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Martha C. Nussbaum
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Upheavals of Thought: The Intelligence of Emotions

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  195 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Upheavals of Thought is a big book in every sense of the word. It is a 700-page, deep-thinking, and far-ranging argument that emotions should be central to ethical thinking. From infancy on, we must find our way in the world, but, writes Martha C. Nussbaum, "without the intelligence of emotions, we have little hope." Nussbaum is Ernst Freund Distinguished Professor of Law ...more
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Published (first published 2001)
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A long, dense, broad-ranging book, grounded in classical Greek thought (especially that of the Stoics), with long digressions into exploration of emotion as processed by Proust, Whitman, Mahler, Emily Bronte, and Joyce. I know that's going to turn a lot of people off right then and there, and to a certain extent I'm not on board, but I know that for a lot of people this will totally be their thing. Nussbaum is clearly a profound thinker, with a sensitive understanding of how human emotions by no ...more
This is one of the most penetrating examinations of the nature of emotions and emotionality published ever. I mavel at this philosopher's insight and critical acumen. Its a big one, but well worth the read.
Pity the poor philosopher. If she defines her subject area narrowly enough, she can say something thoroughgoing and profound about the topic. But she risks opining about something too small to interest many people. And if she takes on something large, then she risks getting lost in the collision between the immensity of the topic and the need for philosophy to define terms and stick to precisely narrow bounds.

Nussbaum takes on something huge in trying to advance the philosophical terrain by inc
Aug 07, 2008 Henrik rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in philosophy, literature, aesthetics, ethics, knowledge and emotions
Shelves: philosophy
Have only begun this today (Dec. 4, 2007), but Nussbaum's LOVE'S KNOWLEDGE was a marvel, so I have high expectations about this one. (Not that I necessarily agree with her on all points.)

I've read it... And like it quite much. Unfortunately I don't have much time these days to review books in-depth. This I apologize; when I get more time at hand I will return and write one!

August 7:

Argh--time flies! Re-read the last portion a few days ago. So I figured it was about time I wrote down
Brian Boyce
What a corker! Should be essential reading for anyone approaching bereavement. It certainly goes a long way towards a strong claim for emotions as a form of intelligence and not an irrational impulse. After reading this book I am assessing my emotional state as indicators of my values and responding in an affirmative, yes Naussbaum is right, I feel this way because I value what the object of my emotions is about. Similarly I have been through the death of my Father in the recent past and my Moth ...more
Steven Williams
Nussbaum is a very good philosopher. Her arguments are well thought out. Her subject matter is both interesting and timely. Having read this book sometime ago, I don't remember much detail. I do remember liking it very much.
Western philosophical treatment of emotion from the Greeks, through early Christians, Enlightenment, Romantic authors and musicians, up to Walt Whitman. Nussbaum is a law professor who comes at philosophy from a practical viewpoint that assumes some emotions are too explosive to control - that's why there is second degree murder as opposed to first degree. And what is life without emotion - the hollowness of Puritan Christianity. Excellent, but scholarly. She's hammering out a new kind of philos ...more
This book is a masterpiece of scholarship and clear exposition. The early chapters are riveting, as they lay the groundwork for a theory of emotions, which the later chapters build on, test, and then apply to two specific and important emotions, compassion and love. Part IV of the book on the ascent of erotic love is just phenomenal, the final two chapters on Walt Whitman and James Joyce providing a staggering climax that I know I'll be returning to again and again. A remarkable feat! Something ...more
Didn't read everything, because I had a deadline. Maybe I'll do another attempt later on. Although some parts were horrible to get threw, I'm still referring to others, even though it has been years since I read it. An interesting book.
Martha Nussbaum is a philosopher with writing style that is most approacheable to nonacademics. All her books are interesting reads to me. She discusses the human emotions in context of death of a parent.
Mark Haag
Why I am reading this book: Studying the connection between thought and emotion in ethics. Nussbaum's Therapy of Desire was a great book on the Stoic and Epicurian view of emotions.
I've only made it some of the way through, so far. (I don't like tomes.) And its thesis is questionable.... But that Proust quote at the beginning is still sticking in my mind.
Fairly good, but somewhat repetitive if you're familiar with her work.
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Professor Nussbaum is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago, appointed in the Philosophy Department, Law School, and Divinity School. She is an Associate in the Classics Department and the Political Science Department, a Member of the Committee on Southern Asian Studies, and a Board Member of the Human Rights Program. She is the founder and ...more
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