In my proposal, I principally draw on the central role the “Non(e)“ plays in the field of phenomenological research. Hereby I mean the very heterogeneous field opened up by concepts like Epoché, the invisible, “passio”, the diverse tacit dimensions of knowing, the alien, the incalculable etc. It will not be my aim to display all these aspects and to systematize them, but as a contribution to the conference-theme I would like to illuminate their ethical dimensions to a certain degree.
First in an argumentative way and then by means of an example, I want to show that the ethical and also moral dimensions of experience are based in a special awareness of difference. I will work out important aspects of this difference by referring to Bernhard Waldenfels et al. It will come out that such awareness is neither merely given nor is it completely enacted, much less cognitively.
By asking whether it is possible to pursue important ethical aims through works of art, I will use an example to outline the mode of a pre-predicative aesthetical perception of an artwork in its body-based ethical aspects.
Hereby, it is taken into account that an artwork could prick out existential possibilities of man as a theme sometimes in an inhuman way. Deviant behaviour and thinking might be imaged. The difference between images and ethical thinking is sometimes even shown as a sharp contrast. Irritations might not only be caused by the artwork itself, also the spectator may misunderstand the ethical impacts of a work of art. Thus, an ambiguity of art becomes apparent. This ambiguity signifies the edge of our ethical experiences.
At the same time it is comparable with a basic experience in educational processes. Deviant and insolent behaviour of children day by day puts the ethical and moral judgement of pedagogues in a pre-predicative and not fully intelligible way to the test.
I will take the reception of art as an example to deal with ambiguity by pointing out that as an experience it is ruled by unknown criteria and at the same time by the task to get an orientation. The thesis will be unfolded that not mainly the rational thinking but the body is the medium of this quest.
Conference “Bodily Phenomenology” Center for Studies in Practical Knowledge University Södertörn/Schweden.