"Upheavals of though - The intelligence of emotions" by Martha C. Nussbaum
This is a book that seeks to explain the role and function of emotions in our lives. Are emotions simply animal energies or impulses with no connections to our thoughts? Or are they rather suffused with intelligence and discernment, and thus a source of deep understanding and awareness?
In this book, Martha Nussbaum argues that emotions are not alien forces but highly discriminating responses to what is of value and importance to us. The emotion is our body's way of telling us the significance and affect of a particular situation, and in this way helps us to come up with the apropriate response. This way of thinking neatly dovetails with that of Antonio Damasio (The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness; Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain).