The course on nature coincides with the re-working of Merleau-Ponty's breakthrough towards an ontology and therefore plays a primordial role. The appearance of an interrogation of nature is inscribed in the movement of thought that comes after the Phenomenology of Perception. What is at issue is to show that the ontological mode of the perceived object - not the unity of a positive sense but the unity of a style that shows through in filigree in the sensible aspects - has (...) a universal meaning, that the description of the perceived world can give way to a philosophy of perception and therefore to a theory of truth. The analysis of linguistic expression to which the philosophy of perception leads opens out onto a definition of meaning as institution, understood as what inaugurates an open series of expressive appropriations. It is this theory of institution that turns the analysis of the perceived in the direction of a reflection on nature: the perceived is no longer the originary in its difference from the derived but the natural in its difference from the instituted. Nature is the "non-constructed, non-instituted," and thereby, the source of expression: "nature is what has a sense without this sense having been posited by thought." The first part of the course, which consists in a historical overview, must not be considered as a mere introduction. In fact, the problem of nature is brought out into the open by means of the history of Western metaphysics, in which Descartes is the emblematic figure. The problem consists in the duality - at once unsatisfactory and unsurpassable - between two approaches to nature: the one which accentuates its determinability and therefore its transparency to the understanding; the other which emphasizes the irreducible facticity of nature and tends therefore to valorize the view-point of the senses. To conceive nature is to constitute a concept of it that allows us to "take possession" of this duality, that is, to found the duality. The second part of the course attempts to develop this concept of nature by drawing upon the results of contemporary science. Thus a philosophy of nature is sketched that can be summarized in four propositions: 1) the totality is no less real than the parts; 2) there is a reality of the negative and therefore no alternative between being and nothingmess; 3) a natural event is not assigned to a unique spatio-temporal localization; and 4) there is generality only as generativity. (shrink)
In French, the verb "to live" designates both being alive and the experience of something. This ambiguity has a philosophical meaning. The task of a phenomenology of life is to describe an originary sense of living from which the very distinction between life in the intransitive sense and life in the transitive, or intentional, sense proceeds. Hans Jonas is one of those rare authors who has tried to give an account of the specificity of life instead of reducing life to (...) categories that are foreign to it. However, the concept of metabolism, by which Jonas characterizes vital activity, attests to a presupposition as to life: life is conceived as self-preservation, that is, as negation of death, in such a way that life is, in the end, not thought on the basis of itself. The aim of this article is to show that life as such must be understood as movement in a radicalized sense, in which the living being is no more the subject than the product. All living beings are in effect characterized by a movement, which nothing can cause to cease, a movement that largely exceeds what is required by the satisfaction of needs and that, because of this, bears witness to an essential incompleteness. This incompleteness reveals that life is originarily bound to a world. Because the world to which the living being relates is essentially non-totalizable and unpresentable, living movement can not essentially complete itself. Thus, in the final analysis, life must be defined as desire, and in virtue of this view, life does not tend toward self-preservation, as we have almost always thought, but toward the manifestation of the world. (shrink)
This paper explores the notion of sensing (Empfinden) as developed by Erwin Straus. It argues that the notion of sensing is at the center of Strauss's thought about animal and human experience. Straus's originality consists in approaching sensory experience from an existential point of view. Sensing is not a mode of knowing. Sensing is distinguished from perceiving but is still a mode of relation to exteriority, and is situated on the side of what is usually called affectivity. At the same (...) time Strauss redefines the field of that which is commonly characterized as affectivity. Sensing designates a stratum that lies deeper than the division between perceiving and feeling (s'éprouver), a self-affection that is not an alternative to the opening upon exteriority. It corresponds to a mode of immediate communication, to a sympathy with the world that does not entail any thematic dimension, but does not fall back into a blind fusion. Rather, sensing is something in the living being's mode of moving that is irreducible, and that includes a tending toward something. (shrink)
Husserl is the first philosopher who has managed to account for the specificity of perception, characterized as givenness by sketches (Abschattungen); but neither Husserl nor Merleau-Ponty have given a satisfying definition of the subject of perception. This article tries to show that the subject of perception must be conceived as living being and that, therefore, the phenomenology of perception must lead to a phenomenology of life. Here, life is approached from an existential point of view, that is to say, as (...) a specific relationship to the world. However, life cannot be characterized from human existence in a privative way, as in Heidegger's philosophy: on the contrary, human existence, and particularly perception itself, must be understood from vital existence, and accordingly, an "additive" anthropology must replace the privative zoology. The hypothesis of this article is that it is by characterizing life as desire, we are able to account for perception as givenness by sketches. (shrink)
Connections among Varela's theory of enactive cognition , his evolutionary theory of natural drift, and his concept of autopoiesis are made clear. Two questions are posed in relation to Varela's conception of perception, and the tension that exists in his thought between the formal level of organization and the Jonasian notion of the organism.
