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Aquinas on the Emotions: A Religious-Ethical Inquiry
by Diana Fritz Cates
Georgetown University Press, 2009
eISBN: 978-1-58901-718-4 | Paper: 978-1-58901-505-0
Library of Congress Classification BJ255.T5C38 2009
Dewey Decimal Classification 241.042092


All of us want to be happy and live well. Sometimes intense emotions affect our happiness—and, in turn, our moral lives. Our emotions can have a significant impact on our perceptions of reality, the choices we make, and the ways in which we interact with others. Can we, as moral agents, have an effect on our emotions? Do we have any choice when it comes to our emotions?

In Aquinas on the Emotions, Diana Fritz Cates shows how emotions are composed as embodied mental states. She identifies various factors, including religious beliefs, intuitions, images, and questions that can affect the formation and the course of a person's emotions. She attends to the appetitive as well as the cognitive dimension of emotion, both of which Aquinas interprets with flexibility. The result is a powerful study of Aquinas that is also a resource for readers who want to understand and cultivate the emotional dimension of their lives.

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