Zhida Luo
University of Copenhagen
Recent enactive approach to social cognition stresses the indispensability of social affordance with regard to social understanding and contends that it is affordance that primarily solicits one’s reaction to the other, such that one becomes affected by the other and attends to the other’s situated appearance in the first place. What remains to be explored, however, is the sense in which social affordance is delineated by an affective sphere and the extent to which the affective sphere serves as a meaning constraint for social sense-making. In this paper, we analyze Husserl’s genetic theory of affection, so as to better understand the nature of the social affective sphere. And we argue that social understanding takes places at different levels and it is at the passive and pre-reflective level that the social surroundings are pre-delineated by a sort of affective ambience where the empathizer and the empathizee come into contact. Once this is appreciated, we can better articulate the affective structure of social affordance and its meaning constituents. And we show that, at the passive level, social coupling is in nature an affective intertwinement between oneself and the other and it consists of a particular kind of corporeal intentionality with which one adverts to the other’s presence and responds to the other’s appeal.
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DOI 10.1007/s11097-021-09778-3
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