Volume 12, Issue 1, Fall 2007
Dennis E. Skocz
Aristotle and Heidegger on the “Worldliness” of Emotion
A Hermeneutical Auseinandersetzung
The reflection undertaken here aspires to understand human emotion by joining Aristotle’s and Heidegger’s descriptions of emotion in a thoughtful confrontation
(Auseinandersetzung). In his 1924 Aristotle lectures, Heidegger carries out a phenomenology of being-in-the world which illuminates the “structures” of emotion.
Aristotle’s descriptions of emotions in the Rhetoric serve to enrich the structures delineated by Heidegger. Although millennia separate the two thinkers and their civilizations, what they say together about emotion is meaningful today. Their philosophical projects may seem to subordinate consideration of emotion to rhetorical or ontological purposes, but they actually serve to enrich our understanding by recognizing the intertwining of speech, world, and emotion.