Thinking emergence as interaffecting

approaching and contextualizing eugene Gendlin's process model

Donata Schoeller, Neil Dunaetz

pp. 123-140

Prior to A Process Model, Gendlin's theoretical and practical work focused on the interfacing of bodily-felt meaningfulness and symbolization. In A Process Model, Gendlin does something much wider and more philosophically primary. The hermeneutic and pragmatist distinction between the concept of experience, on the one hand, and actual experiential process, on the other, becomes for Gendlin the methodological basis for a radical reconceptualization of the body. Wittgenstein's formulation of "meaning" as "language-use in situations" is spelled out by Gendlin in embodied terms, yielding a profound new grasp of language, meaning, situation, language-use and culture as interactional body-process. Gendlin, in building his text, answers the pragmatist critique of a wrong progression of thinking where the results of an inquiry are read back to be its premises. With his central concept "eveving" ("everything interaffected by everything") Gendlin shows how the seeming determinacy of preceding structure is opened in the actual occurring. He thereby elaborates a new conception of continuity where the possibility for responsive novelty is emergent in the event itself. The conceptual development of the text itself instances this kind of emergent novelty. We will somewhat follow Gendlin's own path in using language-in-situations as entry-point into his more fundamental process-thinking, thereby asking ourselves how to engage his new kind of model. In the last part, we introduce some of the philosophical roots of Gendlin's A Process Model.

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