BSP Podcast: Bence Marosan on a Husserlian Perspective of Animal Emotions

podcast update

This episode of the BSP Podcast sees Bence Marosan presenting a paper from our 2022 annual conference, ‘Engaged Phenomenology II’.

Season 6 episode 146: 24 May 2024

Season 6 continues with another presentation from our 2022 annual conference, Engaged Phenomenology II: Explorations of Embodiment, Emotions, and Spatiality. This episode features a presentation from Bence Marosan, Budapest Business School, Pazmany Peter Catholic University.

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Bence Marosan
‘Towards a Phenomenological Theory of Animal Emotions. A Husserlian Perspective’

Edmund Husserl and other classical authors of phenomenology (such as Heidegger, Scheler, Plessner, and others) considered the problem of animal being a particularly important topic. As far as I know, however, none of these authors (including Husserl) devoted special attention to the problem of animal emotions. In this conference presentation, I would like to sketch out a phenomenological theory of animal emotional life from a Husserlian perspective. Just as the phenomenological study of emotion has contributed to understanding the essence of consciousness, it is my contention that the study of animal consciousness can similarly offer crucial insights. Both of these subjects help us to examine certain crucial features of consciousness in a sharper light. Animal consciousness represents a more elementary level of consciousness. Emotions, in turn, play a fundamental role in organizing conscious life; they underlie our goals, they also disclose the world in a fundamental way. In these respects, I believe that a better understanding of animal emotions could serve research on consciousness in general.   In this presentation, I take Husserl’s theory of emotions, as presented in his unpublished work, “Studien zur Struktur des Bewusstseins”, as a point of departure, and I apply this conception to the case of animals. In Husserl’s work, there are three principle levels of affectivity and emotion: feeling-sensations, “moods” or “dispositions”, and acts of feeling and emotion. I show that this schema is applicable to various kinds of animal consciousness, since wherever animal consciousness is concerned there are, at the very least, minimal (feeling-sensations) present. On this point, I also engage with contemporary scientific and neuroscientific research – especially the works of Jaak Panksepp. This makes it possible to explore how, while mammals have a quite rich and sophisticated emotional life, even insects might plausibly have certain elementary feelings (Perry, Baciadonna, & Chittka 2016).

Biography: Bence Peter MAROSAN. Date of Birth: 01. 04. 1978. Place of Birth: Budapest, HUNGARY. BA and MA Studies: Philosophy, Theory of Arts and Media. Institute: Eötvös Loránd University. PhD Studies: Philosophy, Phenomenology. Institutes: Eötvös Loránd University (Hungary). Affiliation: Budapest Business School, Pázmány Péter Catholic University. More important international publications: 1) “Levels of the Absolute in Husserl”. In Continental Philosophy Review. 2021. 2) “Husserl on Minimal Mind and the Origins of Consciousness in the Natural World”. In Husserl Studies. 2021. Research interests: Phenomenology (Husserl in particular), Hermeneutics, Philosophy of Mind, Political Philosophy, Eco-ethics, Eco-politics.

Further Information:

This recording is taken from our Annual UK Conference 2022: Engaged Phenomenology II: Explorations of Embodiment, Emotions, and Sociality (Exeter, UK / Hybrid) with the University of Exeter. Sponsored by the Wellcome Centre, Egenis, and the Shame and Medicine project. For the conference our speakers either presented in person at Exeter or remotely to people online and in-room, and the podcast episodes are recorded from the live broadcast feeds.

The British Society for Phenomenology is a not-for-profit organisation set up with the intention of promoting research and awareness in the field of Phenomenology and other cognate arms of philosophical thought. Currently, the society accomplishes these aims through its journal, events, and podcast. Why not find out more, join the society, and subscribe to our journal the JBSP?