Emmanuel Alloa

The unapparent and the insignificant. Towards a phenomenology of the everyday

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Everyday Life; Ordinary; Phenomenology; Unapparent; Objectivation.

Semiotics of the everyday have encountered a problem akin to the one philosophy has experienced. The reappraisal of the everyday and the ordinary is ambivalent, as it tends to objectify what is profoundly elusive because of its diffuse, ambient character. One could claim that the two prevailing strategies (the 'celebration' of the everyday or the 'critical reading' of the everyday) both miss the everyday, since they treat it as a positive entity. Whether by celebrating it, or by understanding it; in both cases they kill it. The paper argues that part of the problem lies in the objectifying bias inherent in these approaches. The article sketches an alternative phenomenology of the everyday, focusing on the notion of the 'insignificant'. Whenever something significant emerges, it emerges not into, but from within this familiar milieu of the everyday which, because of its familiarity, is deemed insignificant. Yet, experiences of the uncanny always happen within the customary realm, when something so familiar that it always went overlooked suddenly pushes to the fore.

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