In this article, I argue that anticipation unfolds within a range of experiential modalities. Because moods and emotions, intuitions and imagination, among other forms of experience, can all appear as disclosing something about the future, anticipation is heterogeneous. Building on work in phenomenological anthropology and philosophy, I offer a generative phenomenology of the range of anticipatory experience, arguing that some forms of experience are relatively more implicit while others may prove more salient and offer more explicable forms of anticipation. As anticipation emerges in time, the more implicit experiential modes such as mood and intuition operate as antecedents to more explicit ones such as imagination. Turning to apply these ideas to ethnographic materials from my fieldwork among architectural design teams in San Francisco, I demonstrate how attentiveness to this gradient of anticipatory experience allows us to account for anticipatory experiences as they unfold through time.
Christopher Stephan is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research examines experience design in health architecture, and intersubjectivity in religious practice. He is first author, along with C. Jason Throop, of ‘Phenomenological Analysis’ in the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of the Anthropology of Religion edited by Simon Coleman and Joel Robbins.
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Throop, C. J.2010. ‘In the Midst of Action’. In C. J.Throop and K.Murphy (eds), Toward an Anthropology of the Will. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 28–49.10.11126/stanford/9780804768870.003.0002)| false