The spatial character of atmospheres: being-affected and corporeal interactions in the context of collective feeling

Hilge Landweer

Abstract


The paper argues that we can gain access to atmospheres and their spatiality only insofar as we are affected by them in a felt-bodily way. We need a conception of felt embodiment, then, if we are to gain a philosophical understanding of the spatial character of atmospheres. This conception of atmospheres opens up new perspectives on the question of how collective feelings should be understood. The debate over mass emotions and shared feelings received essential impulses from Scheler’s analyses of contagion and feeling-with-one-another (Miteinanderfühlen), which is phenomenologically criticized here. In examining felt-body or corporeal interactions in the context of collective atmospheres, the paper reveals how we can avoid misunderstandings in the debate over collective feelings. One result of our examination is that, with the help of felt-bodily interactions, we can explain why collective atmospheres are often artificially produced and much sought after.

Keywords


Spatiality of atmospheres; Collective feelings; Corporeal interactions

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ISSN 0585-4733
ISSN DIGITALE 1825-8646

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