The Emotional Preconditions for Modern Subjectivity
Alongside the conceptual and philosophical history of ideas there is another history that is less well documented: the history of feelings. These histories are connected: people often try to feel they way they think is proper, and their choices about how to think are often affected by what they feel. Modern subjectivity is a unique cultural creation; it required emotional building-blocks as well as conceptual articulation and justification. We shall look at the poetry of the troubadours as well as at mystical literature from the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries in order to excavate some of the antecedents of modern subjectivity.