Filozófia (Hírfigyelő)

“Infinite Responsibility” and the Pitfall of Negation - A Deleuzian Critique of Levinas - 2019. január 15. 06:17
I shall show that Levinas’s idea of infinite responsibility draws on Blanchot’s mechanism of “worklessness” which in turn explicitly draws on Gide’s mechanism of retroaction and the mise en abyme—a story that doubles itself within itself—which the latter accounts for. However, a false picture of mise en abyme and worklessness brought Levinas to two interrelated misconceptions. First, of the act of responsibility as inherently futile. Second, of repetition as “mechanical,” comprising instances which are allocated to pre-established loci upon a plenitude: A totalitarianism which fits badly with Levinas’s pursuit of otherness. Deleuze, on the other hand, drawing the correct lesson from mise en abyme, established that an instance of repetition—reconstituting all previous ones—generates the very ground upon which it emerges. Accordingly, in a Deleuzian ethics, the absolute Other has no existence prior to the act of attending his needs. The act is therefore “fated to succeed.”

On the Ontological Origins of Ethics - A Philosophical-Anthropological Approach - 2019. január 15. 06:17
Heidegger’s critique addressed to philosophical anthropology often leads readers to forget the importance of the question of human beings in his writings. The recent publication of the Black Notebooks and some unpublished lectures shed new light on these philosophical problems and help us define more clearly what it would mean to develop the foundation of anthropological knowledge ontologically. This paper argues that while dealing with mythical existence and with the difference between animals and human beings, Heidegger seized the opportunity to speculate on the ontological origins of ethical life. The paper concludes by showing how Sloterdijk’s attempt to “anthropologize” Heidegger fails to follow the demands of fundamental ontology.

Ricoeur and Anglo-American Political Philosophy - Liberalism, Communitarianism, and Republicanism - 2019. január 15. 06:17
It is a common conviction that Ricoeur’s main contribution to Anglo-American political philosophy is to be found in the dialogue he tried to establish between liberalism and communitarianism. I argue that the depth of Ricoeur’s political philosophy is better served by situating it not only with regard to liberalism and communitarianism, but especially with regard to republicanism. This article shows how Ricoeur’s political philosophy—with its focus on the so-called “political paradox”—contains the main components of contemporary republicanism, with its stress on active citizenship and mixed constitution as necessary prerequisites for freedom, interpreted as the absence of illegitimate domination. I also argue that there are, however, significant differences between Ricoeur’s theory and the main currents in contemporary republicanism, civic republicanism, and civic humanism, because of his reliance on a positive conception of freedom on the one hand and his emphasis on the fragility of politics on the other hand.

Merleau-Ponty’s Aesthetic Interworld - From Primordial Percipience to Wild Logos - 2019. január 15. 06:17
The overall aim of this paper is to defend the value of the arts as uniquely instructive regarding philosophical questions. Specifically, I aim to achieve two things: firstly, to show that through the phenomenological challenge to dualist and monist ontologies the key debate in aesthetics regarding subjective response and objective judgment is reconfigured and resolved. I argue that Merleau-Ponty’s analyses complement and complete Kant’s project. Secondly, I propose that through Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological interrogations of the creative process the broader issue of the viability of his relational nondualist ontology is defended against accusations that it has not gone beyond dualism or that it has collapsed into a monism.

The Limits of Experience - Idealist Moments in Foucault’s Conception of Critical Reflection - 2019. január 15. 06:17
In Foucault’s theoretical writings, the problem of experience occurs in two shapes: his (earlier) discussions of “limit-experience” and his (later) definition of “experience.” In this article, I propose an interpretation of the concept of “limit-experience” in Foucault’s historiography according to which experience is already limit-experience, and not its static and confining other. I claim that Foucault’s concept of experience involves spatially and temporally indexed, rule-governed practices and that his interrogation of experience becomes critical not by referring to some other of reason but by rendering visible the flip side of the limits of our own space of reasons. The argument in support of my interpretation of Foucault develops in two parts: 1) Foucault’s “methodology” should be seen not as historicizing the transcendental, but as giving it up. 2) This renunciation of the transcendental is nonetheless only intelligible and motivated against the background of the problematic of (the limits of) experience in Kant and Hegel. It thereby becomes possible to provide not a foundation but a justification for a Foucaultian critique of the limits of experience.

Sovereign Power, Sovereign Justice - Carl Schmitt and Jacques Derrida on the State of Exception - 2019. január 15. 06:17
In his book Political Theology, Carl Schmitt compared the freedom of God over and beyond the laws of nature to sovereign power, understood as transcending the laws of the state. Philosopher Jacques Derrida has argued that such a Schmittian political theology undermines the possibility of democracy from within. Yet in this paper I would like to develop Derrida’s understanding of justice in order to show that it functions in a similar way to Schmitt’s understanding of sovereign power. Because justice is always singular for Derrida, it transcends politics and is identified with a transcendent alterity beyond the iterability of the law. If Schmitt’s understanding of power as a State of Exception undermines democracy from within, by placing justice in a dimension beyond politics and the law, Derrida’s notion of justice also functions as a State of Exception and undermines the democratic project from without, depriving it of its performative power.

