Passion, Death, and Spirituality

The Philosophy of Robert C. Solomon

by Kathleen Higgins,

Robert C. Solomon, who died in 2007, was Professor of Philosophy and Quincy Lee Centennial Professor of Business at the University of Texas, USA. As the first book comprehensively to examine the breadth of Solomon’s contribution to philosophy, this volume ranks as a vital addition to the literature. It includes a newly published transcript of Solomon’s last talk, which responded to Arindam Chakrabarti on the concept of revenge, as well as the considered views of prominent figures in the numerous subfields in which Solomon worked. The content analyses his perspectives on the philosophy of emotion, virtue, business ethics, and religion, in addition to philosophical history, existentialism, and the many other topics that held this prolific thinker’s attention.  


Solomon memorably defined philosophy itself as ‘the thoughtful love of life’,  and despite the diversity of his output, he was most drawn by central questions about the meaning of life,  the essential role that emotions play in finding that meaning, and the human imperative to seek ‘emotional integrity’,  in which one’s thoughts, emotions, and actions all contribute to a coherent narrative. The essays included here draw attention to the interconnections between the issues Solomon addressed, and evince the manner in which he embodied that integrity, living a life at one with his philosophy. They emphasize the central themes of passion, ethics, and spirituality, which threaded through his work, and the way these ideas informed his views on how we should approach grief and death. The multiplicity of topics alone make this keystone work an enlightening read for a full spectrum of students of philosophy, providing much to ponder and recounting a subtle and shining example of the emotional integrity Solomon worked so hard to define.

  • Springer Netherlands; May 2012
  • ISBN 9789400746503
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: Passion, Death, and Spirituality
  • Author: Kathleen Higgins (ed.); David Sherman (ed.)
  • Imprint: Springer

About The Author

David Sherman is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Montana.  His research focuses on German Idealism, existential phenomenology, and the Frankfurt School.  He is the author of Sartre and Adorno: The Dialectics of Subjectivity (SUNY, 2007) and Camus (Blackwell, 2009), and he is a coeditor of the Blackwell Guide to Continental Philosophy (with Robert Solomon, Blackwell, 2003) and Reading Negri (with Pierre LaMarche and Max Rosenkrantz, Open Court, 2011).


Kathleen M. Higgins is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin.  Her main areas of research are continental philosophy and aesthetics, particularly musical aesthetics.  She has published a number of books: The Music between Us:  Is Music the Universal Language? (Chicago, 2012), Comic Relief: Nietzsche's “Gay Science” (Oxford University Press, 2000), What Nietzsche Really Said (with Robert C. Solomon, Schocken Books, 2000), A Passion for Wisdom (with Robert C. Solomon, Oxford, 1997), A Short History of Philosophy (with Robert C. Solomon, Oxford, 1996), The Music of Our Lives (Temple, 1991; Lexington, 2011), and Nietzsche's “Zarathustra” (Temple, 1987; rev. ed., Lexington, 2010), which Choice named an Outstanding Academic Book of 1988-1989.  She has edited or co-edited several other books on such topics as Nietzsche, German Idealism, aesthetics, ethics, erotic love, and non-Western philosophy.  She has been a Resident Scholar at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Study and Conference Center (1993), and a Visiting Fellow of the Australian National University Philosophy Department and Canberra School of Music (1997).  She has also received an Alumni Achievement Award from the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (1999).  She is a frequent visitor at the University of Auckland in New Zealand.