Central and East European
Society for Phenomenology

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Event and structure

a phenomenological approach of irreducible violence

Ion Copoeru(Babeș-Bolyai University)

pp. 257-268


Violence is signaled by a mark of discontinuity, interruption, rupture. The tripartite temporality of violence, with its strong focus on the present, points to the originary violence. Moreover, the violent event is structuring the order of the action sequences in an actual violent (embodied) interaction. The interactional dynamics in violent encounters between co-present actors shapes the specific forms of the experiencing in (and of) the violent interaction. Based on how violence is experienced in an interactive situation, the phenomenon of violence articulates itself according to three coordinates: directedness, co-performativity and de-capabilisation. The outlining of the structure of the lived experience of violence is revealing something irreducible in it. To understand the experience of violence as such, I propose that we accept the idea of violence per se and depart from the idea that the acts of violence are essentially moral actions. The core of the ethical-moral discussion concerning violence should be grounded instead on the moment of conversion identifiable when we take into account the reaction to violence.

Publication details

Published in:

(2020). Human Studies 43 (2).

Pages: 257-268

DOI: 10.1007/s10746-020-09550-7

Full citation:

Copoeru Ion (2020). Event and structure: a phenomenological approach of irreducible violence. Human Studies 43 (2), pp. 257-268.