According to the social scientists Tom Barone and Elliot W. Eisner, arts-based research is a “starting point for further inquiry”[1] because it does not attempt to assure the facticity of the qualitative research, but rather to explore possibilities of knowing. This approach stands in contrast to a quantitative approach where truth is exclusively logic-propositional.[2] Instead, Barone and Eisner argue that through intersubjectivity one can also find truth because:

“…it [truth] is also owned by those activities that yield meanings that are ineffable ultimately but that nonetheless ring true in the competent percipient.”[3]

A perspective that illustrates the value of science and art that attempts to reveal rather than control the ineffable can be found in Ideas and Opinions by the physicist Albert Einstein:

“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed.”[4]

Apply to Become a Member Today

Discover yourself as being poetry by creating, sharing, and researching with other poets who draw concepts from philosophy, the humanities, and the sciences. Let's transform ourselves and the world around us into poetry.


[1] Tom Barone and Elliot W. Eisner, Art Based Research (Los Angeles: Sage Publications, 2012), 6.

[2] Barone and Eisner, 1-6. An arts-based research allows somatic ways of knowing to be explored empirically through embodiment. The notion empirical etymologically comes from “the Greek word empirikos which means experience”; see Barone and Eisner, xi. Therefore, embodiment is an empirical way of knowing because it is experiential. In regard to knowing through logic, facts can be a result of deduction, induction, and even abduction. The latter can lead to a speculative way of knowing as defined by Charles Sanders Peirce. A deduction would allow us to conclude that a third fact (C) is true based on two (A and B) true propositional facts. Induction is based on probabilities; therefore, we cannot deduce (C) because one cannot say that the initial premises (A and B) are always true, just sometimes. For instance, in the sciences the use of induction is quite relevant within quantum physics. Particularly, in the double-slit experiment there are no exact measurements but probabilities that allow scientists to elaborate the theories behind microelectronics. Furthermore, an abduction results from the observation of a single extraordinary fact (C), insofar the observation (A) is supposed to be a true fact, then (C) will be speculated to be true because one cannot induce or deduce such fact; see James Bradley, “Beyond Hermeneutics: Peirce’s Semiology as a Trinitarian Metaphysics of Communication,” Analecta Hermeneutica, no. 1 (2009): 59, accessed November 7, 2011, That said, this journal is implicitly using these propositional ways of knowing but considers that these are not the only ways of knowing. I also favor somatic, aesthetic, and indigenous ways of knowing. I critique rationality as logical propositional insofar it is considered superior to other ways of knowing; see footnote 65 for more details. Thus, I base myself on the method of arts-based research to explore truth beyond propositions while still establishing the grounds for a rational discourse; see details of a somatic and aesthetic discipline in footnote 9.

[3] Barone and Eisner, 6.

[4] Albert Einstein, Ideas and Opinions, ed. Carl Seelig (New York: Three Rivers Press, 1995), 11.

[5] Carl Sagan, “Introduction,” introduction to Cosmos, by Carl Sagan (New York: Ballantine Books, 1985), xix.

[6] Barone and Eisner, 14-15.

[7] Carl Leggo, “Astonishing Silence: Knowing in Poetry,” in Handbook of the Arts in Qualitative Research: Perspectives, Methodologies, Examples, and Issues, ed. J. Gary Knowles and Ardra L. Cole (Los Angeles: Sage Publications, 2008), 165-74.

[8] Barone and Eisner, 16. According to Barone and Eisner, there is still a dualist perspective in the sciences but the boundaries have been eroding particularly in the social sciences. The dualist assumes the objective results from the study of the body. This perspective also assumes that the subjective, the mind aspect of the dualism, does not influence the construction of scientific facts because they use of specific methodologies. As a result, quantitative research is assumed to be more “scientific” than a quantitative researcher. However after the research phase of blurred genres, one cannot assume such perspective; see Barone and Eisner, x-xi. Furthermore, an example of a discipline that does not operate in a dualistic mode of thought is somaesthetics. This discipline was introduced by the philosopher Richard Shusterman. Somaesthetics places an emphasis on the somatic or embodied experiences that are prior to any understanding of Cartesian dualism. This occurs because rather than conceptualizing the body as lifeless and static such as a stone, the body is seen as a living and constantly changing embodied intentionality; see Richard Shusterman, Body Consciousness: a Philosophy of Mindfulness and Somaesthetics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008).

[9] Barone and Eisner, 4.

[10] Barone and Eisner, 4.

[11] Barone and Eisner, 5, 12.

[12] Sandra Faulkner, Poetry as Method: Reporting Research through Verse (Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, 2009), 34.

[13] Patricia Leavy, Method Meets Art: Arts-based Research Practice (New York: Guilford Press, 2009), quotes in 63. This notion of silence in relation to poetry is related to a phenomenological reduction; see pages 9-10 in this journal for a clarification of the latter term.

[14] Miles Richardson, “Poetics in the Field and on the Page,” Qualitative Inquiry 4, no. 4 (1998): 459, accessed November 28, 2011, doi:10.1177/107780049800400401.

[15] Richardson, 451.

[16] Monica Prendergast, “The Phenomena of Poetry in Research,” introduction to Poetic Inquiry: Vibrant Voices in the Social Sciences, ed. Monica Prendergast, Carl Leggo, and Pauline Sameshima (Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers, 2009), xxxv-xxxvii, quote in xxxvii.

[17] Prendergast, xxxvii.

[18] Leavy, 84.

[19] For example during Murdoch’s stay at Cambridge (1947-1948), there were many women studying there but they were not allowed to graduate until 1948. Also according to Peter J. Conradi within Murdoch’s journals, the word ‘touched’ was essential to her. Yet, in a detached discourse the expression ‘profoundly touched’ could represent bias and emotional noise. Murdoch also wanted a less elitist philosophical discourse, so the mundane and ordinary people could feel part of the discourse; see Peter J. Conradi, Iris Murdoch: a Life (New York: Norton, 2001), 261-262, 305, 633 footnote 1.

A Study of Being as Love

Discover yourself as being poetry through an autoethnography, i.e. a fictive-academic novel that draws concepts from philosophy, the humanities, and the social science. Lina Ru will guide you to understand how and why through the fullest love you can transform yourself and the world around you into poetry.