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  • Author: André J. Abath x
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Frustrating Absences


Experiences of absence are common in everyday life, but have received little philosophical attention until recently, when two positions regarding the nature of such experiences surfaced in the literature. According to the Perceptual View, experiences of absence are perceptual in nature. This is denied by the Surprise-Based View, according to which experiences of absence belong together with cases of surprise. In this paper, I show that there is a kind of experience of absence—which I call frustrating absences—that has been overlooked by the Perceptual View and by the Surprise Based-View and that cannot be adequately explained by them. I offer an alternative account to deal with frustrating absences, one according to which experiencing frustrating absences is a matter of subjects having desires for something to be present frustrated by the world. Finally, I argue that there may well be different kinds of experiences of absence.

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