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Title: From passions and affections to emotions : a case-study in Christian and scientific psychologies, 1714-1903
Author: Dixon, T. M.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2000
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Abstract:
This thesis is a contribution to two academic fields: the study of the history of psychology, and the study of the relationship between the sciences and theology. Its specific focus is the emergence of the category 'emotions' in English-language psychology. The primary materials on which my argument is based are eighteenth- and nineteenth-century texts about 'passions', 'affections', 'sentiments' and 'emotions' written by theologians, philosophers and scientists. In particular, the process is investigated whereby the established Christian categories of 'passions' and 'affections' of the soul were displaced by the secular and scientific category of 'emotions'. The results of my research are presented in the main body of this thesis in five chapters, which are arranged chronologically and thematically, starting with the views of the appetites, passions and affections of the soul, and moral sentiments of Christian thinkers in the first half of the eighteenth century (e.g. Francis Hutcheson, Jonathan Edwards, Joseph Butler). The most significant texts responsible for the baptism and dissemination of the category of 'emotions' during the nineteenth century were those written by the Scottish philosophers Thomas Brown and Alexander Bain. In the final chapter, the theories of emotions of William James and his critics at the end of the nineteenth century are discussed. The emergence of scientific psychological theories of 'emotions' is used as a case-study in two principal ways. First, it is used as an occasion to reappraise methodology in the history of psychology. Theology has too often been excluded from the 'official' history of psychology. However over-simple claims to discover in scientific psychology either Christianity or anti-Christianity in disguise are also to be avoided. This case-study seeks to illustrate the value of a balanced appreciation of the roles of Christian and theistic thought in the history of psychology. Secondly, this thesis draws attention to the importance of psychological debates in adding to our historical and philosophical understanding of relationships between the Christian and scientific traditions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.598554  DOI: Not available
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