Mood as kinetic concept in Heidegger- oι σημειώσεις

(Οι σημειώσεις που έδωσα στο κοινό)

10 December 2010- Works-in-Progress-Presentation.  Christos Hadjioannou.

Mood as kinetic concept in Heidegger (i.e. Mood as a principle of change).

1)     Astonishment, as pathos, is the archē [the beginning] of philosophy.

2)     Clearly, Heidegger ascribes to Comportment [Befindlichkeit] and Mood [pathos] a capacity to bear change.

3)     Moods supply the binding necessity for a change, a genesis.

4)     Mood is the sheer “thatness”. Comportment is more complex: it is the “how” we relate to our Mood.

5)     Comportment and Mood are not two different self-subsistent entities. Rather, they are two aspects of the same Dasein. Each describes the same kinesis but from a different perspective. In other words: two kinetic perspectives.

6)     Two kinetic perspectives, one ascribed to Mood as the pathos experienced by a subject (hypokeimenon), the other ascribed to neither a subject nor an object but “in-between” (diakeimenon). The former perspective, κινησις, belongs to πασχειν (παθος) which depends on the agent-patient paradigm that requires an “underlying subject” that suffers the change [μεταβολη] which accounts for homogeneous notion; rather “Being-in” as “in-between”, and accounts for heterogeneity, namely the emergence of contradictories (a real break in history; historicity without a history? Something out of Nothing? The call of conscience from Nothing? The call of conscience AS nothing?).

Parallel notes:

(Taking Mood as a clue for understanding becoming authentic in Heidegger)

  • Main argument: Mood has a complex operation in Heidegger. It is not only disclosive but it is also kinetic. It is that which causes kinesis, in the expanded sense: locomotion, change, genesis, becoming.One operation is the celebrated ontological “disclosive operation” whereby a mood discloses the “there-ness” of the World, as a fundamental mode of Being-In-the-World. This operation undercuts the problem of skepticism since it posits the Dasein neither as a subject nor as an object, rather: in-between (Zwischen). This corresponds to the ontological existentiale Befindlichkeit.
  • However, another, more basic operation is the kinetic operation, which is manifested as Stimmung [Mood], the ontic manifestation of Befindlichkeit [Comportment]. Stimmung is the pathos of Dasein. And Dasein always already has a pathos.
  • Mood, Kinesis and Grammatical structures: Mood as pathos is tied to a passive affectedness that is requires a subject that undergoes the change. The origin of change comes from a transcending exterior. (“pathemata are homoiomata of pragmata in the world” Aristotle, On Interpretation). This is (I think) tied to the grammatical structure of passive voice [παθητικη διαθεση]. Befindlichkeit experienced authentically is not a subjective locus but lies “in-between” subject and object. This is (I think) tied to the grammatical structure of middle voice [μεση διαθεση].

* How does it compare to the way Kant and Hegel understood freedom (self-consciousness) in relation to the nature of Categories as self-generated spontaneously and independently by the “I”?


About Christos Hadjioannou
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One Response to Mood as kinetic concept in Heidegger- oι σημειώσεις

  1. January says:

    cross posted from “enowning” Eugene Gendlin writes,
    In German “Sich befinden” (finding oneself) has three allusions: The reflexivity of finding oneself; feeling; and being situated. All three are caught in the ordinary phrase, “How are you?” That refers to how you feel but also to how things are going for you and what sort of situation you find yourself in.
    To view feelings, affects, and moods as Befindlichkeit differs from the usual view in the following ways:
    1. Whereas feeling is usually thought of as something inward, the concept refers to something both inward and outward, but before a split between inside and outside has been made.
    We are always situated, in situations, in the world, in a context, living in a certain way with others, trying to achieve this and avoid that.
    A mood is not just internal; it is this living in the world. We sense how we find ourselves, and we find ourselves in situations.
    Humans are their living in the world with others. Humans are livings-in and livings-with.
    2. A second difference from the usual conception of “feeling” lies in this: Befindlichkeit always already has its own understanding. We may not know what the mood is about, we may not even be specifically aware of our mood; nevertheless there is an understanding of our living in that mood. It is no merely internal state or reaction, no mere coloring or accompaniment to what is happening. We have lived and acted in certain ways for certain purposes and strivings and all this is going well or badly, but certainly it is going in some intricate way. How we are faring in these intricacies is in our mood. We may not know that in a cognitive way at all; it is in the mood nevertheless, implicitly.
    This understanding is active; it is not merely a perception or reception of what is happening to us. We don’t come into situations as if they were mere facts, independent of us. We have had some part in getting ourselves into these situations, in making the efforts in response to which these are now the facts, the difficulties, the possibilities; and the mood has the implicit “understanding” of all that, because this understanding was inherent already in how we lived all that, in an active way.
    3. This understanding is implicit, not cognitive in the usual sense. It differs from cognition in several ways: It is sensed or felt, rather than thought—and it may not even be sensed or felt directly with attention. It is not made of separable cognitive units or any definable units.
    4. Speech is always already involved in any feeling or mood, indeed in any human experience. Speech is the articulation of understanding, but this articulation doesn’t first happen when we try to say what we feel. Just as Befindlichkeit always already has its understanding, so also does it always already have its spoken articulation. This doesn’t at all mean that there is always a way to say what one lives in words. But there are always speakings, with each other, and listening to each other, involved in any situation, and implicit in any living. Hearing each other, being open to each other’s speech, is part of what we are, the living we are. And so it is—always already involved in our living, whatever we may then actually say or not say. /

    –Eugene T. Gendlin, “Befindlichkeit: Heidegger and the Philosophy of Psychology,” Review of Existential Psychology and Psychiatry, Vol XVI, Nos. 1, 2 & 3, 1978-79. pp 44-5, (Saratoga Springs, NY: Saratoga Printing Company, 1979).

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