Passion has generated a lot of attention from philosophers

Posted:

Passion has generated a lot of attention from philosophers

The Concept of Passion

Their focus, however, was more on the emotional aspect of passion than on its motivational dimension as is the case with the present approach on passion. Two perspectives have emerged (see Rony 1990). The first posits that passion entails a loss of reason and control as exemplified in the writings of Plato (429-347 BC) and Spinoza (1632-1677). In line with the etymology of the word passion (from the latin “passio” for suffering) people afflicted with passion are seen as experiencing a kind of suffering, as if they were slaves to their passion, because it comes to control them. The second perspective portrays passion in a more positive light. For instance, Descartes (1596-1650) sees passions as strong emotions with inherent behavioral tendencies that can be positive as long as reason underlies the behavior. Finally, Hegel (1770-1831) argues that passions are necessary to reach the highest levels of achievement. Thus, this second view portrays passion in a more positive light as some favorable outcomes may be experienced when individuals are in control of their passion. (more…)