Open Access

Passivity and Activity in the Heideggerian Description of Moods

   | Oct 26, 2021


This article considers the simultaneously passive and active character of moods (Stimmungen) in Heidegger, focussing on two different periods of his thought: the end of the 1920s and the middle of the 1930s. Through the study of the language used by Heidegger, I show that the ideas of passivity and activity are expressed in three different levels of his description of moods: the more concrete level of one’s experience of a mood, the level of philosophical analysis insofar as it is based on moods and deals with moods, and the transcendental or constitutive level of experience. Moreover, I show that in each of these levels passivity and activity are constitutively intertwined and that Heidegger’s conception of moods both in the 1920s and the 1930s can only be understood if we take into consideration the three levels and the way each of them is characterized by both passivity and activity.