ISSA Proceedings 2010 – The Emotions’ Impact On Audience Judgments And Decision-Making In Aristotle’s Rhetoric
1. Introduction: Emotions in the Rhetoric
Plato’s antagonistic model of cognition and emotion was highly influential among many of his successors, as we see in the Stoic sage and Skeptics who strove for relief from emotional states (Bett 1998), and it was adopted by the Catholic church during the Middle Ages, with adherents encouraged to subdue their emotions by means of reason and acts of the will (Lazarus 2001, p. 60). This model also formed the root of modern philosophy in Descartes’ strict separation of body and mind – what Damasio (1994, p. 249) has referred to as his most serious error. Aristotle corrects Plato’s picture, providing the first clearly cognitive account of the emotions, insofar as the speaker arouses emotions in the audience by cognitive means. There is also much more to Aristotle’s treatment that takes it beyond the attention to cognitivism. The discussion of “intentionality” below captures one such structural feature. It is the details of that account and how the emotions are thought to figure in persuasion, along with a related notion of intentionality that interest us in this paper.
After analyzing Aristotle’s theory of the emotions in a way that stresses the social nature of his account, we turn in Part 2 of the paper to show how the social emotions in the Rhetoric require a different model of intentionality from that which the tradition assumes. Social emotions are embedded in social interactions and thus such emotions require a structure of intentionality that is both other-directed and directed back on the agent (we illustrate the nature of this structure by modeling it on a game). This understanding of full intentionality presents the foundation for person worth to develop, and in Part 3 of the paper some aspects of person worth apparent in the Rhetoric are explored.
That we should find Aristotle’s only detailed account of the emotions in the Rhetoric – or, rather, that we do not find it in the more natural settings of De Anima and the Nicomachean Ethics is something that has puzzled commentators. It may also be that a fuller account appears in some lost book, or just that it is the subject matter of the Rhetoric, with its concern with the persuasion of audiences, which is the most natural setting. Regardless, the account given here is largely consistent with what Aristotle has to say about the emotions elsewhere (Fortenbaugh 1975; Modrak 1987), and this is the place on which to concentrate for the most salient details of Aristotle’s thinking.
Early in Book I we are told that audiences are persuaded when led by a speech to feel emotion (1.2.5). This is an empirical claim, and in support of it we are asked to reflect on our own experience. We do not give the same judgment when grieved as we do when we are rejoicing, or when being friendly as when we are hostile. These are taken to be universal statements about human nature[i] and the impact of emotion on judgment. The causal line here is speech to emotion, emotion to judgment. It would seem from this early statement that in the developing cognitive account of the emotions, emotion might ground judgment[ii]. We are then faced with the immediate question of how emotion comes to affect judgment. Aristotle never specifically addresses this issue (Leighton 1982, p. 145), but a close review of what he has to say in Book II of the Rhetoric provides a number of useful suggestions.
The first eleven chapters of Book II are devoted to the emotions, beginning with a general definition and proceeding to accounts of a select group. “The emotions (pathê) are those things through which, by undergoing change, people come to differ about their judgments and which are accompanied by pain and pleasure, for example, anger, pity, fear, and such things as their opposites (2.1.8).” Two central criteria characterize this definition: In the first case, emotions in some way cause a change in judgment. They are directly related to how we view things, what attitude we take towards them and the way we arrive at decisions about them. Secondly, they are accompanied by pain and pleasure. These may be physical or mental, and perhaps both. But it indicates already a holism that will characterize Aristotle’s discussions. The whole organism is addressed when speech aims at persuasion. While not part of the opening definition, the accounts Aristotle gives of individual emotions indicate their social nature – they arise in relation to a person’s perceptions of what is expected of them or due to them in specific circumstances.
These points are illustrated in the first individual emotion discussed, that of anger. Anger is defined as “desire, accompanied by distress[iii], for apparent retaliation because of an apparent slight that was directed, without justification, against oneself or those near to one” (2.2.1). The distress noted corresponds to the accompanying pain of the general definition[iv]. Since anger arises through a thought of outrage, that thought is part of the definition.
