·ism
1. Advocacy of the revision of an accepted, usually long-standing view, theory, or doctrine, especially a revision of historical events and movements.
2. in an effort to counter a prevalent assertion found in most all histories of psychology, namely that prior to the modern era the Western world viewed emotion as negative. Quite the contrary, argues the author. The older categories included variegated variegated adjective Multifaceted; with many colors, aspects, features, etc valence, but authors promoting the new category of emotion posited it against intellect and will and thus created the negative view of emotion that twentieth century psychology has attempted to dismantle. The negative view of emotion that emerged in the nineteenth century occurred, not accidentally, when philosophers and nascent psychologists yanked then-current views of affect up from their Christian roots.
The creation of emotion as a new super category for affects previously studied in smaller units occurred from 1800 to approximately 1850. Presentism Noun 1. presentism - the doctrine that the Scripture prophecies of the Apocalypse (as in the Book of Revelations) are presently in the course of being fulfilled prevents us from looking for Looking for
In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with. the roots of our current psychological discipline, but when we do look for roots we find material to be very instructive. In this case, any effort to study the treatment of human affect by Augustine, Aquinas, the Reformers, or Eighteenth Century authors through the lens of our modern understanding of emotion is doomed. Prior to the modern era, a much more finely tuned grid of concepts governed any discussion of affect.
Dixon gives his readers a very informative portrait of revivalists Jonathan Edwards and Isaac Watts. While we normally associate the latter with hymnody hym·no·dy
n. pl. hym·no·dies
1. The singing of hymns.
2. The composing or writing of hymns.
3. The hymns of a particular period or church. only, Watts expressed in his 1746 Discourse of the Love of God and Its Influence on All the Passions that he was very concerned about the status of unaided reason especially in religion. Rene Descrates and his view of passion made an impact on both Watts and Edwards. Some people argue that we should appropriate psychological wisdom from Christian writers in the past rather than attempt only to interact with contemporary secular theory and that this use of past Christian writers is superior to traditional integrative work. But how can we regard the writings of our Christian ancestors as superior or "purer" when we are reminded that Edwards was influenced by Descartes, that Aquinas was influenced by Aristotle, and that Augustine was influenced by Plato?
Dixon's primary analysis concerns eighteenth century Christian authors whose work laid the foundation for the subsequent secularization of affect. When Christian authors began to advocate a naturalistic approach naturalistic approach,
n a medical philosophy that holds that illness results from external, objective causes (such as accident, infection, mal-formation, etc.) to affect, when they began to neglect the doctrines of sin and the Fall, when they separated affect from will and intellect, and when they advocated a three-faculty replacement for a two-faculty psychology, they built a system that contained very little distinctively Christian material. "Their teachings on passions and affections can be seen as a halfway house halfway house /half·way house/ (haf´wa hous) a residence for patients (e.g., mental patients, drug addicts, alcoholics) who do not require hospitalization but who need an intermediate degree of care until they can return to the community. on the road towards the more secular psychologies of the nineteenth century" (p. 93).
David Hume was the first author to use the new category of emotion in a sustained manner. Hume, a religious skeptic, segmented emotion from reason. Thomas Brown There have been several notable individuals named Thomas Brown, including:
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Dixon, is the result of the neglect of traditional understanding and of the Christian psychologies of the past.
The defections of late eighteenth century Christian authors coupled with the secularization processes of authors writing in the period from 1800-1850 set the stage for Darwin's naturalistic approach that won the day. Darwin was well acquainted with design arguments that appeared in his day, but he was convinced that their design approach to the study of affect was wrong. A large number of Christian authors made efforts to counteract Darwin's emphasis, but their voices were greatly overshadowed, as Darwin's naturalism became the dominant view of science. These secularizing trends culminated in the twentieth century work of John Watson and B. F. Skinner Noun 1. B. F. Skinner - United States psychologist and a leading proponent of behaviorism (1904-1990)
Burrhus Frederic Skinner, Fred Skinner, Skinner .
Readers will find Dixon's summary of the views of Augustine and Aquinas particularly valuable. Dixon provides us with an understandable summary of these two giants of the faith whose work is sometimes difficult for modern and postmodern readers to comprehend. We should not be ashamed of the work Christian authors have done with human passions, affections, sentiments, and appetites. Their work (prior to the late eighteenth century) was nuanced, useful, and cogent. They gave every evidence of interacting with alternatives to the biblical view, sometimes incorporating material and sometimes deleting material. We will do well to include their work in our current integrations. And all historians of psychology will have to refine their generalizing statements and be more careful about the history of emotion based on the evidence Dixon gives us in this volume.
Reviewed by JAMES R. BECK, PhD