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Emotion and Sartre's Two Worlds

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image of Journal of Phenomenological Psychology

On Sartre's own admission, his account of the emotions discloses them as functional. As such, the emotions aim to serve a particular purpose for which he provides the phenomenology. Sartre's phenomenology discloses consciousness as being-in-the-world in two ways, actually as having two worlds. One is a deterministic world, the other magical. Emotion is the drop from the deterministic world to the magical. In order for emotion to perform the function Sartre has in mind it performs, it is crucial there be a certain tension between the deterministic world and the magical world. I argue that given what Sartre himself says about the magical world, the necessary tension can never arise; hence, no functional thesis of emotion is possible if it is formed along Sartre's lines.

Affiliations: 1: Vanderbilt University


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