Moreover, the emotion arises from a judgment of what is unjust since the slight was deemed unjustified. The mixture with cognitive elements is clear both in the general definition and in that of this first emotion. Pleasure is also mixed in here through the accompaniment of another emotion – hope. The angry person feels pleasure at the hope of retaliation. Thus anger involves, in its nature for Aristotle, projection and anticipation. People dwell in their minds on retaliating, creating an image (phantasia) of what might be involved. Aristotle ends the chapter with the advice that “it might be needful in a speech to put (the audience) in the state of mind of those who are inclined to anger and to show one’s opponents as responsible for those things that are the causes of anger” (2.2.17).
Still it is clear that someone, whether Aristotle himself or an early editor[v], sees the need for the discussion of the emotions in the larger consideration of persuasion. Thus, our own analyses can facilitate the relevance where it is not apparent. The account of fear (phobos) in chapter 5, for example, is combined with an account of confidence (tharsos) and not explicitly related to rhetorical contexts. Yet its relevance is not hard to uncover. Fear is defined as “a sort of pain and agitation derived from the imagination of a future destruction or painful evil; for all evils are not feared” (2.5.1) The ability to imagine something that has not yet happened but can be judged as likely to occur supplies the cognitive element here. Confidence is defined as what is opposed to fear (2.5.16). When dreadful things have not yet happened and sources of safety are near at hand, then feelings of confidence are experienced. While the text does not go on to provide illustrations, we can appreciate that a speaker may want to create fear in an audience towards an opponent and counter it by inspiring confidence in them through his or her own example. An audience’s judgments about a person are altered if that person is viewed as a source of fear or confidence.
The emotions of anger and fear are both practical in the sense of involving a goal at which one aims. Other emotions are not practical in this way (Fortenbaugh 1975, p. 81). Shame (aiskhynê), for example has neither a goal nor an action involved in its definition, and the same holds for shamelessness. Shame is simply defined as “a sort of pain and agitation concerning the class of evils, whether present or past or future, that seem to bring a person into disrespect” (2.6.1). Shame is concern for – Aristotle says imagination (phantasia) about (2,6,14) – a loss of reputation. While lacking a clear goal, like anger or fear, it is social in import insofar as it relies on thoughts about other people. Anger is directed toward others; fear is of others. The common element here is their social nature. Indignation is another non-practical emotion in Fortenbaugh’s classification (1975, p. 82). But insofar as it is tied to the thought of unmerited fortune in others (2.9.1) it shares with the other emotions this social aspect. Others are feared, pitied, envied, emulated, and so forth. These emotions all find us outside of ourselves in the world, navigating difficult interpersonal matters that can be understood and converted to sources of persuasion.
Pity might be thought of as another central Aristotelian emotion because of its importance in the Poetics. It is also an emotion that seemed to have an almost institutional role in courtroom situations[vi], such that Kennedy (Aristotle 2007, p. 139) wonders why the Rhetoric account is not flavoured this way. But as his analyses of the emotions progress, Aristotle seems more and more centrally concerned to capture what is distinct about each emotion in its social setting, while distinguishing them from each other, especially where there is some natural connection as in the case of opposites.
Pity is often cited when concerns are raised about the irrelevance of emotional appeals. But Aristotle is interested in how pity can bring us to be moved in appropriate ways to consider something that we might not have otherwise considered. The image of the hunger-ravished child or the community devastated by a natural disaster awakens sensibilities in us that might not otherwise be activated. Pity, Aristotle writes, is “a certain pain at an apparently destructive or painful event happening to one who does not deserve it and which a person might expect himself or one of his own to suffer” (2.8.2). Again, there is a judgment of what is just and fair here; as indignation is aroused by undeserved good fortune, pity arises from a judgment of undeserved misfortune. There is also the imaginative placing of oneself or those one knows into a similar scenario.
The analyses of the emotions are concluded in chapter 11 after the socially relevant discussion of emulation. Clearly, only a selection of emotions has been discussed and divisions can be seen within them, such as Fortenbaugh’s distinction between practical and non-practical emotions.
As Deborah Modrak notes (1987, p. 71), Aristotle’s account of the emotions reflects his commitment to psychophysicalism – all the pathê of the soul involve the body. As anger, for example, is the desire for retaliation, it is also a boiling of the blood or heat around the heart (De An. 403a30-31). In many ways, this anticipates descriptions that will arise in neuroscience centuries later. Damasio (1999, p. 67), for example, describes how emotions work in terms of two paths: one is biological through the bloodstream, where chemical molecules act on receptors in the body; the other is neurological, through the actions of electrochemical signals. Aristotle’s commitment to psychophysicalism is evident in the discussions of the Rhetoric. But more importantly, we see in those discussions the essentially cognitive nature of the emotions. A holism emerges here that shows an interest in the entire being. Emotion, cognition and the physical body are integrated here in ways that anticipate similar holistic accounts that have emerged centuries later.
