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This is a revolutionary book about the nature of emotion, about the way emotions are triggered in our private moments, in our relations with others, and by our biology.Drawing on every theme of the modern life sciences, Donald Nathanson shows how nine basic affectsinterest-excitement, enjoyment-joy, surprise-startle, fear-terror, distress-anguish, anger-rage, dissmell, disgust, and shame-humiliationnot only determine how we feel but shape our very sense of self.
For too long those who explain emotional discomfort on the basis of lived experience and those who blame chemistry have been at loggerheads. As Dr. Nathanson shows, chemicals and illnesses can affect our mood just as surely as an uncomfortable memory or a stern rebuke. Linking for the first time the affect theory of the pioneering researcher Silvan S. Thomkins with the entire world of biology, medicine, psychology, psychotherapy, religion, and the social sciences, Dr. Nathanson presents a completely new understanding of all emotion.