Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(735 words)

Concepts of desire varied widely during the early modern period. As was true for emotions more generally, beliefs and attitudes concerning desire changed during this period, in the realms both of theory and of experience.

1. Theory

Early modern beliefs about desire (Latin voluptas) were at first little different from those of the Middle Ages. Following Thomas Aquinas, desire was considered one of the basic passions of the soul and was defined as a wish to acquire an absent or future good. In this technical sens…

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Dimit, Robert and Omitogun-Meyer, Patricia, “Desire”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 25 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_017440>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20170626

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