While some researchers working in the field of cognition, like Lazarus (2001), whose appraisal theory is based on the Aristotelian view that emotion depends on reason, and Leighton (1985), acknowledge Aristotle’s accomplishment, most do not. And yet there are several ways in which Aristotle’s discussions anticipate or are relevant to later conclusions.
With respect to the issue of where the emotions are, early disputes over whether cognition or emotion is primary lose their force in some of the more recent proposals for the kind of integration that regards neither as fundamental. At issue is a dynamic relationship in which emotions are the result of cognition and the cause of it (Lazarus 1984, p. 126). This suggests the kind of cohesiveness of experience that was apparent in Aristotle’s work. In De Sensu (447a15-17), Aristotle explains how a strong emotion like fear can interfere with cognition such that we do not perceive what is in front of us. Such competition between cognitive and affective states suggests a complicated meshing underlying the unity of experience (Modrak 1987, p. 138). Likewise, practical decisions to choose certain actions are influenced by the emotional values we associate with different outcomes. And decisions and values must be weighed against different goals and the preferences involved with these. Thagard (2000) proposes a model of coherence that includes both beliefs and emotional responses knit so closely in interwoven patterns of influence that their distinctiveness seems possible only by means of theoretical analyses. “Emotional coherence requires not only the holistic process of determining to how best satisfy all the cognitive constraints, but also the simultaneous assessment of valences for all relevant representations” (Thagard 2006, p. 55). In part, Thagard’s way to this is through the neuroscience of Damasio and others, but at root it remains an unacknowledged Aristotelian insight.
As a final point here, we might recall how in showing that emotional responses are reasonable and involve cognitive processes, Aristotle also showed that they were open to reasoned persuasion, even if he was less specific on how this could be achieved with the different emotions. Furthermore, since emotions can be assessed for their rationality, we can turn the critical stance on ourselves (aided by a speaker’s argument) and appraise the appropriateness of our own emotional responses and moderating them where necessary.
2. Intentional Social Interactions: A Frame for Analysing the Social Emotions in Rhetoric Book 2
Let`s start with a mainstream view on intentionality as a structural characteristic of emotions:
Intentionality is a property of actions and mental states. It is the property of being directed at or toward something. [This property of being directed at is often called “aboutness”]. Emotions typically have this property. When one is angry or afraid, for example, one is angry at someone or something, afraid of someone or something. This someone, this something is the emotion’s intentional object, that at or toward which it is directed. By contrast, bodily sensations of pleasure and pain, [the comforting feeling of a warm bath, say, or the aching feeling of sore muscles], are not directed at or toward anyone or anything. (Deigh 1994, p. 826)
We argue that this mainstream concept of intentionality is insufficient to capture social emotions as presented by Aristotle in book 2 of his Rhetoric. There are several reasons for this position:
(1) Intentionality is a property of mental acts, not mental states, of activities, not states.
(2) There are two directions, not one: intentional acts are directed to something or someone (other-directedness, centrifugal direction) and directed back reflexively to the act issuing centre (centripetal direction).
(3) Full intentionality means: both directions together form a circular process.
(4) The structure of full intentionality provides the ground for person worth to develop.
(5) The mainstream concept draws on an individualistic frame, but an individualistic frame is insufficient to capture social emotions.
(6) Social emotions are bound to or embedded into social interactions.
(7) For social emotions to arise, the corresponding social interactions must follow an Intentionality structure (a game-like structure).
(8) Pleasure and pain are not sensations beyond the Intentionality structure, but are understood as modes of backward-directedness, as modes how the centre feels affected.
The concept of intentional act in modern times is due to Franz Brentano, a German-born Austrian philosopher of the second half of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. According to him, an intentional act is a mental act combining a centripetal and a centrifugal direction to a circular processing: a being directed to something other as objective content (outward direction) together with a reflexive being redirected back to the issuing centre (inward direction). Intentional acts provide a structure for a subject to experience itself. But it must be stressed that this “self” is not given at the outset but develops by issuing intentional acts in different contexts. The starting point is activity, a living being insofar it is active.
