Identitarian passions: The overwhelming power of the human recognition need
According to Plato, thymòs – a notion denoting the human need for recognition – triggers off the most powerful and overwhelming human passions. Indeed, any action originated and nurtured by thymòtic passions places its own raison d’être in itself. The acts motivated by thymòs can either improve or (even) worsen someone’s wellness: they do not entail any payoff in the present or future, and their nature is not influenced nor mitigated by monetary incentives. Moreover, it follows that since identity is based on the others’ recognition (both individuals and social groups), then indulging with thymòtic passions and building up someone’s own identity are exactly the same process. Indeed, thymòtic passions are identitarian passions. This paper argues the relevance of the thymòtic approach. We do propose a conceptual framework that we reckon is useful and innovative in order to study and interpret these peculiar forms of human action. We also point out the social and “environmental” conditions that stimulate their appearance.
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