Critical Hermeneutics has Richard Kearney on the mood for understanding
The term ‘understanding’ is not confined by Heidegger to analytic or reflective consciousness. It refers primarily to those pre-reflexive ‘moods’ (Stimmungen) of our lived experience – e.g. anguish, guilt, fear, concern, wonder and so on-which Heidegger identifies not simply as psychological emotions but as ontological acts of pre-understanding (Vor-Verständnis). For instance, Heidegger argues that our common experience of anguish, which frequently goes by the name of ‘depression’, is irreducible to the sum of ostensible causes which might be adduced at the level of an empirical psychology. We are not simply depressed because we failed exams, had influenza or crashed a car. These are no more than occasions which disrupt our normal patterns of behavior, leaving us exposed to a fundamental void or nothingness at the heart of our existence. At its deepest level, Heidegger argues that anguish is an ontological ‘mood’ which expresses being-in-the-world as an experience of non-being. Unlike fear, for instance, anguish lacks any identifiable object; it occurs precisely where ‘nothing’ is the matter.