Enkinaesthesia: the essential sensuous background for co-agency

In Zravko Radman (ed.), The Background: Knowing Without Thinking. Palgrave-Macmillan (2012)
Susan Stuart
University of Glasgow
The primary aim of this essay is to present a case for a heavily revised notion of heterophenomenology. l will refer to the revised notion as ‘enkinaesthesia’ because of its dependence on the experiential entanglement of our own and the other’s felt action as the sensory background within which all other experience is possible. Enkinaesthesia2 emphasizes two things: (i) the neuromuscular dynamics of the agent, including the givenness and ownership of its experience, and (ii) the entwined, blended and situated co-affective feeling of the presence of the other(s), agential (for example, human, horse, cat, beetle) and non-agential (for example, cup, bed, apple, paper) and, where appropriate, the anticipated arc of the other’s action or movement, including, again where appropriate, the other’s intentionality. When the ‘other’ is also a sensing and experiencing agent it is their - in this case, the pair’s - affective intentional reciprocity, their folding, enfolding, and unfolding, which co-constitutes the conscious relation and the experientially recursive temporal dynamics that lead to the formation and maintenance of the deep integral enkinaesthetic structures and melodies which bind us together, even when they pull us apart. Such deeply felt enkinaesthetic melodies emphasise the dialogical nature of the backgrounded feeling of being.
Keywords Enkinaesthesia  Perception  Consciousness  Intersubjectivity
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