Friday, November 10, 2006

Habermas on feelings and desires

We should not understand subjective experiences as mental states or inner episodes, for we would thereby assimilate them to entities, to elements fot the objective world. We can comprehend having subjective experiences as something analogous to the existence of states of affairs without assimilating one to the other. A subject capable of expression does not “have” or “possess” desires and feelings in the same sense as an observable object has extension, weight, color, and similar properties. An actor has desires and feelings in teh sense that he can at will express these experiences before a public, and indeed in such a way that this public, if it trusts the actor’s expressive utterances, attributes to him, as something subjective, the desires and feelings expressed. (Reconstructing Historical Materialism, 147)

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