Are emotions "recollected in tranquility"?
phenomenological reflections on emotions, memory, and the temporal dynamics of experience
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.
Full citation [Harvard style]:
Summa, M. (2015)., Are emotions "recollected in tranquility"?: phenomenological reflections on emotions, memory, and the temporal dynamics of experience, in M. Ubiali & M. Wehrle (eds.), Feeling and value, willing and action, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 163-181.
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