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Gale Richardson, IDSVA





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This study engages with Merleau-Ponty’s supposition, from Phenomenology of Perception, that exposing time underneath the subject and relinking it to all the contradictions of time, body, world, thing, and human other allows awareness to come into its fullness. I argue that rationales of thought associated with cultural violence and its images of the social world—both mental and tangible—link back to the ontological of time underneath each human being, where the conditions of language alter both consciousnesses and meanings behind the phenomenal dimensions of violence, appearance, being, and image. These alterations accompany violence into its reimaging, where an inaudible consciousness awaits each spectator.

My focus here is phenomenological, but not in the strict Husserlian sense. Rather, I take other discourses and their methodologies to the borders of this centering. Through an intertextual latitude of subsets, I define the meaning of a critical phenomenology of violence through its paradoxical sense, interrogating past and current thinkers across a wide spectrum within a Merleau-Pontian and Arendtian arch. I contend that dangers in the paradox of thinking partner with moral and perceptual thinking and that the phenomenon of imagination in the aesthetic of violence pairs with human will and the Kristevian abject; that Lévinas’s ontology merges with perception, when language creates loss of being; that Lacan’s reduction of the Freudian drive and its gazes couples with Merleau-Pontian desire and his radical, ontological look at psychoanalysis. Finally, the Nancian ontic text-image signals Arendtian insight on deceptive metaphors that expose facets in the blow of violence.

By the end, this study demonstrates that phenomena stay within their operations, but the power of the human will alternately recognizes or negates the authenticity behind the phenomenon of violence, while events remain actively, quietly at work in cyclical patterns of desires and perversions, placing the human being in the flux of endangerment and risk from an array of social images.


Aesthetics | Applied Ethics | Ethics and Political Philosophy | Intellectual History


Insitute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts


Portland ME

A Critical Phenomenology Of Violence: At the Intersection of the Ontic and the Ontological in the Gaze and the Reimage of Violence



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