Displaced feeling: A (partial) phenomenological study

Erol Copelj

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This is a partial phenomenological study of a phenomenon that I call “displaced feeling”, which is best illustrated through a concrete example. I am overcome by a strong desire to stop writing. For one reason or another, I reject the possibility of pursuing this desire. Instead of giving up the desire altogether, however, I may “speak to myself” as follows: “I feel like having a coffee” and, the chatter goes on in the background “of course to make coffee means to stop writing”. I endorse the desire to get a cup of coffee. But the action through which I pursue this desire is coloured not by the feeling that anticipates the value associated with drinking coffee but by a feeling that anticipates the value associated with stopping writing. The latter feeling has displaced the former: I am in a state of displaced feeling. Here, I will elucidate two invariant structures of displaced feeling. First, I will show that displaced feeling involves the realisation of an endorsed state of affairs, the bringing about of a rejected state of affairs, and the belief that the former will determine the latter. Next, I will show that the endorsed state of affairs appears prominently as the end of an intention (or projection), that the rejected state of affairs appears inconspicuously in the horizon of the same intention, and that the belief appears twice: (1) as a motive for this intention and (2) as the “glue” that keeps its prominent and inconspicuous zones together.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 20
Number of pages21
JournalHusserl Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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