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David Auerbach

Thanks for posting this list. Some titles I am not familiar with; others like Wollheim's and Elster's I've greatly enjoyed. I'd maintain, nonetheless, that Proust deserves to be at the top of such a list.

From a more historicist perspective, I really enjoyed Reddy's The Navigation of Feeling.

Patrick S. O'Donnell

Thanks for noticing David.

As I said in the post, I was constrained by "philosophical" approaches but of course in other sorts of such lists, Proust would no doubt rank at or near the top. Elster himself mentions the importance of the (especially French) moralists, novelists, and playwrights (all of which trump scientific psychology!). And while I've seen numerous references to Reddy, it's a book I still need to read: thanks for suggesting (and reminding me of) it.

David Auerbach

I'm a huge Diderot fan, and fond of the philosophes in general, so that area is of special interest to me. Rameau's Nephew is, in its way, as significant as Hume on the emotions.

The Reddy is quite interesting. I tend to be attracted to comparative/anthropological/historicist approaches in general, finding the terminology of most studies nearly always too provisional to feel authoritative. (This is, I think, my main problem with Nussbaum's obviously impressive work.) Even anecdotal accounts like those of Jerome Neu and William Ian Miller have been more helpful to me in their way than some of the more systematic studies of present-day emotion.

What do you think of Paul Griffiths' work?

Patrick S. O'Donnell

I'm not really inclined to look with favor on his arguments, however insightful he might be about the scientific literature, finding myself more drawn to the "cognitivist" (as used in this context, not so much as in cognitive science proper) and philosophical (and 'conceptual') accounts. What is more, I'm a firm believer in "folk psychology" and don't see scientific approaches as capable of displacing same (this touches upon issues in philosophy of mind, where I side with the likes of Daniel Hutto, Peter Goldie, Daniel N. Robinson, P.M.S. Hacker, Raymond Tallis, among others).

Patrick S. O'Donnell

I did also want to mention that I'm interested in anthropological approaches as well, although I've yet to find the time to examine this literature apart from a few things by Catherine Lutz, whose work I really enjoy.

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