On Spatiality of Emotions

Hilge Landweer 1
  • 1 Freie Universität Berlin, Institut für Philosophie, , Habelschwerdter Allee 30. Raum 42, 14195, Berlin

Summary

The paper argues that all emotions possess a spatial and objective, social character. We can gain access to them only insofar as we are affected by them in a felt-bodily way. Therefore, we need a conception of felt embodiment if we are to achieve a philosophical understanding of the spatial character of emotions. Different phenomena, ranging from the atmospheres of landscapes to shared and individual emotions, illustrate the theses concerning the spatiality of emotions and atmospheres, exemplified by the social contrast of emotions, among other things. The next step clarifies why we should distinguish between the emotion itself and the felt-bodily affection by the emotion. By means of distinctions between two types of felt-bodily or corporeal interaction, a unipolar and a bipolar form, we can gain a better understanding of the spatial character of emotions but also how resonances of emotions work. One result of our examination is that we can explain why positive collective emotions become more intense through shared bodily experience.

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