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Acceleration and Time Pathologies

[journal article]

Aho, Kevin A.

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Abstract In his Contributions to Philosophy, Martin Heidegger (1999) introduces ‘acceleration’ as one of the three symptoms – along with ‘calculation’ and the ‘outbreak of massiveness’ – of our technological way of ‘being-in-the-world’. In this article, I unpack the relationship between these symptoms and draw a twofold conclusion. First, interpreting acceleration in terms of time pathologies, I suggest the self is becoming increasingly fragmented and emotionally overwhelmed from chronic sensory arousal and time pressure. This experience makes it difficult for us to qualitatively distinguish what matters to us in our everyday lives, resulting in a pervasive cultural mood of indifference, what Heidegger (1995) calls ‘profound boredom’. Second, by drawing on Heidegger's hermeneutic method, I argue that the practice of mainstream psychology, by adopting the reductive methodology of the empirical sciences, largely ignores our accelerated socio-historical situation, resulting in therapeutic models that have a tendency to construct and perpetuate the very pathologies the psychologist is seeking to treat.
Classification Philosophy, Ethics, Religion
Free Keywords acceleration; boredom; Heidegger; hermeneutics; psychology;
Publication Year 2007
Page/Pages p. 25-42
Journal Time & Society, 16 (2007) 1
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)