Skip to main content

30% Off New Releases: Explore the List

Harvard University Press - home
Feeling in Theory

Feeling in Theory

Emotion after the "Death of the Subject"

Rei Terada

ISBN 9780674011274

Publication date: 05/30/2003

Because emotion is assumed to depend on subjectivity, the "death of the subject" described in recent years by theorists such as Derrida, de Man, and Deleuze would also seem to mean the death of feeling. This revolutionary work transforms the burgeoning interdisciplinary debate on emotion by suggesting, instead, a positive relation between the "death of the subject" and the very existence of emotion.

Reading the writings of Derrida and de Man--theorists often seen as emotionally contradictory and cold--Terada finds grounds for construing emotion as nonsubjective. This project offers fresh interpretations of deconstruction's most important texts, and of Continental and Anglo-American philosophers from Descartes to Deleuze and Dennett. At the same time, it revitalizes poststructuralist theory by deploying its methodologies in a new field, the philosophy of emotion, to reach a startling conclusion: if we really were subjects, we would have no emotions at all.

Engaging debates in philosophy, literary criticism, psychology, and cognitive science from a poststructuralist and deconstructive perspective, Terada's work is essential for the renewal of critical thought in our day.

Praise

  • What starts from a shrewd review of contemporary polemics goes on to take the shape of a theory of emotion of Terada’s own, drawn from her analytical reading of post-structuralist writing and of earlier and present-day philosophies of emotion. With Feeling in Theory Terada has produced something excellent and major, both a contribution to post-structuralist theory and its interpretation, and a placing of it in a wider surround.

    —Cynthia Chase, author of Decomposing Figures

Awards

  • 2002, Winner of the René Wellek Prize

Author

  • Rei Terada is Professor of Comparative Literature and Director of the Critical Theory Emphasis at the University of California, Irvine.

Book Details

  • 222 pages
  • 6-3/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

From this author

Recommendations