Phenomenology and Hermeneutics of Emotion (November 20th-22nd)
Approximately three decades ago, a so-called “emotional turn” towards the affective dimension of individual and collective experiences spread throughout different fields of academic research. Evolutionary biology, neurosciences, psychology, social sciences, and culture disciplines give testimony of this newly awakened interest in the study of emotions, sentiments, affects, passions, moods, from their instinctive roots to their higher-level conscious forms. Researchers from both the Continental and Anglo-Saxon traditions have partaken in this turn.
But what are emotions? Martha Nussbaum holds that they are value- judgements, namely, the result of cognitive processes. Conversely, others contend that they are sui generis experiences, carriers of their own meaning and value. Contemporary debates revolve around the following questions: what is the nature and structure of emotions, which types of emotions are identifiable, which are or are not related to theoretical and practical experiences –and if they are, what does this relation mean–, how are they related to predicative and bodily expressions, what do they reveal
about ourselves and of how we perceive, what do we mean by collective emotions, whether they have a role in moral or political matters or whether they should be excluded from them, and so forth.
In general, with few exceptions, Modern philosophy and science favored a theoretical-objectivistic model of human experience, which relegated emotions to a purely subjective, irrational, animal dimension. As a consequence, the role of emotions in theoretical and practical life remained hidden, having been reduced to mere sensible pleasure and pain. Phenomenology and hermeneutics, which also retrieve and relive meditations stemming from ancient Greek philosophy and Asia, attempt to overcome the “de gustibus non disputandum” prejudice, according to which emotions –devoid of sense and motives– are deterministically caused by stimuli.
The PERUVIAN CIRCLE OF PHENOMENOLOGY AND HERMENEUTICS (CIphER) welcomes its members to participate in its 15th Journey of Phenomenology and Hermeneutics on this current topic. Prof. Anthony J. Steinbock from the STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT STONY BROOK will participate as keynote speaker. He is author of It’s Not About the Gift: From Givenness to Loving (2018), Limit-Phenomena and Phenomenology in Husserl (2017), Moral Emotions, Reclaiming the Evidence of the Heart (2014), Home and Beyond: Generative Phenomenology after Husserl (1995), among other publications.