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Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


P hilosophy of mind [Greek pathos , feeling, passion, from paschein , to undergo, to be affected, to suffer] What happens to anything that suffers or is affected. As a reaction to external stimuli, pathos is a mode of passivity rather than activity. Feeling or passion is generally taken to be a synonym for emotion , that is, the intense impulses, such as anguish, rage, or love, which directly affect one's perception and behavior . From Plato onwards, the central tradition of Western philosophy has contrasted passion with reason and has regarded passion with suspicion, as something displaying a lack of discipline, exercising a corruptive power and distorting perception and deliberation. Aristotle usually confined pathos to states of the soul that involve pleasure or pain, including the desires and feelings of the non-rational part of the soul. A virtuous person has feeling but can control it, whereas the young and the incontinent are always controlled by their feeling. Many philosophers believe that a good man should have reason as the master of his passions, and Spinoza especially had subtle and interesting things to say about the use of emotions in the rational management of emotion. Hume claimed that reason has no motivating role in action and is the slave of passion. There is a counter-discourse that positively evaluates the role of passion. This ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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