Edward S. Casey, Turning Emotion Inside Out: Affective Life Beyond the Subject – Northwestern University Press, November 2021

Edward S. Casey, Turning Emotion Inside Out: Affective Life Beyond the Subject – Northwestern University Press, November 2021

In Turning Emotion Inside Out, Edward S. Casey challenges the commonplace assumption that our emotions are to be located inside our minds, brains, hearts, or bodies. Instead, he invites us to rethink our emotions as fundamentally, although not entirely, emerging from outside and around the self, redirecting our attention from felt interiority to the emotions located in the world around us, beyond the confines of subjectivity.
This book begins with a brief critique of internalist views of emotion that hold that feelings are sequestered within a subject. Casey affirms that while certain emotions are felt as resonating within our subjectivity, many others are experienced as occurring outside any such subjectivity. These include intentional or expressive feelings that transpire between ourselves and others, such as an angry exchange between two people, as well as emotions or affects that come to us from beyond ourselves. Casey claims that such far‑out emotions must be recognized in a full picture of affective life. In this way, the book proposes to “turn emotion inside out.”

“Turning Emotion Inside Out is a profoundly original and moving book, rife with transformative insights on emotions, that shows how emotions weave through the fabric of our social and political life, and affect, sustain, or deny us, outside in. Drawing on a vast range of sources, from ancient philosophy to recent feminism, psychology, and experiences of protest in our moment of crisis, Casey offers timely yet enduring lessons for philosophers, humanists, artists, and activists seeking better ways of living together.” —David Morris, author of Merleau-Ponty’s Developmental Ontology (Northwestern University Press, 2018) 

“This is a bold and exciting book, opening up some new ways to think about, and experience, our emotional life, radically breaking out of the philosophical subjectivism that has for centuries imprisoned emotions inside the physiological body, not only neglecting their intricate engagement with the world, but also thereby denying them any claim to truth. But in chapters that turn all our prevailing models of emotion inside out, Edward Casey does more than rehabilitate the truth in emotion; he gives us a phenomenology of ‘material implications’ that, in an abundance of vivid descriptions, reconnects our emotions to the world that brings them forth, giving us a new sense of their ways of bearing affective meaning and power.” —David M. Kleinberg-Levin, author of Before the Voice of Reason: On Merleau-Ponty’s Ecology and Levinas’s Ethics

“An original, painterly exploration of emotion through its fluidity, textures, and surprising location beyond the self. This is yet another an important work by a profound thinker in the phenomenological tradition.” —Cynthia Willett, coauthor of Uproarious: How Feminist and Other Subversive Comics Speak Truth

“What if emotions are more out there than in here? With this provocative question, Edward S. Casey invites us on a fascinating emotional journey both in time (via the history of philosophy) and in place (through his phenomenological descriptions of emotional placescapes). Turning Emotion Inside Out not only demonstrates the insufficiency of thinking of emotion as a private and subjective phenomenon, it also shows the ethical and political consequences of the realisation that emotions are somewhere beyond our minds and our bodies. This book marks a new moment in the philosophy of emotion and is an important contribution to the study of experience more generally.” —Donald A. Landes, author of Merleau-Ponty and the Paradoxes of Expression 

“Edward S. Casey again realizes the promise of phenomenology’s original aim of ‘back to the things themselves’ in his periphenomenological approach, rescuing emotion from the distorted traditional philosophical and cultural views of them as subjective, individualizing, or intrapsychic phenomena. Casey employs compelling concrete descriptions and analyses of how emotions come to us from and return to a public world as vital to the sense of both our personal and shared situations . . . An inspired and inspiring book: heartfelt, enlightening traditional approaches, and timely, too!” —Glen A. Mazis, author of Merleau-Ponty and the Face of the World: Silence, Ethics, Imagination and Poetic Ontology

“Casey offers a brilliant and timely phenomenology of affetivity. Tracking our western understanding of emotion from Plato to Merleau-Ponty, he shows how it has twisted and turned between introversion and extraversion. He makes a passionate plea for a new life of affective attunement in our relationship to art, politics and the environment.” —Richard Kearney, author of Touch: Recovering Our Most Vital Sense


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