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›Emotion‹ vs. ›Passion‹: the history of word-use and the emergence of an a-moral category

Zurück zum Heft: Archiv für Begriffsgeschichte. Band 52
DOI: 10.28937/9783787336722_7
EUR 16,90

The history of concepts should be grounded in a history of word use, which is now possible thanks to the creation of computer-readable corpora and text collections. The claim is substantiated in an illustrative analysis of the use of ›emotion‹ in the history of English and (to a less extent) French. After a brief discussion of the Anglo-Saxon reception of ›Begriffsgeschichte‹ some important text collections are described. Accepting Koselleck’s warning that »identical words taken by themselves are not sufficient evidence of identical facts [›Sachverhalte‹]« (Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe, Einleitung, p. XX), the analysis of the syntactic and situational micro-contexts of ›emotion‹ is used to trace the gradual emergence of the morally neutral category of ›emotion‹ alongside the moral category of ›passion‹. Against the wide-spread view that discourse is autonomous an important change in psychological discourse is shown to be embedded in general language use.