While humanists have pondered the subject of love to the point of obsessiveness, philosophers have steadfastly ignored it. One might wonder whether the discipline of philosophy even recognizes love. The word philosophy means “love of wisdom,” but the absence of love from philosophical discourse is curiously glaring. So where did the love go? In The Erotic Phenomenon, Jean-Luc Marion asks this fundamental question of philosophy, while reviving inquiry into the concept of love itself. Marion begins his profound and (...) personal book with a critique of Descartes’ equation of the ego’s ability to doubt with the certainty that one exists—“I think, therefore I am”—arguing that this is worse than vain. We encounter being, he says, when we first experience love: I am loved, therefore I am; and this love is the reason I care whether I exist or not. This philosophical base allows Marion to probe several manifestations of love and its variations, including carnal excitement, self-hate, lying and perversion, fidelity, the generation of children, and the love of God. Throughout, Marion stresses that all erotic phenomena, including sentimentality, pornography, and even boasts about one’s sexual conquests, stem not from the ego as popularly understood but instead from love. A thoroughly enlightening and captivating philosophical investigation of a strangely neglected subject, The Erotic Phenomenon is certain to initiate feverish new dialogue about the philosophical meanings of that most desirable and mysterious of all concepts—love. (shrink)
In the third book in the trilogy that includes Reduction and Givenness and Being Given. Marion renews his argument for a phenomenology of givenness, with penetrating analyses of the phenomena of event, idol, flesh, and icon. Turning explicitly to hermeneutical dimensions of the debate, Marion masterfully draws together issues emerging from his close reading of Descartes and Pascal, Husserl and Heidegger, Levinas and Henry. Concluding with a revised version of his response to Derrida, In the Name: How to (...) Avoid Speaking of It, Marion powerfully re-articulates the theological possibilities of phenomenology. (shrink)
Jean-Luc Marion advances a controversial argument for a God free of all categories of Being. Taking a characteristically postmodern stance, Marion challenges a fundamental premise of both metaphysics and neo-Thomist theology: that God, before all else, must be. Rather, he locates a "God without Being" in the realm of agape, of Christian charity or love. This volume, the first translation into English of the work of this leading Catholic philosopher, offers a contemporary perspective on the nature of God. (...) "An immensely thoughtful book. . . . It promises a rich harvest. Marion's highly original treatment of the idol and the icon, the Eucharist, boredom and vanity, conversion and prayer takes theological and philosophical discussions to a new level."--Norman Wirzba, Christian Century. (shrink)
Does Descartes belong to metaphysics? What do we mean when we say "metaphysics"? These questions form the point of departure for Jean-Luc Marion's groundbreaking study of Cartesian thought. Analyses of Descartes' notion of the ego and his idea of God show that if Descartes represents the fullest example of metaphysics, he no less transgresses its limits. Writing as philosopher and historian of philosophy, Marion uses Heidegger's concept of metaphysics to interpret the Cartesian corpus--an interpretation strangely omitted from Heidegger's (...) own history of philosophy. This interpretation complicates and deepens the Heideggerian concept of metaphysics, a concept that has dominated twentieth-century philosophy. Examinations of Descartes' predecessors (Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, and Suarez) and his successors (Leibniz, Spinoza, and Hegel) clarify the meaning of the Cartesian revolution in philosophy. Expertly translated by Jeffrey Kosky, this work will appeal to historians of philosophy, students of religion, and anyone interested in the genealogy of contemporary thought and its contradictions. (shrink)
This pioneering book demonstrates the crucial importance of Wittgenstein's philosophy of mathematics to his philosophy as a whole. Marion traces the development of Wittgenstein's thinking in the context of the mathematical and philosophical work of the times, to make coherent sense of ideas that have too often been misunderstood because they have been presented in a disjointed and incomplete way. In particular, he illuminates the work of the neglected 'transitional period' between the Tractatus and the Investigations.
