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Durham University

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Publication details for Prof Mikhail Epstein

Epstein, Mikhail (2014). Philosophical Feelings. Philosophy Now. A Magazine of Ideas (101).

Author(s) from Durham


“A sensitive heart is a rich source of ideas” – Nikolai Karamzin

We’ve got used to identifying philosophy with thinking. The collocation ‘philosophical thought’ seems to be axiomatic, nearly tautological: indeed, philosophy is thought in its highest sense. None of the dictionary entries defining philosophy – and there are dozens, even hundreds of them – mention feelings, emotions, experiences. In the English-language internet the expression ‘philosophical thought’ occurs over one hundred times more frequently than the expression ‘philosophical feeling’ (777,000 and 6,000 respectively). This shows the huge disproportion between the rational and emotional components of philosophy in the common view.