Descartes’ view on Emotion

Descartes’ view on Emotion

The soul, according to Descartes, does not consist of separate souls or faculties, but is a single principle expressing itself in various ways: the same soul that feels also reasons and wills. He distinguishes between its active and passive phases, the actions and passions of the soul, as he calls them. The former are our volitions or acts of will, which depend on soul itself: I am free to will to love God, to affirm or deny propositions, to revive memories, to create pictures in the imagination, or to move my body. The latter include sensations and their copies, appetites, pain, heat, and other bodily feelings, which are referred either to external objects or to the body. The voluntary or active states are absolutely in the power of the soul only indirectly, except in those cases in which the soul is itself their cause.

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