Qualia, othering, and Daphne Marlatt

Subjectivity has often been defined as a judgment which is based on individual and personal impressions rather than external facts. Despite the fact that it is terminologically difficult if not impossible to make a clear cut distinction between what we call subjective and objective one is bound to characterize such matters like scientific evidence, statistics and modes of measurement as being apriorically purged of any emotional, impressionistic influence. Hence, in the situation in which an apple falls down from a tree one is objective if (s)he shall take into consideration the speed with which it fell down, the size of the apple, color and maybe the effects of the impact. Contrariwise, if one says the apple fell beautifully such annotations are considered subjective. It was mainly phenomenology…read more.

Michael Ondaatje and the Aesthetics of Violence

Jim Morrison, an American poet and singer, once said that human beings fear violence less than their own feelings because ‘personal, private, solitary pain is more terrifying than what anyone else can inflict’. If we are to dig deeper into this matter, I believe Morrison brought to the fore a really persuasive argument concerning the nature of violence. From a terminological point of view, violence has often been defined as an act of aggression which usually occurs in the presence of resistance, in the context of trespassing predetermined rules or laws. Still, bearing in mind Morrison’s words, there is something which escapes this definition of violence. Phenomenologically, violence is related to the phenomenon of suddenness, its boundaries are always confined to a delimited span of time and space. Its occurrence is acute but short, and that is why ‘solitary pain’ is much stronger than the one inflicted by somebody else, because private pain extends the limits of violence, it makes it unpredictable, with no end in sight. However, from the point of view of a literary aestheticism…read more.