Slaby, Jan – 2016
Philosophers of emotion tend to construe affective phenomena as individual mental states with intentional content. Against this broad consensus, I propose an account of affectivity as relational dynamics between individuals within social domains. ‘Relational affects’ are not individual feeling states but affective interactions in relational scenes, either between two or more interactants or between an agent and aspects of her material environment. In spelling out this proposal, I draw on recent work in cultural ‘affect studies’ and bring it in conversation with approaches to emotional intentionality in philosophy. In particular, I transpose the normativepragmatic approach to emotional intentionality developed by Bennett W. Helm into a transpersonal framework. This reorientation helps to make visible micro-dynamics of affect in social settings that often have problematic political implications. I use the contemporary white-collar workplace as an exemplary domain to illustrate this.