Pathophor: the affective equivalent of the symbol

There is a need to correct an endemic weakness in much analysis of the mentative dimension of human living, namely, its hypercognitive &, corresponding, hypoaffective conception.

Just look at anything you read in recent days & simply substitute pathophor for symbol, & see what is missing from the analysis – an absence that is almost always not acknowledged, or recognised in your first reading. That’s my point. We have focused on beliefs & ideas, discourse, & largely ignored the feelings, emotions, & moods that we have – not least because they are much more difficult to adequately describe. This has changed in social science since the late 1980s, but less so in socialist political practice. We need to develop a systematic affective political practice to match the recognised battle of ideas.

The affective process has a generative & a generated dimension, & as such it consists in a production with, contingently, subsequently both a distribution & a consumption. The other ontic elements necessarily involved are affective forces (consisting in powers and susceptibilities), in affective relations, all existing in affective conditions, thereby constituting, configuring, affective figurations.

The affective powers are attributes of the means of affection (pathophors); the affective susceptibilities (affordances) are attributes of people (& other sentient beings). When powers & affordances come together there is an affective encounter; the product is feelings, emotions, moods, & sentiments. Affective production is a series of affective encounters, one after another, occurring again & again.

Hendrik de Man wrote on the psychology of socialism almost 100 years ago. In these dark times we need much more.

cognition : affection

symbol : pathophor

(collective) representations : (collective) presentations

homo symbolicus : homo pathophoricus


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