Affectivity And Time: Towards A Phenomenology Of Embodied Time-Consciousness

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Abstract

In the article, I develop some ideas introduced by Edmund Husserl concerning time-consciousness and embodiment. However, I do not discuss the Husserlian account of consciousness of time in its full scope. I focus on the main ideas of the phenomenology of time and the problem of bodily sensations and their role in the constitution of consciousness of time. I argue that time-consciousness is primarily constituted in the dynamic experience of bodily feelings.

In the first part, I outline the main ideas of Husserl’s early phenomenology of consciousness of time. In the second part, I introduce the phenomenological account of bodily feelings and describe how it evolved in Husserl’s philosophy. Next, I discuss the idea of bodily self-affection and the affective-kinaesthetic origin of consciousness’ temporal flow. In order to better understand this “pre-phenomenal temporality”, I analyse the dynamics of non-intentional, prereflective bodily self-affection. In the third part, I try to complement Husserl’s account by describing the specific dynamics of bodily experience. In order to do so, I appeal to Daniel Stern’s psychological account of dynamic bodily experience, which he calls the “vitality affect”. I argue that the best way to understand the pre-phenomenal dynamics of bodily feelings is in terms of the notion of rhythm.

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