Marked sharply by its time and place (Paris in the 1970s), this early theological text by Jean-Luc Marion nevertheless maintains a strikingly deep resonance with his most recent, groundbreaking, and ever more widely discussed phenomenology. And while Marion will want to insist on a clear distinction between the theological and phenomenological projects, to read each in light of the other can prove illuminating for both the theological and the philosophical reader - and perhaps above all for the reader (...) who wants to read in both directions at once, the reader concerned with those points of interplay and undecidability where theology and philosophy inform, provoke, and challenge one another in endlessly complex ways." "In both his theological and his phenomenological projects Marion's central effort to free the absolute or unconditional (be it theology's God or phenomenology's phenomenon) from the various limits and preconditions of human thought and language will imply a thoroughgoing critique of all metaphysics, and above all of the modern metaphysics centered on the active, spontaneous subject who occupies modern philosophy from Descartes through Hegel and Nietzsche. (shrink)
In seven essays that draw from metaphysics, phenomenology, literature, Christological theology, and Biblical exegesis,Marion sketches several prolegomena to a future fuller thinking and saying of love’s paradoxical reasons, exploring evil, freedom, bedazzlement, and the loving gaze; crisis, absence, and knowing.
Along with Husserl's Ideas and Heidegger's Being and Time, Being Given is one of the classic works of phenomenology in the twentieth century. Through readings of Kant, Husserl, Heidegger, Derrida, and twentieth-century French phenomenology (e.g., Merleau-Ponty, Levinas, and Henry), it ventures a bold and decisive reappraisal of phenomenology and its possibilities. Its author's most original work to date, the book pushes phenomenology to its limits in an attempt to redefine and recover the phenomenological ideal, which the author argues has never (...) been realized in any of the historical phenomenologies. Against Husserl's reduction to consciousness and Heidegger's reduction to Dasein, the author proposes a third reduction to givenness, wherein phenomena appear unconditionally and show themselves from themselves at their own initiative. Being Given is the clearest, most systematic response to questions that have occupied its author for the better part of two decades. The book articulates a powerful set of concepts that should provoke new research in philosophy, religion, and art, as well as at the intersection of these disciplines. Some of the significant issues it treats include the phenomenological definition of the phenomenon, the redefinition of the gift in terms not of economy but of givenness, the nature of saturated phenomena, and the question “Who comes after the subject?” Throughout his consideration of these issues, the author carefully notes their significance for the increasingly popular fields of religious studies and philosophy of religion. Being Given is therefore indispensable reading for anyone interested in the question of the relation between the phenomenological and the theological in Marion and emergent French phenomenology. (shrink)
Painting, according to Jean-Luc Marion, is a central topic of concern for philosophy, particularly phenomenology. For the question of painting is, at its heart, a question of visibility—of appearance. As such, the painting is a privileged case of the phenomenon; the painting becomes an index for investigating the conditions of appearance—or what Marion describes as “phenomenality” in general. In The Crossing of the Visible, Marion takes up just such a project. The natural outgrowth of his earlier reflections (...) on icons, these four studies carefully consider the history of painting—from classical to contemporary—as a fund for phenomenological reflection on the conditions of (in)visibility. Ranging across artists from Raphael to Rothko, Caravaggio to Pollock, The Crossing of the Visible offers both a critique of contemporary accounts of the visual and a constructive alternative. According to Marion, the proper response to the “nihilism” of postmodernity is not iconoclasm, but rather a radically iconic account of the visual and the arts that opens them to the invisible. (shrink)
This paper addresses the definition and the operational use of intuitions in philosophical methods in the form of a research study encompassing several regions of the globe, involving 282 philosophers from a wide array of academic backgrounds and areas of specialisation. The authors tested whether philosophers agree on the conceptual definition and the operational use of intuitions, and investigated whether specific demographic variables and philosophical specialisation influence how philosophers define and use intuitions. The results obtained point to a number of (...) significant findings, including that philosophers distinguish between intuitions used to formulate (discovery) and to test (justification) philosophical theory. The survey results suggest that strategies implemented to characterise philosophical intuition are not well motivated since, even though philosophers do not agree on a single account of intuition, they fail to capture a preferred usage of intuitions as aspects of discovery. The quantitative summary of survey findings informs the debate on this topic, and advances more defined routes for subsequent approaches to the study of intuitions. (shrink)
In this paper, I present a summary of the philosophical relationship betweenWittgenstein and Brouwer, taking as my point of departure Brouwer's lecture onMarch 10, 1928 in Vienna. I argue that Wittgenstein having at that stage not doneserious philosophical work for years, if one is to understand the impact of thatlecture on him, it is better to compare its content with the remarks on logics andmathematics in the Tractactus. I thus show that Wittgenstein's position, in theTractactus, was already quite close to (...) Brouwer's and that the points of divergence are the basis to Wittgenstein's later criticisms of intuitionism. Among the topics of comparison are the role of intuition in mathematics, rule following, choice sequences, the Law of Excluded Middle, and the primacy of arithmetic over logic. (shrink)
After sketching an argument for radical anti-realism that does not appeal to human limitations but polynomial-time computability in its definition of feasibility, I revisit an argument by Wittgenstein on the surveyability of proofs, and then examine the consequences of its application to the notion of canonical proof in contemporary proof-theoretical-semantics.
