Working Session

Department of Contemporary Continental Philosophy

24. 03. 2017; 10:00

Institute of Philosophy boardroom, 1st floor

Shared Emotions:
Re-assessing the Phenomenological Account

How is it possible for two or more individuals to ‘literally’ share emotions? In this talk I shall address this puzzle by arguing for three, seemingly contradictory, requirements that individuals engaging in emotional sharing must, and indeed can, fulfill: (1) the (mutual) awareness, (2) the plurality or self-/other-differentiation, and (3) the integration requirement. In order to make my case, I will first outline different dimension of the sociality of emotions. I will then critically discuss two prominent contemporary lines of arguments for collective emotions: Margaret Gilbert’s joint commitment account (Gilbert 2002; 2014) and two phenomenologically inspired ‘token-identity’ or ‘fusional’ accounts of collective emotions (Schmid 2009, 2014; Krueger 2014, 2016). Against this background, in a third step, I will draw on some early phenomenological accounts (esp. Stein 1922 and Walther 1923) and show how they can accommodate the above requirements on emotional sharing.


Thomas Szanto


Center for Subjectivity Research
Department of Media, Cognition and Communication
University of Copenhagen