Emotion, Depth and Bodily Being: A Study of Affective Space

Dissertation, Rutgers the State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick (1991)

Suzanne Cataldi
Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
This dissertation addresses the topic of emotional depth perception. I develop various senses of 'emotional depth' by investigating the meaning of 'depth.' ;To show that the same conceptions of depth as are applied to depth perception generally are applicable in the realm of emotional experience, I use the phenomenological notions of a lived or living distance and of a 'pure depth' or 'dark space.' ;After tracing the development of Maurice Merleau-Ponty's thought on depth through his VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE 'Flesh' ontology, and demonstrating how a new sense of depth--which he calls 'proximity through distance' and which I call the depth of 'distanced contact'--emerges from his thesis of the 'reversibility' of the Flesh, I apply his Reversibility Thesis, his view of 'percipient-perceptibility' and a conception of depth as 'between space' to the depths of emotional experience. ;Finally, after showing how perceptual and emotional depths are intertwined, I defend the claim that a sufficient condition for feeling emotions deeply is a perception of depth
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