Brentano`s concept of intentional act has its roots in Aristotle. One of his reported key Aristotelian sources for conceiving intentional acts as other-directed and backward-to-centre directed acts is Met. 1074b35-36, where Aristotle says:
“Yet it seems that knowledge and perception and opinion and understanding are always of something else, and only incidentally (εν παρέγωι) of themselves.”
“Incidentally of themselves” means, according to Brentano, that the acting subject is not given to itself as a primary object, but as a secondary one. We understand this secondary object status as a feeling of being back, of arriving at the origin, at the centre – as self-awareness.
Brentano (1995, 276ff) elucidates the basic idea with a nice example:
“The fact that the mentally active subject has himself as object of a secondary reference regardless of what else he refers to as his // primary object, is of great importance. As a result of this fact, there are no statements about primary objects which do not include several assertions. If I say, for example, “God exists,” I am at the same time attesting to the fact that I judge that God exists.”
If one goes back from Brentano to the roots of intentionality in Aristotle, one will be surprised to notice that Aristotle`s understanding of intentional acts is richer and reaches further than Brentano`s. The starting point remains the same: it is activity, or more concretely, a living being insofar it is active. And this fundamental activity unfolds within the structure of intentional acts, the structure of a circular process of crossing the inside-outside border of the living being in both directions creating self-relatedness. This self-relatedness develops in different stages.
The first stage is presented by the psychological writings. Here, self-relatedness is substantiated as self-awareness. The De Anima (425b12-15) and De Somno[vii] (455a13-21) draw a detailed picture of reflexive self-awareness embedded into intentional acts of perception. Intentional acts are not a human privilege, animals, too, are capable of intentional acts. Humans and animals do not differ in act structure, but in levels of activity. Animals are capable of perception only, humans of perception and thinking. Both are living organisms and being alive means being active – active within the structure of intentional acts which make the organisms familiar with themselves – on different cognitive levels.
In the ethical writings, at the next step, Aristotle goes further: self-awareness is enriched by combining being active and being good. It is not the value of the objects the intentional acts are directed at, that is at stake here, but the experience of one’s own worth by the agent via the backward-directedness of his intentional acts. Aristotle again: “(I)t is the consciousness of oneself as good that makes existence desirable, and such consciousness is pleasant in itself” (EN 1170b8-b10).
But at this stage, the individual has a bitter experience, the experience of lacking self-sufficiency in assessing and deciding his own true worth. He cannot resolve the bias in judging his own case by domestic means. An insurmountable uncertainty remains which forces the individual to leave the individual stance: It needs judges from outside, the recognition of others, to establish his own worth with certainty.
At the level of individuality, we witness how the backward-directedness of intentional acts turns into person worth, but individual worth in a paradoxical mode of coming to mind without being really real. This gap of uncertainty forces the individual to give up his individualistic stance and, in his pursuit of certainty, to enter the social space. The transition from purely individual existence to social existence takes place.
To cope with this new situation, we introduce intentional social interactions as games for worth. In the realm of social space, the character of person worth changes.
– is no longer determined individually
– it becomes eye-bound, worth in the eyes of others
– its validity and reality depends on recognition. Thus, worth can be affirmed, attributed, denied, or withdrawn.
– it becomes relative worth, dependent on comparisons with others.
– relative worth manifests itself as a worth level.
– relativity + recognition-dependence account for competition and incentives for interactive worth level changes.
– relative worth is open for gains and losses, upgrading and downgrading
Starting and driven from individual uncertainty about worth, intentional social interactions take on the form of games for worth. And, as games, they can be played fairly or unfairly. Gains due to unfair moves of another player, arouse, according to Aristotle, the emotion of righteous indignation, for example (the usual translation of to nemesan in ch. II 9).
These games take place in the social space, this means in public, in visibility. Visibility affects a central motive as to why these games are played: visibility is a source of, and grants access to, certainty. The social space becomes a space of appearances, of appearing, presenting and representing oneself to others as a player in the worth game and decoding the corresponding appearance promoting moves of competitors and co-operators. The different minds playing the worth game relate to each other in the medium of phainesthai. The mental capacity to deal with public phainomena of this kind is phantasia, the impression managing unit.
