Pulses of Emotion: Whitehead’s “Critique of Pure Feeling”

Por • 12 nov, 2019 • Sección: Ambiente

Steven Shaviro

According to Alfred North Whitehead, “the basis of experience is emotional” (1933/1967, 176). Whitehead writes that his philosophy “aspires to construct a critique of pure feeling, in the philosophical position in which Kant put his Critique of Pure Reason. This should also supercede the remaining Critiquesrequired in the Kantian philosophy” (1929/1978, 113). In what follows, I would like to work through this “critique of pure feeling,” and show how Whitehead opens the way to an affect-based account of human (and not just human) experience. For Whitehead, the questions of how we feel, and what we feel, are more fundamental than the epistemological and hermeneutical questions that are the focus of most philosophy and criticism (including Kant’s Critiques). This emphasis upon feeling leads, in turn, to a new account of affect-laden subjectivity. Most broadly, Whitehead’s affect theory places aesthetics – rather than ontology (Heidegger) or ethics (Levinas) – at the center of philosophical inquiry. Aesthetics is the mark of what Whitehead calls our concern for the world, and for entities in the world (1933/1967, 176).1


Post to Twitter

Escribe un comentario