chapter  I
3 Pages

I.2 Emotives and emotional regimes


In 2001 William M. Reddy published The Navigation of Feeling, an innovative study in which he formulated an analytical framework for examining historical emotions based around a theory of ‘emotives’ and ‘emotional regimes’.1 Building upon insights from cognitive psychology, cultural anthropology, speech act theory and his own earlier work, Reddy claimed to offer a new ‘politically engaged, and historically grounded’, model for exploring emotions that could explain personal and social change.2 While variously criticized, emotives and emotional regimes offer tools for analysing emotions and historical change in early modern Europe in two key ways. First, they offer a method for exploring the fluid nature of individual and collective emotions at moments within and across time. Second, they provide a framework for understanding how emotions themselves, by their very fluidity, could contribute to historical change within a community.