Affect, Heat and Tacos. A Speculative Account of Thermoception


Lara, A. 2015. Affect, Heat and Tacos. A Speculative Account of Thermoception. The Senses and Society. 10 (3), pp. 275-297.
AuthorsLara, A.

Current affective approaches in the experience of heat or thermoception focus on the capacity of control and regulation of temperature by means of consciously driven physical activity of the human body. With this paper, I suggest that thermoception is a complex process whose explanation requires considering events of production of heat that are not registered by conscious activity and that do not even appear in the strata of the organic body. In order to further expand the understanding of thermoception I turn to Whitehead’s philosophy to develop a speculative account of the experience of heat. I use his concept of prehension as well as his analysis of “division” to explain the relation between events of production of heat from three different scales of organization: molecular, organic, and cultural. I will explain how each event of production of heat modify the affective capacity of feeling heat as well as the way each event of heat inherits its quota of subjectivity all the way up to the production of human experience and the rise of anxiety as an emotion made of heat. To make my case, I will provide a division analysis of prehension in the experience of heat when eating tacos in the streets of Mexico City.

JournalThe Senses and Society
Journal citation10 (3), pp. 275-297
PublisherTaylor & Francis (Routledge)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Web address (URL)
Publication dates
Online06 Apr 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited28 Jul 2020
Copyright holder© 2015 Taylor & Francis.
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