Intentional interactions, games for worth, take place in public. Thus, phainesthai, visibility to others, appearance in the sense of being visible, becomes a focus of attention in those games. Phantasia is the underlying mental capacity carrying and facilitating the required behaviour of presenting oneself to others by effective means, be it facial expression, gestures, outfit, Cartier jewels, Rolex watches, Porsche cars, medals and what have you. And why all this? The intentional structure of the interactions in the games for worth provides the answer: In intentional interaction, being is being perceived by others, it is being before the eyes of others.
In games for worth, Intentionality takes on the following structure:
I appear a certain way to others, others appear a certain way to me, and how they appear to me depends on how I appear to them and vice versa. This includes being worried how one might appear in front of a jury of significant others as in shame. Appearances and impressions take on a prominent role in intentional interactions, and, as a consequence in social emotions and Aristotle´s treatment of them. The extramental interactions between minds take place in the social space which is a public space of actors and spectators and spectator-actors, of appearance managers, of observers, of judges[viii].
An example from the Rhetoric´s chapter on anger may illustrate the role of visibility and public for social emotions: “And further, (they are angry) with those who slight them before five classes of persons: namely, their rivals, those whom they admire, those by whom they would like to be admired, those whom they respect, or those who respect them; when anyone slights them before these, their anger is greater” (Rhet. II 2.22, 1379b23-27).
Pain and pleasure play a constitutive role in Aristotelian emotions (with hate as the grand exception). Where must these be located? Inside or outside the frame of intentional interactions we were developing? Cognitivist approaches to emotions treat feelings as the nonintentional states par excellence. This view may seem cogent from the reductive aboutness-concept of intentionality which makes no use of the backward-directedness of intentional acts. From our point of view, feelings of pleasure and pain can be integrated into intentionality without much effort.
The feeling of pleasure or pain indicates that the whole organism, the whole person is affected. The person experiences his being in a positive or negative state via states of his body. From our intentional stance, states of the person are states of subjectivity combining states of mind with body states. In contrast, pure judgments or beliefs are only departmental, they are backward-reflexive too, but in a detached, cool way (remember Brentano`s example from above: “If I say, for example, “God exists,” I am at the same time attesting to the fact that I judge that God exists”). Of course it is me who has those judgments, but they do not affect my whole being. They show a lesser degree of subjectivity with the welcome social side effect of allowing me to share this sort of judgment with others. This is not possible with states of bodily feeling: they are radically subjective and private. I can report having a toothache to others but I cannot share it with them. On the other hand, shareable judgments or beliefs, may concern my full being, my whole self, if they combine with positive or negative bodily feelings communicating the significance of those cognitive acts to me immediately, definitely and unmistakably (but not beyond error or self-deception).
Embedded into the frame of Intentionality, pleasure and pain represent a mode of experiencing subjectivity and self. In the context of social emotions, they indicate that my existence is affected – in the sense of social existence and/ or physical existence. In the case of fear as a social emotion, for example, my physical existence is threatened by an enemy or someone who hates me.
Thus, being affected reveals to me that my existence is at stake, that my whole being is affected. A criterion for this is the involvement of the body; bodily reactions communicate this seriousness unmistakably. Pleasure and pain account for the individual affectedness in social emotions with the body as carrier of individuality. (Maybe there is something like a physiological inference: if my body is affected, then I am affected.)
We understand pleasure and pain as modes of backward-directedness, backward directed on bodily channels to a centre which is not an anaemic abstraction, but an embodied reflexive existence, as a physical, individual, body-based existence and/or a social worth-based existence within the social space. Pleasure and pain as components of emotion indicate, and make conscious, that the physical and/or the social existence is affected in a certain situation of intentional interactions (and not a certain brain department only). It is in line with this that Aristotle says of hatred: “Anger is accompanied by pain, but hatred is not; for he who is angry suffers pain, but he who hates does not. One who is angry might feel compassion in many cases, but one who hates, never; for the former wishes that the object of his anger should suffer in his turn, the latter, that he should perish” (Rhet. II 4.32).
3. Personal Value and Person Worth
The sense of worth introduced and discussed in the previous section may be extended to capture the personal worth of the speaker or arguer, who comes to a sense of self-value through what is reflected back from an audience.
