Social Stances, Emotions and the Importance of Fear

Gian Paolo Terravecchia


The paper presents five main social stances: to refuse, to suffer, to accept, to assent and to make something one’s own. They depend on kinds of relationship between an interior attitude and an exterior manifestation. The second main contribution of the paper consists in a discussion of fear and its relationships to social stances. Studying emotions helps to stress the similarities and the differences between social stances and emotions and among social stances (see e.g. rebellion and refusal). The final part of the paper tests the conclusions of the previous part by discussing Eichmann’s Nazism as presented by Hannah Arendt. The paper gives an example of how ethics can be enlightened by the tools of social philosophy.


social stances; acceptance; fear; anger; Eichmann

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