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1. Phenomenology 2010: Volume > 4
Ruud Welten L’âme cartésienne de la phénoménologie
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From the point of view of Husserlian philosophy, Descartes failed to arrive at a transcendental phenomenological subject. According to Husserl, Descartes’s cogito represents a psychological statement. Michel Henry maintains that Descartes’s “ego cogito ergo sum” implies a full phenomenological subject, not because of its transcendental disposition—on the contrary, because of its pure self-affection. Consciousness according to Henry is not “consciousness of something outside the self,” but the pure consciousness of being affected. This is the real kernel or soul of phenomenology, which can be understood as the Cartesian soul itself. Henry develops this argumentation not only through the formulation of the ego cogito but also by means of art. 26 of Descartes’s latest work, The Passions of the Soul. In this work, the relation between ‘actions’ and ‘passions’ is thought as an early attempt to establish a philosophy of consciousness. According to Henry, this remains fully neglected in the philosophies of Husserl and Heidegger. This not only implies a rehabilitation of the soul as phenomenological object, but also the recapture of phenomenology itself, which begins not with Husserl, but with Descartes.
2. Phenomenology 2010: Volume > 3
Jad Hatem L’image est la vie
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Even if life is, above all, a reality which feels itself and therefore does not need to exteriorize itself, it cannot explain itself otherwise than by objectifying itself. Understanding itself is radically different from affecting itself. And when life cannot reside in exteriority, it is ectopical (outside its place) through the image. In the Middle Age, imagining meant “giving form to a matter”. It is natural that to the psychic matter correspond a psychic form, which in the end builds a mental image. When we think an image whose matter alone is psychic (the form being enclosed in the extension), the result will be an exoplasma—that is to be found in fantastic literature.
3. Phenomenology 2010: Volume > 3
Paul Marinescu L’universalité comme « aspect productif de la temporalité » chez Hans-Georg Gadamer
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The present article deals with the problem of the universality of hermeneutics as it is addressed in Hans-Georg Gadamer’s work. After a brief genealogical discussion of the notion of universality, this paper will attempt to identify, by analyzing the « figure » of temporal distance (which is, according to Gadamer, a transcendental structure of the hermeneutical experience) a new and profound meaning of universality related to temporality. By considering it as « universalisation », the question of the universality of hermeneutics will be put not only in terms of a finitude constitutive for the human comprehension, but also associating it with time’s capacity to separate between understanding and misunderstanding, and thus to reveal « the thing itself ».
4. Phenomenology 2010: Volume > 3
Domenico Jervolino Le long dialogue de Ricoeur avec la psychanalyse freudienne
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The encounter with Freud stands at the core of Ricoeur’s philosophical itinerary. This paper intends to bring about what is at stake in this encounter not only through a second reading of the famous essay on Freud from 1965, but also by taking into account the Ricoeur’s work. Special attention is paid to his continuous effort to build an ethics of life as a free gift, to which we have to answer with gratitude and generosity, always being aware of the fact that the human being implies both activity and passivity and that any human capacity is accompanied and menaced by a form of incapacity. The key to the existence is then finitude, vulnerability, and unaccomplishment. The work of mourning, as taught by Freud, has to liberate us from the illusions of omnipotence and bring us back to the authentic awareness of the human condition. However, this final wisdom does not lead to an ascetic Stoical conception of living. On the contrary, it is the premise for attending joy, against both the enigma and the challenge of evil, by persevering in the fight against the evil spread throughout the world. It is a fight against what is painful or degrading to the humane character of humankind.