A Historical Perspective: Eighteenth Century
Locke: The associationists
Hartley: "Vibrations" and classification of the emotions
Tucker: The development of emotions
David Hume: A dynamical view of emotions
- In his 'treatise of human nature (Book 2, 1888)', David Hume takes
the original viewpoint that Reason is not superior to emotions, but the
reverse 'Reason is, and ought to be, the slave of the passions'.
- For Hume, emotions are 'impressions' (sensations) that originate
in the 'animal spirits' in the blood. A particular emotion is the result
of interactions with other (pre-existing) emotions and 'ideas' (cognitions).
- Like Adam Smith, David Hume emphasizes the role of 'sympathy' (empathy),
as a universal aspect of human nature. Emotion is part of the very essence
of human social existence and morality.
Author: Jean-Marc Fellous