What is the meaning of strong emotions? What is emotion itself? What is really happening in therapy when people "express their emotions?"
As James Hillman writes in his new preface to this sweeping study, he intends nothing less than "to vitalize a standard topic of academic psychology by making the theory of emotion as crucial as is emotion itself in our lives." Hillman offers an informative and readable survey of a range of theories of emotion, focusing on the twentieth century but moving also from Greek thought to early Christianity to nineteenth-century German physiology. The work challenges readers to rethink our concepts and thereby to re-experience emotional phenomena.
Hillman's study contributes to today's renewed interest in the history of the body. Furthermore, his understanding of emotions in terms of epiphany makes a stimulating contribution to phenomenology. It is equally thought-provoking for the therapist, the philosopher, the intellectual historian, and the general reader.