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Are Emotions “Recollected in Tranquility”? Phenomenological Reflections on Emotions, Memory, and the Temporal Dynamics of Experience

  • Michela SummaEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Phaenomenologica book series (PHAE, volume 216)

Abstract

This chapter discusses the relationship between memory and emotions from a phenomenological perspective. Starting with some remarks on Wordsworth’s conception of poetry as “emotion recollected in tranquility”, the investigation focuses on the three following issues: (1) the overwhelming character of emotional memories; (2) the relationship between the past and the present emotion, and (3) the meaning of “tranquility” in emotional recollection. In order to discuss these issues, an analysis of the intentional structure of affective and emotional experiences is first developed. Thereby, it is shown how the self- and world-relatedness of emotional experience fundamentally structures our implicit and explicit awareness of past emotions. Subsequently, the analysis of the relation between emotions and the temporal structure of experience shall allow us to recognize in the irreversible nature of the temporal stream of consciousness the ultimate ground to understand the relationship between emotions and memory. Finally, discussing how irreversibility eminently comes to the fore in the experience of nostalgia, it is argued that the “tranquility” of emotional memories has a nostalgic note. Such nostalgic note conveys the awareness of one’s own being in a constant process of irreversible temporal becoming.

Keywords

Emotional Response Emotional Experience Temporal Stream Emotional Memory Bodily Feeling 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgement

I am grateful to prof. Ullrich Melle, for the kind permission to quote from Husserl’s unpublished manuscripts. I also wish to thank the participants to the Husserls Arbeitstage 2012, as well as Andrea Altobrando and Monika Dullstein, for their comments on an earlier version of this paper.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Phaänomenologische Psychopathologie und PsychotherapieUniversitätsklinikum Heidelberg, Klinik für allgemeine PsychiatrieHeidelbergGermany

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