What is wrong with nostalgia? How and why has it come to be the case, as it surely has, that to say of a philosophical position that it is "nostalgic' is already to indicate its inadequacy? In this essay I examine nostalgia both as a mood or disposition in general, and as a mood or disposition that is characteristic of philosophical reflection. Part of this inquiry will involve a re-thinking of the mood of nostalgia and what that mood encompasses. Rather than understand the nostalgic as characterised solely by the desire to return to a halcyon past, the nostalgic will be explored through the connotations suggested by its Greek etymology as precisely a longing for the return home – a return that cannot be achieved – a form of homesickness, and so as discomfiting rather than comfortable, as bringing with it a sense of the essential questionability of our own being in the world.
Malpas, J. (2011)., Philosophy's nostalgia, in H. Kenaan & I. Ferber (eds.), Philosophy's moods, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 87-101.
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