Passion and Error

Susan James

in Passion and Action

Published in print November 1999 | ISBN: 9780198250135
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597794 | DOI:
 Passion and Error

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  • History of Western Philosophy


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Alongside their frequent invocations of the distinction between reason and passion, seventeenth‐century philosophers have a sophisticated grasp of the role of the passions in the acquisition of knowledge. This chapter opens the discussion of Part III by examining the ways in which our passions are thought to give rise to error. As Hobbes and Spinoza explain, they encourage projection. They also make us inconstant. Above all, they distort our sense of time and scale, thus giving rise to a corrupting esteem for grandeur and contempt for petitesse, a phenomenon treated at length by Malebranche.

Keywords: error; Hobbes; knowledge; Malebranche; passion; reason; Spinoza

Chapter.  12165 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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