Towards a Phenomenological Analysis of Fictional Emotions

  • Marco Cavallaro University of Cologne


What are fictional emotions and what has phenomenology to say about them? This paper argues that the experience of fictional emotions entails a splitting of the subject between a real and a phantasy ego. The real ego is the ego that imagines something; the phantasy ego is the ego that is necessarily co-posited by any experience of imagining something. Fictional emotions are phantasy emotions of the phantasy ego. The intentional structure of fictional emotions, the nature of their fictional object, as well as the process of constituting the phantasy ego in representificational acts of consciousness are further elaborated to provide the groundwork for a phenomenological analysis of fictional emotions.



BERNET, R. (2007). «Heimweh und Nostalgie». In: I. Därmann & K. Busch (eds.). Pathos. Konturen eines kulturwissenschaftlichen Grundbegriffs. Bielefeld: transcript, 103–18.
— (2004). Conscience et Existence. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.
BROUGH, J. B. (2005). «Translator’s Introduction». In: E. Husserl. Phantasy, Image Consciousness, and Memory (1898-1925). Translated by J. B. Brough. Edmund Husserl Collected Works XI. Dordrecht: Kluwer, xxix–lxviii.
CASEY, E. S. (1971). «Imagination: Imagining and the Image». Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 31 (4): 475-490.
CAVALLARO, M. (2017). «The Phenomenon of Ego-Splitting in Husserl’s Phenomenology of Pure Phantasy». Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology, 48 (2): 162–77.
DE WARREN, N. (2014). «Towards a Phenomenological Analysis of Virtual Fictions». Metodo. International Studies in Phenomenology and Philosophy, 2 (2): 91-112.
ECO, U. (2009). «On the Ontology of Fictional Characters: A Semiotic Approach». Sign Systems Studies, 37 (1/2): 82-98.
FERENCZ-FLATZ, C. (2009). «Gibt es perzeptive Phantasie? Als-Ob-Bewusstsein, Widerstreit und Neutralität in Husserls Aufzeichnungen zur Bildbetrachtung». Husserl Studies, 25 (3): 235–253.
HUSSERL, E. (2005). Phantasy, Image Consciousness, and Memory (1898-1925). Translated by J. B. Brough. Edmund Husserl Collected Works XI. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
— (2001 [1900/1901]). Logical Investigations. Volume 2. Edited by D. Moran. Translated by J. N. Findlay. London -New York: Routledge.
— (1973). Zur Phänomenologie der Intersubjektivität. Texte aus dem Nachlaß . Erster Teil: 1905 - 1920. Edited by I. Kern. Husserliana XIII. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
— (1965). Erste Philosophie (1923/24): Zweiter Teil: Theorie der Phänomenologischen Reduktion. Edited by R. Boehm. Husserliana VIII. Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff.
JANSEN, J. (2005a). «On the Development of Husserl’s Transcendental Phenomenology of Imagination and Its Use for Interdisciplinary Research». Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 4 (2): 121–132.
— (2005b). «Phantasy’s Systematic Place in Husserl’s Work». In: R. Bernet, D. Welton, & G. Zavota (eds.). Edmund Husserl: Critical Assessments of Leading Philosophers. Routledge: New York, 221-243.
KÜNNE, W. (2007). «Fiktion ohne fiktive Gegenstände: Prolegomena zu einer Fregeanischen Theorie der Fiktion». In: M. E. Reicher (ed.). Fiktion, Wahrheit, Wirklichkeit: Philosophische Grundlagen der Literaturtheorie. Paderborn: mentis, 54–71.
LEVINSON, J. (2006). «Emotion in Response to Art». In: J. Levinson, Contemplating Art: Essays in Aesthetics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 38-55.
LOTZ, C. (2007). «Depiction and Plastic Perception. A Critique of Husserl’s Theory of Picture Consciousness». Continental Philosophy Review, 40 (2): 171–85.
MARBACH, E. (2013). «Towards a Phenomenological Analysis of Fictional Intentionality and Reference». International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 21 (3): 428–47.
MELLE, U. (1990). «Objektivierende und nicht-objektivierende Akte». In: S. Ijsseling (ed.). Husserl-Ausgabe und Husserl-Forschung. Phaenomenologica 115. Boston-London: Kluwer, 35–49.
MORAN, R. (1994). «The Expression of Feeling in Imagination». The Philosophical Review, 103 (1): 75-106.
NI, L. (2007). «The Problem of the Phenomenology of Feeling in Husserl and Scheler». In: K.-Y. Lau & J. J. Drummond (eds.). Husserl’s Logical Investigations in the New Century: Western and Chinese Perspectives. Phaenomenologica 55. Dordrecht: Springer, 67–82.
PEACOCKE, C. (1985). «Imagination, Experience, and Possibility. A Berkley-an View Defended». In: J. Foster & H. Robinson (eds.). Essays on Berkeley: A Tercentennial Celebration. Oxford: Clarendon, 19-35.
RADFORD, C. (1975). «How Can We Be Moved by the Fate of Anna Karenina?». Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volumes 4, 67–80.
ROZZONI, Claudio (2017). «From Abbild to Bild?: Depiction and Resemblance in Husserl’s Phenomenology». Aisthesis. Pratiche, linguaggi e saperi dell’estetico, 10 (1): 117–130.
SARTRE, J.-P. (2004 [1940]). The Imaginary: A Phenomenological Psychology of the Imagination. London-New York: Routledge.
SOKOLOWSKI, R. (1970). The Formation of Husserl’s Concept of Constitution. Phaenomenologica 18. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.
SUMMA, M. (2019). «Are Fictional Emotion Genuine and Rational? Phenomenological Reflections on a Controversial Question». New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy, 17: .
VENDRELL FERRAN, Í. (2014). «Das Paradoxon Der Fiktion». In: T. Klauk & T. Köppe (eds.). Fiktionalität. Ein intersdisziplinäres Handbuch. Berlin-Boston: De Gruyter, 313–337.
— (2010). «Ästhetische Erfahrung und Quasi-Gefühle». In: V. Raspa (ed.). The Aesthetics of the Graz School. Meinong Studies 4. Berlin-Boston: De Gruyter, 129-168.
WALTON, K. L. (1990). Mimesis as Make-Believe. On the Foundations of the Representational Arts. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
How to Cite
CAVALLARO, Marco. Towards a Phenomenological Analysis of Fictional Emotions. Phainomenon, [S.l.], n. 29, p. 57-81, aug. 2019. ISSN 2183-0142. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 21 may 2024.