The Value of Persuasion

Susan James

in Passion and Action

Published in print November 1999 | ISBN: 9780198250135
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597794 | DOI:
 The Value of Persuasion

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There nevertheless remains a worry that the capacity of the passions to thwart our attempts to acquire knowledge is not so easily disposed of. A third solution to the problem challenges the idea that passion and reason are opposed by arguing that we rely on our passions to motivate us to reason, and thus to pursue scientia. One version of this view, exemplified by Hobbes, suggests that we need to appeal to various passions, such as fear, to excite our desire to reason. Another version holds that we need to use the imagination, and more generally rhetoric or the art of persuasion, to mitigate the aridity of reasoning and excite our interest in it.

Keywords: Hobbes; imagination; knowledge; passion; persuasion; rhetoric

Chapter.  8717 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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