Two levels in the feeling of familiarity

Theoria 89 (6):823-839 (2024)
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This paper explores the role of phenomenology in the understanding of the cognitive processes of coupling/decoupling, defending the Wittgensteinian idea that phenomenology can play a crucial role as a description of immediate (social) experience. We argue that epistemic feelings can provide a phenomenological description of the development of a subject's everyday experience, tracking the transition from the processes of coupling/decoupling and recoupling with the world. In particular, the feeling of familiarity, whose key features can be considered the core of epistemic feelings, signals a novelty in the flow of experience that makes sense and is worthy of remarking on or even articulating. By describing the primary features and sources of the feeling of familiarity, we highlight a conceptual tension related to its sources, which could be based on processing both fluency and discrepancy. We proposed a solution to the conceptual tension by introducing two levels of the feeling of familiarity: epistemic and experiential.



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Author Profiles

Francesca Ervas
Universita di Cagliari
Sonia Lisco
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München

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