Desire and Distance constitutes an important new departure in contemporary phenomenological thought, a rethinking and critique of basic philosophical positions concerning the concept of perception presented by Husserl and Merleau-Ponty, though it departs in significant and original ways from their work. Barbaras’s overall goal is to develop a philosophy of what “life” is—one that would do justice to the question of embodiment and its role in perception and the formation of the human subject. Barbaras posits that desire and distance inform (...) the concept of “life.” Levinas identified a similar structure in Descartes’s notion of the infinite. For Barbaras, desire and distance are anchored not in meaning, but in a rethinking of the philosophy of biology and, in consequence, cosmology. Barbaras elaborates and extends the formal structure of desire and distance by drawing on motifs as yet unexplored in the French phenomenological tradition, especially the notions of “life” and the “life-world,” which are prominent in the later Husserl but also appear in non-phenomenological thinkers such as Bergson. Barbaras then filters these notions (especially “life”) through Merleau-Ponty. (shrink)
_Desire and Distance_ constitutes an important new departure in contemporary phenomenological thought, a rethinking and critique of basic philosophical positions concerning the concept of perception presented by Husserl and Merleau-Ponty, though it departs in significant and original ways from their work. Barbaras's overall goal is to develop a philosophy of what "life" is—one that would do justice to the question of embodiment and its role in perception and the formation of the human subject. Barbaras posits that desire and distance inform (...) the concept of "life." Levinas identified a similar structure in Descartes's notion of the infinite. For Barbaras, desire and distance are anchored not in meaning, but in a rethinking of the philosophy of biology and, in consequence, cosmology. Barbaras elaborates and extends the formal structure of desire and distance by drawing on motifs as yet unexplored in the French phenomenological tradition, especially the notions of "life" and the "life-world," which are prominent in the later Husserl but also appear in non-phenomenological thinkers such as Bergson. Barbaras then filters these notions through Merleau-Ponty. (shrink)
This article explores some indications in the texts of Patočka that point towards a concept of language which no longer takes it to be a derived layer of an original perceptive basis: he disassociates intuition from origin, and establishes a co-origin of language and perception. It is this co-origin whose meaning and limits this article seeks to determine.
The universal a priori of the correlation between transcendental being and its subjective modes of givenness constitutes the minimal framework for any phenomenological approach. The proper object of phenomenology is then to characterize both the exact nature of the correlation and the sense of being of the terms in relation, that is to say, of subject and world. It involves demonstrating that a rigorous analysis of the correlation unfolds necessarily on three levels and that phenomenology is thus destined to move (...) beyond itself towards a cosmology and metaphysics. The phenomenological correlation that we will establish is essentially a relation between a subject that is desire and a world that is pure transcendence and assumes their common belonging to a φύσίς whose description stems from a cosmology. But the difference of the subject, without which there is no correlation, refers itself to a more originary split that affects the very process of the manifestation and opens the space of metaphysics. (shrink)
This chapter discusses the phenomenology of life. The a priori of correlation characterises the being as what presents itself in its appearances only by being absent from them, as offering itself up to an exploration, in the face of which it continuously steps back or withdraws. Transcendental life must contain something living in order to be able to characterise itself as life. Desire never meets its object except in the mode of the object's own absence, and this is why nothing (...) stops it. The link between desire and the world is the truth of the relation between consciousness and object. The phenomenological dynamic that sees in desire the essence of the subject leads to a dynamic which has a truly ontological scope. In truth, ‘Life’ is the name given to the sense of Being: nothing that claims to be can stand outside life's embrace. (shrink)
