The Dawn of the Phenomenology of Feelings

Philosophy Today 68 (1):147-165 (2024)
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This essay reshapes our understanding of the origin and trajectory of the phenomenology of feelings. In contrast to accepted interpretations, I show that Husserl’s 1896 manuscript “Approval, Value, and Evidence”—and not his 1901 Logical Investigations—is the foundation of his subsequent phenomenology of feelings as it is found in Lectures on Ethics and Value Theory, Ideas I, and other manuscripts. This is for two reasons. First, in the 1896 manuscript—published in Studies Concerning the Structures of Consciousness—Husserl introduces the core problem, which continues to motivate his philosophy of feelings. He sees that feelings are not just affective, but also surprisingly rational. Second, Husserl addresses this enigmatic duality, by pioneering the method of analogizing, which he would employ for the next twenty years. In sum, I show that the 1896 manuscript introduces the problems and methods, in the absence of which Husserl’s later phenomenology of feelings appears inconceivable.

Author's Profile

Thomas Byrne
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign


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