Certainly there is a difference between the theoretical structure of the concept of feeling, and a mere pointing to a feeling. Befindlichkeit names the structure, "feeling," "affect," or "mood," and these words can continue to name the ordinary event they always have. But the difference between philosophy and psychology is something else, not the difference between something and theory about it. After all, there is theory in psychology, too.
Philosophical discussion moves on a level from which all or many of the sciences are affected simultaneously. Philosophical discussion may, at some point, seem to be about people and sound like psychology, or about society and sound like sociology, or about matter and energy and sound like physics. But not o ply the science which seems to be the topic, rather also many others, will be altered by a philosophical discussion. I will illustrate this shortly, in order to be clear.
Philosophy moves on a different level than science. One can say that it is one level more abstract than science. I will say this first in terms of kinds of concepts, and then in terms of kinds of beings, as Heidegger does.
A philosophy examines and sometimes alters basic conceptions. That is why there is no way to explain a basic conception in terms of other, more familiar ones. One can grasp a basic conception only by grasping it. It is a new conceptual structure, a new pattern.
What I mean here by "basic" gets at the difference between philosophy and any science, and also the usefulness of philosophy for science. Let me be more specific.Most people, scientists and others, do not usually think about what kind of concept they are using. The most current kind is modeled on ordinary things like stones. A stone can be moved from one place to another without changing. It is still the same stone, now in a different spot. A thing like a stone may relate to other things, of course; for example, it may hit and break a porcelain pitcher. But these relations are external and additional to what the stone is. Whether it breaks a pitcher or not, even if it just sits in one spot, it is a stone. It would not be usual to say that a stone is pitcher-breaking, or windowsmashing, or any such interaction.Without being aware of it or capable of examining it (for then they would be engaged in philosophy), scientists currently tend to use this kind of concept.
An "electron," for example, is a thing-like concept of this kind. In one puzzling experiment, one electron seems to go through two different slits in two different locations. While an electron differs from a stone in many ways, of course, the same kind of concept is involved in how both are thought of. An electron must be in one place or another, not both. Similarly, there is a puzzle in biology why given well-defined molecules suddenly assume highly important additional powers when in the company of certain other molecules in a certain tissue. As a thing with its own traits, regardless of anything else (as this kind of concept renders everything), this is not understandable. The molecule cannot be its different interactions, it has to be with certain traits all its own, and only with these is it thought to interact.
Psychologists, for example, use concepts like "self," "ego," "perception," "personal interaction," "feeling" or "affect," usually formulated in thing-like kinds of concepts. A self or an ego is like a thing in the person. A person is a larger thing in which the ego or self, as a smaller thing, resides like a stone in a box. Perception is a stimulus-thing making a representation-thing inside the box: Personal interaction is a relation between two such boxes, each separate before they interact, like a stone and a pitcher. Feelings or affects are little things inside the box, sometimes within the self and sometimes in the rest of the box. People supposedly feel these inside feeling things directly, but can feel other people only by imagining an analogy with their own feelings.
Heidegger brings us an entirely different kind of concept. Too roughly, I could say it is of a being that is its relating. But I say this roughly, and it is only for a simple contrast with the above caricature of the current kind. What I wish to convey is the level of discussion, not a discussion of this topic or that, but of kinds of concepts. I would like to bring home the importance of differences in kinds of concepts for all sciences.
Note that it must have implications for any science to develop a different kind of concept, for example, some of Heidegger's concepts such as Befindlichkeit. It eliminates certain ways of making distinctions, and replaces them with others. In my simple four point rendition of Befindlichkeit, we saw how the concept precedes and eliminates the distinction between inside and outside, as well as between self and others. Similarly, it alters affective) cognitive. Later I will show how it also alters the distinctions we are used to in space and time: here/there, and past/present/future. We will want to see exactly how Heidegger refashions all this, we will want to see a sharp and clear alternative structure to the one being eliminated, but it is certainly clear already that such basic changes in kind of concept must affect any science, not just