One of the liveliest topics of research in contemporary philosophy is the study of negative emotions— the so-called ombres de l’âme (Tappolet, Teroni, Konzelmann Ziv, Bilgrami, Nussbaum, Salice, Montes Sánchez)—and of pathological or abnormal affective experiences (Ratcliffe, Colombetti, Bayne and Fernàndez). Effectively, negative and pathological-experiences, such as affective value illusions and emotional blindness, display certain fundamental marks that enable us to gain a deep understanding of emotional life in general, not only of pathological or negative cases.
Accordingly, in recent years there has been a growing interest in the topics of negative and pathological affective experiences in contemporary phenomenology and psychopathology. It is rather remarkable, however, that the contemporary phenomenological debate has not given a similar kind of attention to positive daily emotional experiences such as, well-being, resilience, coping, and joy. In the early 2000s, Martin Seligman decried a similar lack of attention in psychology, noting that we need a science that seeks to understand positive emotion, build strength and virtue, and provide guideposts for finding what Aristotle called the good life. In this scenario happiness deserves a separate discussion since it plays a role of utmost important not only within virtue-ethical theories but also in moral-psychological research understood as the study of human thought and behavior in ethical context.
In the wake of current psychological and philosophical interest on positive emotions (Seligman, Fredrickson, Bortolotti, Rodogno), especially in analytic philosophy, the current issue of Metodo aims to focus on the description of positive affective phenomena, not only in classical and contemporary phenomenology but also within the wider horizon of the intersection between phenomenology, (moral-)psychology and virtue ethics. Thanks to their holistic approach to the person, both phenomenologists (and phenomenological psychiatrists, such as for example psychiatrists belonging to the Italian tradition of phenomenological psychiatry) and positive psychologists may offer important contributions to the topic of positive feelings. For instance, attention to the positive components of health—today emphasized by theorists of subjective well-being and happiness—makes it possible to develop a notion of well-being within illness and to promote the development and enhancement of positive strengths, positive emotions, and the positive ability to cope with life stressors and vulnerability. In the context of phenomenology, for example, Havi Carel’s philosophical research aims at a similar goal. In philosophy, classical phenomenological research on positive feelings remains fundamental. From these considerations, and in the name of a “philosophy” (and psychology) “of respect” and trust, and not “of suspicion” (Ricoeur, Galli, De Monticelli), we invite reflection on positive feelings and on modalities they allow to determine the general traits of a good life.
Suggested topics for this issue include, but are not limited to, phenomenological and psychological inquiries into:
• Accounts of positive emotions outlined in the psychological-phenomenological debate of the 20th century
• The relationship between positive emotions and ethical life
• The relationship between positive emotions, resilience and coping
• The relationship between art and well-being
• The relationship between happiness and the meaning of life
• Phenomenology of alterity and positive affective experiences
• Positive feelings and virtue-ethics at the crossroad between phenomenology and moral-psychology
Abstracts and papers must be submitted to the following e-mail addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org
Confirmed invited contributors:
Gilberto Di Petta
William Paul Simmons
Submitted papers (in English, German, French, Spanish or Italian) must follow the basic principles of Metodo and follow all Author Guidelines. The editorial board highly suggests all authors writing in a non-native language to have their texts proofread before submission. All contributions will undergo anonymous peer-review by two referees.