Pragmatic Apparatus – Apophatic Inquiry: Living the Questions Themselves

Cited by Lee Sonogan

Abstract by Merel Visse, Finn Thorbjørn Hansen, Carlo J. W. Leget

In qualitative research, the importance of knowledge production is illustrated by the confidence in logos, that still flags. Although there is significant attention for approaches that are inclusive to the body, affect and non-rational dimensions, these approaches still aim to generate understandings by the appropriation of knowledge. This paper critiques that view and proposes another view of inquiry that centers the praxis of living the questions instead. Here, research is seen as a gradual unfolding of a process. The quest that belongs with this view of research is concerned with how to make space for life phenomena to emerge. We frame this as apophatic inquiry, a non-methodology, as it is not a matter of applying activities in a set of steps. For apophatic inquiry, a process of unknowing and wonder is imperative. The paper discusses how to foster a triadic inter-beingness in a research praxis that fosters the calling forth of and reflection on phenomena. For that, the researcher nurtures awareness and reflection on a triadic sphere of three closely connected spaces: the Inner Space, the Aesthetic Space, and the Wondrous Space. By being receptive to the impressions that unfold within and between these spaces, the research becomes part of a process of living a question in real-time. Thus, living and life itself become the heart of the research.

Publication: International Journal of Qualitative Methods (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

Pub Date: Nov 8, 2020 Doi:

Keywords: phenomenology, space, apophatic, listening, silence, poetics (Plenty more sections and references in this research article)

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