This Is Not … a Turn to Affect: Feeling Between Ontology and Anthropology

  • Paul Stenner
Part of the Studies in the Psychosocial book series (STIP)


This chapter constitutes an intervention into the so-called affective turn. It centres upon a critique of the affect/emotion distinction upon which this turn ‘turns’. The chapter begins with a discussion of Raymond Williams’s concept of ‘structure of feeling’, which is used to explicate one key inspiration for a turn to affect: a distinction between ‘event’ and ‘structure’. But the affect/emotion distinction also plays out in terms of a difference between an ontological account of feeling (applicable, via Spinoza and Whitehead, to the entirety of nature) and an anthropological account. Through these arguments, the turn to affect is re-construed as the cultural emergence—still in process—of a coherent species of transdisciplinary process thought.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Stenner
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PsychologyThe Open UniversityMilton KeynesUK

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