Affect Mirrors

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Abstract

This chapter explores a process by which knowledge of one’s own emotions is facilitated through a mirroring relation: a process I call affect mirroring. I give special emphasis to affect mirrors in intercultural encounters. The first part of the chapter is a philosophical examination of the phenomenon of emotional self-knowledge, in which I describe the fundamental complicating factor in attempts to attain emotional lucidity. The second part of the chapter sets out my account of affect mirrors. They are ways in which we gain emotional self-knowledge by seeing the same emotion displayed by others. In an affect mirror, we come to understand our own emotions by seeing them mirrored by others. The final part of the chapter is an explication of this concept and what it comes to in intercultural contexts. I discuss affect mirrors in two works of cinema, contrasting the way they operate in a monocultural context (the film is Call Me by Your Name) and in an intercultural context (the film is La Promesse). I argue that the intercultural affect mirrors offer opportunities of profound moral transformation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntercultural Mirrors: Dynamic Reconstruction of Identity
EditorsMarie-Claire Patron, Julia Kraven
Place of PublicationLeiden
PublisherBrill
Chapter10
Pages186-199
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-04-40130-3
ISBN (Print)978-90-04-40129-7 , 978-90-04-39636-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2019

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Cox, D. (2019). Affect Mirrors. In M-C. Patron, & J. Kraven (Eds.), Intercultural Mirrors: Dynamic Reconstruction of Identity (pp. 186-199). Leiden: Brill. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004401303_010