Affectivity and the life world
I would like to address the general question of our session under the modality of affectivity. It might be an exaggeration to say that our main human problems lie in this modality, but it would be no exaggeration to say that we have few effective insights into it. Here I hope only to develop some further articulations of questions in this area by beginning under the sign of Husserl and then sketching in some historical background and development as these relate to the theme of affectivity. It might seem rather unpromising to use Husserl as any kind of guide here since, although he made frequent reference to affectivity and its intentionality, it was generally in programmatic terms that he did not implement. But he has continually raised a question in my mind by his use of one term, throughout his later writings but particularly in the Crisis, which might possibly imply affectivity in a fundamental but implicit form. That term is empathy. I choose it here as a kind of leading question for my inquiry, as a question to generate questions, beginning with: “Is empathy affective?”
Sweeney, R. (1976)., Affectivity and the life world, in A. Tymieniecka (ed.), The crisis of culture, Dordrecht, Reidel.
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