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Testing the Limit: Derrida, Henry, Levinas, and the Phenomenological Tradition (Cultural Memory in the Present)

By François-David Sebbah

In exploring the character of extra relative to a phenomenology of the restrict, Testing the restrict claims that phenomenology itself is an exploration of extra. What does it suggest that "the self" is "given"? should still we see it as originary; or fairly, in what approach is the self engendered from textual practices that transgress—or hover round and for that reason within—the threshold of phenomenologial discourse? this is often the 1st booklet to incorporate Michel Henry in a triangulation with Derrida and Levinas and the 1st to critique Levinas at the foundation of his interpolation of philosophy and faith. Sebbah claims that the textual origins of phenomenology make sure, of their temporal rhythms, the character of the subjectivation on which they concentration. He situates those concerns in the broader photo of the kingdom of latest French phenomenology (chiefly the legacy of Merleau-Ponty), with a purpose to express that those 3 thinkers proportion a undeniable "family resemblance," the identity of which unearths anything concerning the lines of different phenomenological households. it really is by means of trying out the restrict in the context of conventional phenomenological matters in regards to the visual appeal of subjectivity and ipseity that Derrida, Henry, and Levinas extensively re-evaluate phenomenology and that French phenomenology assumes its current form.

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The writers on whom the focal point falls right here both explicitly insist on training this gesture (Levinas, Derrida, Marion) or position themselves in different places (essentially, the magnificently solitary gesture of Michel Henry, who neither respects nor transgresses the restrict of intentionality—he will pay it no attention—since he identifies his personal constraint within the means to be positioned inside an originarity that's continually already unintentional). In some of these situations, no matter if intentionality’s restrict is revered or no longer, even if asserted or not—remembering that those that assert it don't unavoidably enforce it, and that those that forget about it occasionally do enforce it—it is the correct reference mark for orientation in the box; at the very least, this is often my speculation the following.

And apparently this needs to be the whole attempt of the limit—certainly no longer its transgression, its traversal, or (and this may come to an analogous factor) refusal to stand it. yet what's subjectivity if no longer accurately that, a try? In smooth metaphysics, in Descartes for instance, subjectivity is the purpose of immanence located on the intersection of the gnoseological and the ontological axes, from which the look is torn and to which one needs to flip in an effort to rigorously overview all of the facts, to place it to the try.

This is often accurately why i'm on no account providing any synthesis of the philosophical content material of Derrida, Henry, and Levinas as observed by means of a “glimpse” at another works: such an attempt is hardly ever philosophical. Nor will I interact right here, within the demeanour of a historian of philosophy, in a genetic and structural research of those works in a step by step structure in their problematics: such an attempt exceeds my competence up to the proportions of my cause; as a minimum, it presupposes a constituted item that, as i've got already insisted, isn't really correct right here.

Consequently, it is important to coordinate with this spectre: the topic is important simply as consuming is critical. 26 Any “one needs to” or “it is critical” right here connotes neither logical necessity nor ethical legal responsibility; it is very a “one needs to” that claims not anything except the need of contingency, the need of “making do,” of calculating and negotiating. And needs to one no longer negotiate with the topic, in that the topic is itself accurately totally calculation and negotiation? If all that's given is given merely within the very circulation during which it's refused whereas creating a gap—and this is often the place Derridean différance holds mastery over any gift—the hole is what it's only in now not being with no reference to that from which it deviates.

To imagine inside works is to be a stroller in a selected nation-state, now not a spectator ahead of a map representing an area of idea. This characterization isn't with out implications: this kind of nation-state is what this is why it truly is centred through a cognizance positioned inside it, which then turns into absolutely the concentration of that cognizance, disconnected from any integration right into a higher house of which it would be half: “We are immersed in it: our ‘here’ refers simply to itself. anywhere we step, our horizon strikes with us.

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