The world and knowledge as emergences. Expressive emergence and originary co-emergence in the work of Mikel Dufrenne

Germana Alberti


One key aspect of Phenomenology, i.e. the relationship between consciousness and phenomena, has been described, with regard to when this relationship be-gins to arise, as a co-emergence of the subject and the world. The aim of this article is to demonstrate how the theme of emergence may also be found in the philosophy of Mikel Dufrenne. First of all, strictly speaking, what emerges is what manifests itself and exerts influence due to the merging of some proper-ties, although what emerges cannot be reduced to these properties. This dy-namic may be clearly seen in aesthetics, where affective or expressive qualities manifest themselves. Secondly, and more broadly, what emerges is that which begins to take shape from an indistinct, latent background. Hence, the plane of “presence” – a cognitive prereflective dimension of symbiosis with the world – may be understood as a place of originary co-emergence.


Expressiveness; Form; Aesthetic qualities; Presence

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