The Ascent of Affect

By Ruth Leys,

Book cover of The Ascent of Affect: Genealogy and Critique

Book description

In recent years, the emotions have become a major, vibrant topic of research not merely in the biological and psychological sciences but throughout a wide swath of the humanities and social sciences as well. Yet, surprisingly, there is still no consensus on their basic nature or workings. Ruth Leys's brilliant,…

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Why read it?

1 author picked The Ascent of Affect as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I like a scholarly bin fire as much as the next person. Leys’ book assembles all the dross of twentieth-century psychological essentialism, douses it in gallons of scholarly scorn, and lights a match.

I think it is massively important that the personalities and authorities that give scientific ideas their power and traction are exposed and critiqued, as a means of moving the needle on emotion knowledge production. This is a scholarly book, no question, but I love it for its unrelenting demolition job.

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