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Abstract

In light of the mandate of social distancing imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the subsequent disruption in habitual practices involving physical contact, the essay explores the ancient gesture of the handshake with reference to both its cultural codifications and its iconography, widespread especially in Mediterranean and Near Eastern areas. While involving manifold semantic and symbolic significance, the handshake is taken into account especially as a gesture implying a tactile exposure to another, hinting at the possibility of joining radically discontinuous worlds (mortals and immortals, dead and living). Ancient Greek funerary art is considered and a few final remarks return to the experience of isolation we lived on a global scale in recent years.

In: Research in Phenomenology
Author: Marjolein Oele

Abstract

This paper examines the figure of silence in the works of Michel Serres and Simone Weil. It argues that, in the spirit of Serres and Weil, our time of crisis calls not for a short-term response, but for long-term engagement in a dialectics of silence: the dialogical movement between the silencing of institutions and the attentive silence of visionary insights. Such dialectics can revalidate the value of institutional silencing if based on solid rational proof (rebutting so-called visionary ideas that are baseless) while simultaneously showing the value of visionary ideas that rightfully combat problematic institutional silencing. Especially in this current moment, in which science and scientific propositions are relentlessly questioned, there is a need to lean into silence so as to promote a productive dialogue that regains trust in proven scientific ideas and institutions while allowing visionary insights their place as well, provided that we are willing to test them.

In: Research in Phenomenology
Author: Peg Birmingham

About half-way through The World on Edge, in a chapter titled, “Being on Edge and Falling Apart,” Ed Casey describes a moment in which he is on an edge at the top of Crazy Mountains and, while staring into the abyssal space straight down, he begins to suffer extreme vertigo. Unable to move, he starts to become undone. As he puts it, “I was riven apart by the fearful prospect at my feet” (244). He is both paralyzed and, in a state of such extreme dizziness, is in danger of falling into the abyss. He is on the

In: Research in Phenomenology
Author: Leonard Lawlor

Edward S. Casey’s 2007 The World at a Glance is the “companion” book to his 2017 The World on Edge (xix). 1 Near the end of The World at a Glance, Casey sets up the transition to The World on Edge; he says, “The world at a glance is a luminous peri-phenomenal whole of image-things that are specified by surfaces and edges” (Casey 2007, 477, my emphasis). In fact, it seems that Casey extends two basic ideas from The World at a Glance. First, as the quotation

In: Research in Phenomenology

Abstract

This paper proposes to reflect self-critically on an ongoing research project entitled “Grammars of listening,” which started as a philosophical approach to the question of listening at the site of trauma and the challenges this kind of listening poses to our conceptions of memory and history, and has recently shifted to asking about the possible limitations to such a reflection when confronted with a decolonial perspective on temporality. I start by presenting a conceptual background for my inquiry, and asking what kind of listening is required when trauma is considered as a colonizing form of violence – that is, when its effects are not only understood as an assault on life but on the conditions of production of sense that make life legible. Following the kind of challenges that such an understanding of trauma poses to the responsibility to listen to its testimony, the paper moves on to propose that only a decolonial approach to listening can truly do justice to the task of rendering testimonies of traumatic violence audible. By decolonizing the frameworks that organize and determine colonial and colonizing distributions of sense, I propose that grammars of lo inaudito understood as decolonial grammars contribute to resisting and disorganizing the criteria for legibility and audibility that colonizing forms of violence not only institute but constantly actualize in their attempt to perpetuate their silencing power.

In: Research in Phenomenology
Author: Omar Rivera

Abstract

By putting forward the notions of “eco-sensibilities” and “eco-permeable relationalities,” this paper explores a non-instrumentalizing mode of relation with the “non-human.” On this basis, it shows the possibility of affectively disempowering the hold of “ecological indifference” as Nancy Tuana describes it. It focuses on “animal becoming” and “elemental architecture” as “eco-sensibilities” that effect such a disempowerment.

In: Research in Phenomenology

Abstract

Thirty years ago, Fukuyama announced the end of history in the form of the triumph of liberal democracy and free markets. Crises were going to be something of the past. Today, crises abound. Does this mean that the eschatology of the 1980s and 90s should give way to a crisology? Given the many ways in which the vocabulary of crisis is used, and crises are instrumentalized, can the word crisis become a rigorous philosophical concept? In this essay, I analyze the extent to which, and contexts in which, philosophy has claimed crisis as a central concept (section 2); offer a tentative typology of crisis in relation to the problem of normativity (section 3); conclude with a few remarks on critique as the philosophy of crisis (section 4).

In: Research in Phenomenology

Abstract

Symptomatic of the crisis of the current global political order are the millions of displaced that have fled their homes but are not allowed to enter the country in which they seek refuge. Instead, they are placed in camps. To understand the site of the camp and the bare life it produces, testimonies of refugees are indispensable. This essay aims to examine and listen to these testimonies by, first, introducing the notion of testimony and some of the characteristics of the testimony of refugees; second, examining what it means to listen to testimony and which role is played therein by the narrative, literary structure of testimony; and, third, by interpreting the form of life to which the testimonies of the camp attest, which several witnesses describe as a life in “limbo.” This essay concludes with some brief remarks on the relation between experience, truth, and language in testimony.

Open Access
In: Research in Phenomenology
Author: Edward S. Casey

I am delighted to have my recent book, The World on Edge, discussed by two such distinguished thinkers as well as long-term friends in the profession as Peg Birmingham and Len Lawlor. It is a rare event to have one’s work vetted in public anymore – and still more rare for this to happen when the lead is taken by such discerning readers.

1

Before responding to my two critics, I shall say some things about how The World on Edge came into existence – came to have the edges that being in print brings with

In: Research in Phenomenology

Abstract

Accurate information about the number of cats living outdoors and how they respond to different kinds of management are necessary to quell debates about outdoor cat policy. The DC Cat Count will develop the tools and methodologies needed to realize this possibility and make them available for broader use. This three-year initiative represents a major collaboration between animal welfare organizations and wildlife scientists. Its unique and innovative approach is to use the best scientific methods to quantify all subpopulations of cats in the District of Columbia (outdoor, owned, and shelter cats), concurrently test and optimize simpler methods that can be used to measure cat populations by diverse users at scale, and identify the types of interventions that are likely to accomplish desired outcomes most efficiently. Ultimately, we believe that this approach is more likely to improve outcomes for both cats and wildlife than a continuation of the status quo.

In: Society & Animals