Krista K. Thomason

Jan 10, 2024

Dancing with the Devil

Why Bad Feelings Make Life Good

Oxford University Press 2023

How could a good life include one with anger, or jealousy, or spite? In Dancing with the Devil: Why Bad Feelings Make Life Good (Oxford UP, 2023), Krista Thomason flips the script on popular ways of dealing with our emotions, including neo-Stoicism, mindfulness, and even the prosperity gospel. She makes the case that we should get rid of the double standard we have towards "good" and "bad" emotions, and that we should not aim to be emotional saints. Instead, because "bad" emotions are an essential part of our attachments to our selves, they help us discover what we care about. Thomason, who is an associate professor of philosophy at Swarthmore College, guides the reader through philosophical traditions regarding the relation of emotion to reason and the various approaches thinkers have come up with to deal with our "bad" emotions.

Carrie Figdor is professor of philosophy at the University of Iowa.

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