In this book, Tonino Griffero introduces and analyzes an ontological category he terms “quasi-things.” These do not exist fully in the traditional sense as substances or events, yet they powerfully act on us and on our states of mind. He offers an original approach to the study of emotions, regarding them not as inner states of the subject, but as atmospheres, that is as powers poured out into the lived space we inhabit. Griffero first outlines the general and atmospheric characters of quasi-things, and then considers examples such as pain, shame, the gaze, and twilight—which he argues is responsible for penetrating and suggestive moods precisely because of its vagueness. With frequent examples from literature and everyday life, Quasi-Things provides an accessible aesthetic and phenomenological account of feelings based on the paradigm of atmospheres.
“The task of modern phenomenology is to dissolve, with the help of corrections and additions, the contrasts solidified in the bath of involuntary vital experience, thus opening up new horizons of questioning and understanding. Tonino Griffero accomplishes this task by carefully ploughing the field of quasi-things, which I inaugurated. This is why the book is worthy of great attention.” — Hermann Schmitz, University of Kiel
“This volume is a significant contribution to the expanding literature on atmospheres. Most importantly, the book lays the groundwork for … the study of quasi-things.” — David Seamon, editor of Environmental and Architectural Phenomenology
“Griffero has written a phenomenological exploration of the pre-reflective dimensions of experience in the form of a pathetic aesthetics … This book, rich in originality and insight, illuminates an important new direction in the study of pre-reflective experience.” — Arnold Berleant, founding editor of Contemporary Aesthetics