chapter  12
15 Pages

Moods as Active

WithJoseph K. Schear

Steven Crowell reads the existentialist phase of the phenomenological tradition as fertile ground for a theory of subjectivity centered on ideas of commitment and responsibility. In this chapter I want to consider moods, a classic existentialist topic, in this Crowellian spirit. Moods are generally considered passive states to be put up with rather than a part of one’s life as one leads it. I make a case for the idea that moods are an expression of agency for which we are answerable. Moods are meaningful engagements with the world, I contend, and we are responsible for meanings at stake in them.