Antropologicheskij forum, 2020, no. 47


A Review of JAN PLAMPER, ISTORIYA EMOTSIY [THE HISTORY OF EMOTIONS], transl. from English by K. Levinson. Moscow: NLO, 2018, 568 pp.

Maria Pirogovskaya

European University at St Petersburg
6/1А Gagarinskaya Str., St Petersburg, Russia

Abstract: The present review examines an attempt at a historiography of emotion studies that combines history, anthropology, and cognitive science under one cover. In The History of Emotions, the German historian Jan Plamper tries to pinpoint the current state of our fragmented knowledge of emotions and to lay out opportunities for fruitful contacts between social and life sciences. The four chapters of his monograph cover topics such as a historiography of the history of emotions, the constructionist approach to emotions in anthropology, the life sciences’ universalist theories of emotions, and the prospects of emotion studies. To a certain degree, such an organisation of the material reproduces the outline and arguments of the nature or nurture debate which juxtaposed humanities and life sciences in their support of cultural or biological interpretations of emotions, respectively. The review meditates on the conceptual structure of the monograph and surveys some shortcomings stemming from the discussion of emotion studies within isolated frameworks of particular disciplines. In the conclusion, ideas and terms lost and found in their translation to Russian are discussed.

Keywords: emotions, sensibility, social constructionism, universalism, cognitive science.

To cite: Pirogovskaya M., ‘A Review of Jan Plamper, Istoriya emotsiy [The History of Emotions], transl. from English by K. Levinson. Moscow: NLO, 2018, 568 pp.’, Antropologicheskij forum, 2020, no. 47, pp. 196–215.

doi: 10.31250/1815-8870-2020-16-47-196-215