Christian Ferencz-Flatz, “The afterlife of fictional media violence. A genetic phenomenology of emotions following Husserl and Freud”, Continental Philosophy Review, 2022
Ever since the 1960s, media and communication studies have abounded in heated debates concerning the psychological and social effects of fictional media violence. Massive empirical research has first tried to tie film violence to cultivating either fear or aggressive tendencies among its viewership, while later research has focused on other media as well (television, video games). The present paper does not aim to settle the factual question of whether or not medial experiences indeed engender real emotional dispositions. Instead, it brings into play the resources of genetic phenomenology in order to ask how the formation of such dispositions would be generally possible. Thus, it aims to further the discussion by overtly employing the framework of Husserl’s later genetic phenomenology to the field of emotional experience. By posing questions with regard to how fictional emotional experiences contribute to the formation of apperceptions and to the specificities of emotional sedimentation, it also points out some shortcomings in Husserl’s account by drawing from Freud’s dynamic theory of drives and emotions.