As was noted earlier, an audience’s judgments about a person are altered if that person is viewed as a source of such things as fear or confidence. Now is the time to consider the effect this has on the audience in question: what does this alteration of judgment involve? Prior to his descriptions of the emotions, Aristotle had claimed that audiences are persuaded when led by a speech to feel emotion (1.2.5). Emotions alter our judgments, but they do so rationally and thus remain open to reason. Each emotional state involves deliberation about the agent’s social situations and the expectations they have of others and that others have of them. Their emotional orientation plays a role in “determining how an audience sees and understands a particular situation” (Kasterly 2006, p.225). An emotion like anger, for example, affects the way we view people and what we take to be important. Insofar as we feel anger and so desire retaliation, then what we value is crucially modified. The angry person judges that another has behaved unjustly. Of course, this may be someone who was already thought of in this way and they have simply added to a series of unjust acts. But more significant are cases where the behavior does not conform to expectations. This may affect the intensity of the emotion that is felt and expressed. People we expect to behave justly – perhaps because of their position or power over others – elicit greater anger when something they do (or that a speaker alleges they have done) breaks with that expectation. We experience something on parallel to the kind of surprise that Thagard (2006, 172ff) identifies in scientists who find something that does not cohere with their current belief-set. This is a similar kind of emotional incoherence to what Thagard describes. We no longer see that person as fair (or as fair as we did) and they consequently receive less weight in our eyes: we value them less.
In this way, not only do we see a close connection between pathos and logos, but also a relationship to ethos (always implicit in Aristotle’s discussion) emerges. Ethos concerns the way a speaker builds her or his character through their discourse. In a broader sense, it can refer to a range of argumentation that addresses the characters of others, from ad hominem reasoning to appeals to authority. The crucial element in the building of character is trust. People trust those they like; and like those they trust. Trust is a feeling and a judgment. The decision to trust someone is based on what we think of their proposals and their accomplishments, but it is also based on an emotional response to them (Thagard 2006, p.227). People who make us feel good are assigned greater value in our eyes, which means that it is more likely we will accept their judgments. If there is a range of choice of whom to trust (as among election candidates), then the “gut feeling” (good or bad) we have about one will facilitate the decision-making process by quickly eliminating others (or that person, if the feeling is negative).
Even “non-practical” emotions like shame can operate in this way. Shame, we recall, is “a sort of pain and agitation concerning the class of evils, whether present or past or future, that seem to bring a person into disrespect” (2.6.1). People are concerned for their own reputations and can be moved to act in different ways out of shame. Shame alters the worth we attach to ourselves and our actions and can subsequently affect the value we attach to others associated with our actions or us.
In sum, persuasion alters judgments of value. This may be its most significant power. It not only changes perceptions and incites actions; it changes what and even how a person values. And an important alteration brought about through emotional response is the worth people assign to themselves.
[i] The validity of this claim has been brought into question by Daniel Gross (2006), who argues that emotions are related to culture and not human nature.
[ii] There is some debate, generally, about which of the pair is more fundamental. Ancient and modern arguments favour reading cognition as primary, although neither position can be definitively supported (Lazarus 1984) and modern discussion from neuropsychology favour a more integrated model (Damasio 1995). See also Meyer (2000), who argues that passion is what is beneath logos (235).
[iii] Kennedy adds [mental and physical] here to account for both kinds of reaction that occur when someone is in a state of being angry.
[iv] In terms of Aristotle’s own theory of causation, Fortenbaugh (1975, p. 12) describes thought here as the efficient cause of emotion.
[v] There is little question whether the material is Aristotelian; just whether it was originally intended for the book in which we find it.
[vi] Socrates’ insistence that he will not use it in his Apology, for example, speaks of a standard expectation in such cases.
[vii] De Somno 455a13-21 gives a very good impression of Aristotle`s mature position in the psychological writings: “Now every sense has both a special function of its own and something shared with the rest. The special function, e.g., of the visual sense is seeing, that of the auditory, hearing, and similarly with the rest; but there is also a common faculty associated with them all, whereby one is conscious that one sees and hears (for it is not by sight that one is aware that one sees; and one judges and is capable of judging that sweet is different from white not by taste, nor by sight, nor by a combination of the two, but by some part which is common to all the sense organs;[…].”
[viii] “Aristotle’s analyses of the emotions are extremely instructive. […] The passages I have cited suggest an emotional world that differs from our own. It is intensely confrontational, intensely competitive, and intensely public; in fact, much of it involves confrontations and competitions before a public. It is a world in which everybody knows that they are constantly being judged, nobody hides that they are acting as judges, and nobody hides that they seek to be judged positively. It is a world with very little hypocrisy, or “emotional tact.”’ (Elster 1999, p.75).
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