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The Secret History of EmotionFrom Aristotle's Rhetoric to Modern Brain Science$
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Daniel M. Gross

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780226309798

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226309934.001.0001

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Apathy in the Shadow Economy of Emotion

Apathy in the Shadow Economy of Emotion

(p.51) 2 Apathy in the Shadow Economy of Emotion
The Secret History of Emotion
University of Chicago Press

This chapter takes the analysis of emotion one step further in the direction of the humanities by considering apathy as a productive political category rather than as a personal moral failing. Far from signaling a general retreat from politics, Stoic apathy in the work of Seneca and Hobbes's antagonist Henry More turns out to be a prerequisite for the distribution of political passions to some and not to others. Methodologically, this book is interested in how the explicit argument for or against the passions is cast and what textual strategies allow the explicit argument to function. Finally, the chapter considers why apathy does not fit comfortably into a scientific model of emotional universalism and expression, even when explained by Paul Ekman's “display rules’’ whereby the apparently stoic countenance of Japanese, for instance, can be dismissed as a cultural mask superimposed upon the emotional truth of a human nature equally shared by all.

Keywords:   apathy, economy of emotion, moral failing, emotional universalism, emotional expression, human nature

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