This is a translation of a major essay by David Wellbery (first published in German in 2003), on the concept of Stimmung. This notoriously untranslatable term is closer to ‘mood’ than to any other in English, but also implies a whole conceptual problematic that closely relates to the idea of affect. Wellbery shows, in this comprehensive survey of uses of the term in philosophy and aesthetics, that Stimmung can at times be taken to designate a kind of ‘comprehensive affectivity’ that exceeds (or precedes) any simple logic of description or predication.
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