Methodological Anxiety: Heidegger on Moods and Emotions

In Alix Cohen & Robert Stern (eds.), Thinking about the Emotions : A Philosophical History. Oxford: OUP (2017)
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Abstract
In the context of a history of the emotions, Martin Heidegger presents an important and yet challenging case. He is important because he places emotional states, broadly construed, at the very heart of his philosophical methodology—in particular, anxiety and boredom. He is challenging because he is openly dismissive of the standard ontologies of emotions, and because he is largely uninterested in many of the canonical debates in which emotions figure. My aim in this chapter is to identify and critique the distinctive role which Heidegger allots to the emotions, focusing on Sein und Zeit's famous treatment of anxiety. Having outlined his position, I close by considering a number of challenges, both methodological and substantive, to Heidegger's approach.
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