A method of intuition:becoming, relationality, ethics

Coleman, Rebecca (2008) A method of intuition:becoming, relationality, ethics. History of the Human Sciences, 21 (4). pp. 104-123. ISSN 1461-720X

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This article examines social research on the relations between (young) women's bodies and images through Bergson's method of intuition, which suggests that the only way a thing can be known is through coinciding with the uniqueness of its becoming. I suggest that in this aim, intuition is, necessarily, an intimate research method. Rather than apply Bergson's argument to this area of social research, I examine the resonances between his philosophical method and the moves within social research to attend to the performativity, creativity or inventiveness of research methods. With a focus on my own research, which explored the relations between 13 girls' bodies and images from a feminist-Deleuzian position, I argue here that the interconnected issues of becoming, uniqueness and coincidence that Bergson raises connect with concerns in social research about ontology, concepts and methods. In particular, I suggest that relationality is crucial to these connections. Drawing through the significance of relations, I argue that intimate, intuitive research is desirable because of the ethics that it opens up and enables; ethics intimate in attention to the becoming unique to the object at stake in research and in the attempt to coincide with this uniqueness.

Item Type:
Journal Article
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History of the Human Sciences
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“The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, History of the Human Sciences, 21 (4), 2008, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2008 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the History of the Human Sciences page: http://hhs.sagepub.com/ on SAGE Journals Online: http://online.sagepub.com/
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Deposited On:
09 Dec 2009 12:00
Last Modified:
17 Sep 2023 00:33