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Upheavals of Thought: The Intelligence of Emotions

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  348 ratings  ·  20 reviews
What is it to grieve for the death of a parent? More literary and experiential than other philosopical works on emotion, Upheavals of Thought will engage the reader who has ever stopped to ask that question. Emotions such as grief, fear, anger and love seem to be alien forces that disturb our thoughts and plans. Yet they also embody some of our deepest thoughts--about the ...more
Paperback, 766 pages
Published March 7th 2003 by Cambridge University Press (first published January 1st 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
Peter (Pete) Mcloughlin
This is an excellent exploration of the role of emotions in cognition and as a necessary part integral to what we call thinking as a form of appraisal of one's situation. Explores the cognitive aspects of emotions and their relations to norms and the proper place for them in philosophy and it ends with an exploration of emotions as a driver as ascent in erotic love, divine love, individual love, in transforming ordinary life into exploring authors like Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Dante, Bronte, ...more
Dec 04, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
Keith Wilson
Oct 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The emotions could use some better PR. They have been blamed for everything from each personal crisis to the insanity that is called this year’s election. We shrinks have mobilized the troops of rationality and have sharpened the swords of Stoicism, recast as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, to do battle against these pesky, animalistic aliens called feelings.

“But wait!” calls out a professor of philosophy and the classics, stepping between the battle lines. “Emotions are suffused with
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: partly-read
Way too meandering. Would have been much better if it were just the intro, chapter 1 and chapter 6.
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
The perfect book to pick up if you’re nostalgic for academic philosophical text. I never had a chance to read Nussbaum as an undergrad, so this makes a good continuation to the Hellenistic/Medieval/Enlightenment philosophies that I already have a background in. My study of Western philosophy happened to be from a very patriarchal point of view, so it was fascinating to see how Nussbaum, while devoted to the structure of Western thought, brought out the necessity of human emotions in ...more
Oct 18, 2018 marked it as to-keep-reference
Citado en el artículo de Pugno en Capabilities and Happiness.
Nov 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
A magnificent book on how storytelling rewires us and why taming our neediness is highly significative for happiness.
I consider Martha Nussbaum one of the most compelling philosophers of our time. In this book, she examines the nature of the cognitive intelligence and the way we can underline its power and also offers a lucid counterpoint to the idea that our emotions are related to primal impulses which are clearly separated from our cognition. Instead, it is argued the fact that these emotions
Brian Boyce
May 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Aug 17, 2008 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Indradeep  Ghosh
May 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
May 28, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: joesclub, own
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.
Stephie Williams
Jan 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
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.
Jean Kelly
Sep 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
while I feel unqualified to review from a philosophical perspective, I found her premises and her discussion absolutely fascinating. I struggled a bit in the beginning until I think I raised my level of thinking to closer to where she comes from.
Aug 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
May 11, 2007 rated it really liked it
Fairly good, but somewhat repetitive if you're familiar with her work.
Jan 02, 2008 rated it liked it
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.
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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