All of us want to be happy and live well. Sometimes intense emotions affect our happiness--and, in turn, our moral lives. Our emotions can have a significant impact on our perceptions of reality, the choices we make, and the ways in which we interact with others. Can we, as moral agents, have an effect on our emotions? Do we have any choice when it comes to our emotions? In "Aquinas on the Emotions", Diana Fritz Cates shows how emotions are composed as embodied mental states. She identifies various factors, including religious beliefs, intuitions, images, and questions that can affect the formation and the course of a person's emotions. She attends to the appetitive as well as the cognitive dimension of emotion, both of which Aquinas interprets with flexibility. The result is a powerful study of Aquinas that is also a resource for readers who want to understand and cultivate the emotional dimension of their lives.
Cates' engagement with Aquinas provides a grammar of emotional and moral life, but one that is never over-determined; white it has universal applicability, it leaves plenty of scope for individual initiative. Her examination provides a realistic prompt to self-understanding, more accurate 'readings' of reality and more appropriate responses to others. Theological Book Review This is a careful and clear study of emotions in Aquinas. As such, Cates' book is also a resource for a wide range of readers who want to understand, educate and cultivate the emotional dimensions of their ethical and religious life. Catholic Library World