O a priori universal da correlação entre o ente transcendente e seus modos subjetivos de doação desenha o quadro mínimo de qualquer abordagem que se reivindique fenomenológica. Seu objetivo próprio é, então, caracterizar ao mesmo tempo a natureza exata da relação e o sentido de ser dos termos em relação, a saber, do sujeito e do mundo. Trata-se de mostrar que uma análise rigorosa da correlação necessariamente se desdobra em três níveis e que a fenomenologia está, assim, destinada a ultrapassar-se (...) a si mesma em direção a uma cosmologia e a uma metafísica. A correlação fenomenológica, a qual se estabelece como sendo, no fundo, a relação entre um sujeito que é desejo e um mundo que é profundidade, supõe sua filiação comum a uma physis, cuja descrição depende de uma cosmologia. Mas a diferença do sujeito, sem a qual não há correlação, remete ela própria a uma cisão, ainda mais originária, a qual afeta o processo mesmo da manifestação e abre espaço a uma metafísica. Nós mostramos, portanto, que a fenomenologia se realiza sob a forma de uma dinâmica geral da manifestação, na medida em que ela é necessariamente conduzida a pensar o movimento sob a tripla figura do desejo que atravessa nossa existência, do arquimovimento da manifestação e do arquievento da cisão que o afeta. (shrink)
In Introduction to a Phenomenology of Life, renowned French philosopher Renaud Barbaras aims to construct the basis for a phenomenology of life. Called an introduction because it has to deal with philosophical limits and presuppositions, it is much more, as Barbaras investigates life in its phenomenological senses, approached through the duality of its intransitive and transitive senses. Originally published in French (Introduction à une phénoménologie de la vie) Introduction to a Phenomenology of Life first defines the problem of life phenomenologically, (...) then studies the failures of the phenomenological movement to adequately think about life, and finally elaborates a new, original, and productive approach to the problem. He engages "object-oriented" philosophies with this approach and concludes that they are far more phenomenological than previously believed. Combining original interpretations and expert readings of philosophers such as Kant and Husserl and contemporary thinkers such as Bergson, Badiou, and Deleuze, Barbaras offers here a powerful and important contribution to phenomenology and continental thought. (shrink)
Pt. 1. La séparation -- Les deux sens de la finitude -- La scission -- L'archi-événement -- La métaphysique -- Le langage -- Biologie privative -- L'exode -- L'exil -- Le langage -- Pt. 2. Le sentiment -- Le poétique -- Le sentiment -- Ipséité et ouverture -- Michel Henry -- Merleau-Ponty -- Heidegger -- Henri Maldiney.
La phénoménologie de Sartre peut être comprise comme une tentative de fonder radicalement l'intuition husserlienne de l'intentionnalité. " Toute conscience est conscience de quelque chose " : la conscience naît portée sur un être qui n'est pas elle, elle n'est pas constituante mais révélante et c'est en tant quelle est Néant qu'elle peut s'ouvrir à l'Être sans cesser de s'en distinguer. Or, définir la conscience par la néantisation revient à mettre au cœur de l'existence humaine une liberté qui, tout en (...) s'appuyant sur la facticité du pour-soi, demeure absolue et inconditionnée. Cependant, ce mouvement de néantisation est fondé sur une théorie du désir qui constitue la clé de voûte de L'Être et le Néant et rend compte des différentes modalités d'existence du pour-soi. Le pour-soi ne peut en effet sortir de lui-même vers le monde que parce qu'il est traversé par un désir insatiable, un manque qui ne peut être comblé : celui de réaliser l'impossible synthèse de l'en-soi et du pour-soi, bref le désir d'être Dieu. Tous les textes réunis ici tentent d'aborder la philosophie phénoménologique de Sartre à la lumière de cette articulation fondamentale entre la liberté et le désir. (shrink)
Phénoménologie de la vie et cosmologieJ’ai établi dans mes précédents ouvrages que la corrélation universelle entre l’étant transcendant et la subjectivité, corrélation qui constitue l’objet propre de laphénoménologie, mettait originairement en rapport une Vie et un Monde plutôt qu’une simple conscience et son objet. J’ai donc montré que la phénoménologie s’accomplissait sous la forme d’une phénoménologie de la vie comprenant celle-ci comme le sens originaire de la conscience, elle-même déterminée comme désir pour autant qu’elle est traversée par une vie qui (...) la déborde et l’ouvre à une transcendance. Mais il reste à s’interroger sur l’être même de cette relation, sur le soubassement ontologique permettant de rapporter l’un à l’autre la vie et le monde. Ceci revient à questionner l’essence même de la vie, en tant que sa différence, comme vie subjective, n’exclut pas mais appelle au contraire son appartenance au monde. Je voudrais montrer que c’est au plan du mouvement et, par conséquent, dans le cadre d’une dynamique phénoménologique que cette articulation est pensable. En rapportant la vie au mouvement qui