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Tropes of Transport

Hegel and Emotion

Katrin Pahl

Publication Year: 2013

Intervening in the multidisciplinary debate on emotion, Tropes of Transport offers a fresh analysis of Hegel’s work that becomes an important resource for Pahl’s cutting-edge theory of emotionality. If it is usually assumed that the sincerity of emotions and the force of affects depend on their immediacy, Pahl explores to what extent mediation—and therefore a certain degree of manipulation but also of sympathy—is constitutive of emotionality. Hegel serves as a particularly helpful interlocutor not only because he offers a sophisticated analysis of mediation, but also because, rather than locating emotion in the heart, he introduces impersonal tropes of transport, such as trembling, release, and shattering.

Published by: Northwestern University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-x

This book has formed in many layers of learning, teaching, reading, and thinking together. I would like to thank my teachers Hélène Cixous, Judith Butler, Winfried Kudszus, Ann Smock, and Trinh Minh-ha. Each one of you not only taught me a specific approach to literary and philosophical texts but also taught me to dare. ...

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pp. 3-16

Hegel is not a very agreeable philosopher—that much can probably be agreed upon. From Schelling and Kierkegaard to Derrida, his name has come to stand for the imperialism of an all-appropriating spirit, cold magisterialism, and Prussian state control. Yet, his work does not always agree with this reception. ...

Part 1. Emotional Subjects

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1. Heart

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pp. 19-49

From its inception Western philosophy has produced, sustained, and reproduced a fierce antagonism between rationality and emotionality. To expel emotion from the sphere of reason must be considered one of the foundational gestures of philosophy as a discipline. ...

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2. Pathos

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pp. 50-80

Hegel sometimes distinguishes Pathos (pathos) from Leidenschaft (passion) and at other times he uses them as synonyms. When one term stands in for the other, Hegel usually wants to confer the ethical prestige of tragic “pathos” upon “passion” in order to argue against the rationalist (Kantian and Socratic) tendency ...

Part 2. Emotional Syntax

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3. Release

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pp. 83-99

I will begin with the end. This first chapter on emotional syntax analyzes how Hegel’s Phenomenology ends, in order to clear the way for a new beginning in the reading of this Hegelian text. Against the expectation raised by the title of the last chapter of the Phenomenology and by the common view that this text is a teleological narrative, ...

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4. Juggle

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pp. 100-119

For Hegel, rhythm affects logic. What is more, logical necessity is constituted by the rhythm of the concept’s movement: “It is in this nature of what is to be its concept in its being that logical necessity in general consists. This alone is the rational and the rhythm of the organic whole . . . —that is, it is this alone which is the speculative” ...

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5. Acknowledging

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pp. 120-151

The title of this chapter translates Anerkennen—in Hegel’s trope of gegenseitiges Anerkennen—as “acknowledging” rather than using the standard translation, which is “recognition.” Let me explain this choice. “Recognition” has two meanings in English. The first meaning presupposes a prior knowledge of what or whom one now encounters again. ...

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6. Tremble

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pp. 152-180

Tremble becomes an explicit topic in the Phenomenology in a brief but memorable moment toward the end of the section on “Self-Sufficiency and Non-Self-Sufficiency of Self-Consciousness; Mastery and Servitude.” In one of the Phenomenology’s frequent parabases, the phenomenologist communicates to the reader a truth ...

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7. Broken

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pp. 181-210

The twentieth century has read the Phenomenology of Spirit as a coherent narrative of progress. It has commonly accepted that “the Phenomenology raises empirical consciousness to absolute knowledge” while understanding this “raising” as an improvement and “absolute knowledge” as the final mastery of truth (Hyppolite 1974, 39). ...

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Epilogue: Against Emotional Violence

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pp. 211-226

Appadurai locates the reasons for the increase in global violence in the spread of specific emotional conditions. In Fear of Small Numbers: An Essay on the Geography of Anger, he argues that the ethnic cleansings of the early 1990s in eastern Europe, Rwanda, and India, as well as the terror that has come to dominate the beginning of the new millennium, ...


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pp. 227-264


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pp. 265-274


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pp. 275-282

About the Author

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p. 294-294

E-ISBN-13: 9780810165670
Print-ISBN-13: 9780810127845

Publication Year: 2013

Research Areas


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