The Repetition of a Singularity - Phenomenology of Déjà Vu - 2019. január 15. 06:17
Phenomenology aims at analyzing the constitutive moments of the different experiences by doing justice to their specific ways of appearing. By doing so, it can make visible (and therefore correct) the problematic assumptions taken as valid from the outset. These assumptions coherently distort and manipulate the phenomena in such a way that the phenomena are transformed into something radically different. The phenomenon of déjà vu is very interesting in this regard for two different reasons. Déjà vu is transformed into a different phenomenon in the field of cognitive sciences: déjà-vu is commonly understood as a simple memory error. Secondly, déjà vu implies a repetition of a unique, contingent experience. This logic of repetition is not easily compatible with the logos of empirical sciences that focus on the identification of invariant relations between general terms through experimental research and therefore requires a different approach.

“God is Death” - The Oblivion of Esotericism and Stimmungen in Leo Strauss’s Heidegger - 2019. január 15. 06:17
Leo Strauss’s critical engagement with Martin Heidegger’s thought is widely recognized. Central to Strauss’s depiction of Heidegger’s intellectual and political failures is the latter’s disdain for political philosophy. For Strauss, in fact, Heidegger overlooked important inquiry into the good political order insofar as he replaced political philosophy with a belief in Dasein’s finitude as key to attaining a virtuous life. However, Strauss’s unfavorable rendition of Heidegger’s mortalism, the article explains, neglects esoteric maneuvers—imbued with political inflections—advanced by the author of Sein und Zeit. By analyzing Heidegger’s esotericism as well as his search for the permanence of the secret and inscrutable, the article shows how Strauss disregards Heideggerian sigetics (Sigetik) when foregrounding what he views as Heidegger’s disdain for political philosophy. Through the theoretical trajectory proposed by this essay, in sum, we will see that Heidegger’s exceptionalist esotericism is what Strauss ignored.

Why Kant Never Mentioned Paedophilia - A Foucaultian Hypothesis - 2019. január 15. 06:17
Why does Kant, who extensively wrote on sexual life in all its diversity, never mention paedophilia? I elaborate a hypothesis on the basis of the work of Foucault and Hacking: paedophilia as a “possibility of personhood” (Hacking) only came into being at the end of the nineteenth century. This “possibility” is linked to the introduction of a “deployment of sexuality” over and against a “deployment of alliance.” It is only at the very moment that sexuality starts being conceived in terms of feelings, fantasies, and capacities that can be different in adults and children that propositions on paedophilia become intelligible. This was not yet the case in Kant’s day. I illustrate the distinction between these two “deployments” further through analysis of the approach of the Hungarian psychoanalyst Sándor Ferenczi. Finally, I state that this debate should not be reduced to epistemology and that Foucault’s “deployments” or Hacking’s “possibilities of personhood” are rooted in the material conditions of our existence.

Interpreting Unamuno’s Quixotism as a Religion - 2019. január 15. 06:17
Scholars interested in Miguel de Unamuno’s obsession with Don Quixote usually refer to his Quixotism as a philosophy or “way of life” that Unamuno eventually outgrew. Unamuno himself called Quixotism a philosophy and an ethics, but he also called it a religion. This is the most accurate characterization of Quixotism, given how it functioned in both his works and his life. Unamuno’s Quixotism incorporates many typical religious features like a god figure, followers, worship, an idea of faith, an eschatology, and a sacred text. This essay: 1) paints Quixotism as a religion and shows how it functioned throughout Unamuno’s works, and 2) argues that Quixotism was not a phase for Unamuno. Unamuno created and practiced the religion of Quixotism throughout his life, even as he was wrestling with Christianity, so that a comprehensive understanding of Unamuno’s struggle with faith must include the study of his Quixotism.

Derrida, Time, and Infinite Finitude - Weakening Hägglund’s Negative - 2019. január 15. 06:17
This article presents a critique of the influential reading of Derrida proposed by Martin Hägglund, focusing in particular on the latter’s account of time, différance, and finitude in Derrida’s work. It concludes that, at root, there is a persistent misapplication of a notion of the negative in Hägglund’s reading, and that this feature can most revealingly be linked to a misconception about Derrida’s conception of mortal limits.

The Phenomenological Reduction and the Revolutionary Sensibility - 2019. január 15. 06:17
This paper proposes to show an elective affinity between the attempt to construct a transcendence within immanence; both in the writings of Descartes and in the Cartesian strain in the philosophy of Husserl and the revolutionary sensibility, that is, the attempt to render history transparent to itself, delivered from division, conflict, and politics. It views the work of Lukács in History and Class-Consciousness as the link between the two. It concludes by evoking Merleau-Ponty’s critique of both the completed reduction and our class-consciousness as the bearer of the rationality of history.

The Issue of Novelty in Husserl’s Analysis of Absolute Time-Constituting Consciousness - 2019. január 15. 06:17
This paper concerns the issue as to whether novelty plays a significant role in Husserl’s analysis of time. To address this matter, I show that horizontal and transverse intentionality constitute absolute consciousness as a process of self-differentiation, which enables the ego to anticipate its own renewal and yet to escape coinciding with this synthesising activity. I then further analyse time-constituting consciousness as a process of self-differentiation through a study of Husserl’s account of retention and protention. Addressing Husserl’s presumed neglect of protention, I demonstrate that Husserl reveals that retention and protention modify and motivate one another, and find that this provides a role for novelty within Husserl’s account of the continuity of time. I maintain that this novelty assumes two forms: one that is absolute or necessary, and another that is relative or accidental.

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