la caractérisecomme désir et le monde au procès « physique » de phénoménalisation qu’il est en dernière analyse et dans lequel le mouvement de la vie s’inscrit, on se donne les moyens d’articuler vie et monde et de dépasser ainsi leur dualité vers leur sol ontologique commun.Fenomenologia della vita e cosmologiaHo stabilito nelle mie opere precedenti che la correlazione universale tra l’ente trascendente e la soggettività, correlazione che rappresenta l’oggetto proprio della fenomenologia, metteva originariamente in rapporto una Vita e un Mondo piuttosto che una semplice coscienza e il suo oggetto. Ho dunque dimostrato che la fenomenologia si realizzava sotto la forma di una fenomenologia della vita che comprende quest’ultima come il senso originario della coscienza, a sua volta determinata come desiderio in quanto attraversata da una vita che la oltrepassa e l’apre ad una trascendenza. Ma bisogna ancora interrogarsi sull’essere stesso di questa relazione, sul fondamento ontologico che permette di mettere in rapporto reciproco la vita e il mondo. Questo porta a mettere in questione l’essenza stessa della vita, in quanto la sua differenza, come vita soggettiva, non esclude ma implica al contrario la sua appartenenza al mondo. Vorrei mostrare che è sul piano del movimento e, di conseguenza, nel contesto di una dinamica fenomenologica, che questa articolazione è pensabile. Rapportando la vitaal movimento che la caratterizza come desiderio e il mondo al processo « fisico » di fenomenalizzazione nel quale in ultima analisi esso consiste e nel quale il movimento della vita s’iscrive, possiamo articolare vita e mondo e oltrepassare così la loro dualità verso il loro suolo ontologico comune. (shrink)
A partir del análisis de la relación de Merleau-Ponty con la psicología de la forma, se intenta dar una lectura de su fenomenología como una lectura ontológica de la forma. De este modo, Merleau-Ponty no solo puede pensar una alternativa a la fenomenología de Husserl, sino que le permite elaborar su propia idea de Ser y dar una nueva interpretación de la diferencia ontológica de Heidegger. Desde una descripción fenomenológica de la experiencia perceptiva, a partir de las nociones de comportamiento, (...) forma y estructura, se mostrará enseguida el sentido de ser que moviliza una filosofía de la forma que implicará proyectar un pensamiento de una pertenencia radical de la fenomenalidad a la existencia, y además renovar el sentido de una fenomenología genética que considera toda conciencia trascendental en el marco de una facticidad originaria.On the basis of the relationship Merleau- Ponty establishes with Gestalt psychology, I seek to provide an interpretation his phenomenology as an ontological reading of the notion of form. Therefore, I claim that Merleau-Ponty is able, not only to develop an alternative to Husserl’s phenomenology, but also to elaborate his own idea of Being; in addition, he can offer a new understanding of the Heidegger's ontological difference. From a phenomenological description of perceptive experience, and starting with the notions of behavior, form and structure, I will then show the sense of being mobilized by a philosophy of form. This sense of being implies a projection of a thinking of phenomenality's radical belonging to the existence and, also, renewal of a genetic phenomenology that considers the whole of transcendental consciousness within the framework of an originary facticity. (shrink)
Este texto presenta en un primer momento el movimiento propio de la fenomenología a-subjetiva de Patočka a partir de su crítica de la versión subjetivista del aparecer, para así posteriormente mostrar una dinámica fenomenológica que comprende la manifestación como la obra misma del mundo. En este sentido, el destino de la fenomenología se trasciende en la elaboración del a priori universal de la correlación que estipula la universalidad de una manifestación anónima. Es así que finalmente la fenomenología se modifica en (...) una cierta cosmología que nos obligará a repensar una nueva acepción del ser del sujeto y que postula un nuevo sentido de ser del mundo a partir de una concepción asubjetiva del aparecer.This text initially presents the specific movement of Patočka’s a-subjective phenomenology, itself based on his critique of the subjectivist version of the Appearing. Subsequently a phenomenological dynamic comes to light, which understands the manifestation as the very world’s work. In this way, the phenomenological’s fate is inflected by the formulation of the universal a priori of correlation that stipulates the universality of an anonymous manifestation. Finally, phenomenology is perceived as a certain cosmology which will commit us to rethink of a new meaning for the subject’s being and of the world’s being from an asubjective’s conception of the Appearing. (shrink)