Vol. 4 | December 2017
Passions, Emotions and Cognition in the Long Eighteenth-Century Literature in England
Published: Dec. 18, 2017
The eighteenth century is commonly considered as the "age of reason".However, in the course of that century philosopher, writers, scientists, theologians, etc. showed an increasing interest in human passions and emotions that, as the newspaper The Spectator wrote, became "the light of the soul". "Without passion, continued The Spectator, you are but a blind man". David Hume even admitted that reason is the "slave of passions". Therefore, the eighteenth century decided to investigate the role of passions and emotions in various fields, from philosophy to medicine to the arts, and no longer, as happened in previous ages, by trying to harness them within a moral schematism but understanding how they affect and direct our knowledge and beliefs. The present issue of English Literature analyses the various ways in which English literature translated the eigheenth century's interest for passions and emotions, both as opposite and competing forms of knowledge (mind vs the senses, soul vs body, head vs heart, etc.) and as interactive capacities of man as a whole.
Poetry • Hypothetical thinking • Probability • Epistemology • Swift • Scepticism • Genre • Actual • Virtual • Imagination • Robinson Crusoe • The Examiner • Pope • Cognition • Sermons • Suspense • Curiosity • Arbuthnot • Whig • Propaganda • Scandal • Eighteenth-century poetry • Understanding • Passions • Tillotson • Representation of the soul • Seventeenth-century theatre • Narrative • Emotion • Latitudinarianism • Acting • Eighteenth-century Rhetoric • Tory • Abergavenny • Scriblerus Club