‘We must above all see that here it is not a matter for psychology, nor even for a psychology undergirded by physiology and biology. It is a matter of the basic modes that constitute Dasein, a matter of the ways man confronts the Da, the openness and concealment of beings, in which he stands’ – Heidegger, Nietzsche I (p.45).
Emotion is central to the life of the subject, but emotion is no mere modification of subjectivity taken on its own. Rather, emotion is an essential part of the structure that opens up the subject to the objective and to the world. In phenomenological terms, emotion is essentially disclosive of the world. Yet in being so, emotion is also tied to felt bodily locatedness – the ‘being-placed’ – of the subject. Emotion thus belongs not to phenomenology alone, but to the essential topology of the human, and as part of that topology, emotion belongs to the externality of things no less than to the internality of the self. On this basis, we can better understand the relation of emotion to the materiality of human life (the material is always ‘felt’ and the ‘felt’ is always materialised), as well as the character of emotion as itself a mode of orientation – a finding of oneself as in the world in a certain way. Only in this latter fashion, in fact, can one find oneself in the world at all.
Jeff Malpas is Distinguished Professor at the University of Tasmania and Visiting Distinguished Professor at La Trobe University. He was founder, and until 2005 Director, of the University of Tasmania’s Centre for Applied Philosophy and Ethics. He is the author or editor of 21 books on topics in philosophy, art, architecture and geography. His work is grounded in post-Kantian thought, especially the hermeneutical and phenomenological traditions, as well as in analytic philosophy of language and mind. He is currently working on topics including the ethics of place, the failing character of governance, the materiality of memory, the topological character of hermeneutics, the place of art, and the relation between place, boundary and surface.
This free public lecture is the opening keynote of the Third International CHE conference, ‘The Future of Emotions: Conversations Without Borders’, at The University of Western Australia, 14–15 June 2018.
This is a free event, but please RSVP (link on website or email [email protected]