We are all familiar with the fact that moods change. But, what is the significance of this familiar fact? Is change merely a factual characteristic of moods or can it also offer us a lens for gaining a deeper understanding of mood’s essence?. The essay’s starting point is Heidegger’s treatment of moods and their manner of changing. Heidegger, I show, is interested in our ordinary shifts in mood as indicators of a fundamental existential structure that underlies the specificity of any particular mood. Yet, is the changing of moods only a means to reveal the inherent depth – the “always already”-- of our givenness to moods, or is it a dimension significant onto itself? Moving beyond Heidegger, I thus explain why change should be understood as the grounding condition of our being-in-a mood, and consequently, what it means to embrace the relationality and intrinsic plurality - the being singular-plural -- of a subjectivity of changing moods. In doing so, I am concerned with the implications that such an analysis carries for the ethical question regarding the freedom and responsibility we have in and over our moods.
- Continental philosophy