The Affective Turn

  • Gerhard Kreuch
Part of the Contributions to Phenomenology book series (CTPH, volume 107)


This chapter is the beginning of an innovative turn in the context of philosophy of self-consciousness. The remainder of this book will explore what affectivity can contribute to the challenges of self-consciousness as presented above. Both the Heidelberg School and Zahavi/Gallagher repeatedly point to the potential of understanding self-consciousness as an affective phenomenon. Their views are briefly introduced in this chapter. Zahavi and Gallagher use the term “self-affection” to acknowledge the fact that that since experience is temporal and embodied, it includes pre-reflective self-awareness. Also, Zahavi examines the role of specific emotional experiences such as shame and their role in interpersonal encounter. Henrich presents notions of “happiness”, “misery” and “gratefulness” that are not mere short-term, object-oriented emotions but general, fundamental, affective perspectives on our lives. Frank re-introduces the notion of “self-feeling” from the romantic tradition and finds that it is surprisingly similar to his own account of pre-reflective, non-propositional self-consciousness. Ulrich Pothast introduces a whole network of concepts including “sense” and “inner ground”. These contributions suggest that our most fundamental way of being in this world is affective.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerhard Kreuch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria

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