Recent finance literature attributes the development of derivative instruments (interest rate futures, stock index futures) to (1) technological advances, and (2) improved mathematical models for predicting option prices. This paper explores the role of social ethics in the acceptance of financial derivatives. The relationship between utilitarian ethical principles and the demise of turn-of-the-century bucket shops is contrasted with modern tolerance of financial derivatives based upon libertarian ethical precepts. Our conclusion is that a change in social ethics also facilitated the growth (...) in trading in modern financial derivatives. (shrink)
In this paper, elementary but hitherto overlooked connections are established between Wittgenstein's remarks on mathematics, written during his transitional period, and free-variable finitism. After giving a brief description of theTractatus Logico-Philosophicus on quantifiers and generality, I present in the first section Wittgenstein's rejection of quantification theory and his account of general arithmetical propositions, to use modern jargon, as claims (as opposed to statements). As in Skolem's primitive recursive arithmetic and Goodstein's equational calculus, Wittgenstein represented generality by the use of free (...) variables. This has the effect that negation of unbounded universal and existential propositions cannot be expressed. This is claimed in the second section to be the basis for Wittgenstein's criticism of the universal validity of the law of excluded middle. In the last section, there is a brief discussion of Wittgenstein's remarks on real numbers. These show a preference, in line with finitism, for a recursive version of the continuum. (shrink)
The possible and revelation -- The saturated phenomenon -- Metaphysics and phenomenology: a relief for theology -- "Christian philosophy": hermeneutic or heuristic? -- Sketch of a phenomenological concept of the gift -- What cannot be said: Apophasis and the discourse of love -- The banality of saturation -- Faith and reason.
James Stacy Taylor advances a thorough argument for the legalization of markets in current (live) human kidneys. The market is seemly the most abhorrent type of market, a market where the least well-off sell part of their body to the most well off. Though rigorously defended overall, his arguments concerning exploitation are thin. I examine a number of prominent bioethicists’ account of exploitation: most importantly, Ruth Sample’s exploitation as degradation. I do so in the context of Taylor’s argument, with the (...) aim of buttressing Taylor’s position that a regulated kidney market is morally allowable. I argue that Sample fails to provide normative grounds consistent with her claim that exploitation is wrong. I then reformulate her account for consistency and plausibility. Still, this seemingly more plausible view does not show that Taylor’s regulated kidney market is prohibitively exploitative of impoverished persons. I tack into place one more piece of support for Taylor’s conclusion. (shrink)
John Cook Wilson (1849–1915) was Wykeham Professor of Logic at New College, Oxford and the founder of ‘Oxford Realism’, a philosophical movement that flourished at Oxford during the first decades of the 20th century. Although trained as a classicist and a mathematician, his most important contribution was to the theory of knowledge, where he argued that knowledge is factive and not definable in terms of belief, and he criticized ‘hybrid’ and ‘externalist’ accounts. He also argued for direct realism in perception, (...) criticizing both empiricism and idealism, and argued for a moderate nominalist view of universals as being in rebus and only ‘apprehended’ by their particulars. His influence helped swaying Oxford away from idealism and, through figures such as H. A. Prichard, Gilbert Ryle, or J. L. Austin, his ideas were also to some extent at the origin of ‘moral intuitionism’ and ‘ordinary language philosophy’ which defined much of Oxford philosophy until the second half of the twentieth-century. Nevertheless, his name and legacy were all but forgotten for generations after World War II. Still, his views on knowledge are with us today, being in part at work in the writings of philosophers as diverse as John McDowell, Charles Travis, and Timothy Williamson. (shrink)
The phenomenological origins of the concept of givenness -- Remarks on the origins of Gegebenheit in Heidegger's thought -- Substitution and solicitude: how Levinas re-reads Heidegger -- Sketch of a phenomenological concept of sacrifice.
Descartes ne joue pas, dans la pensée de Heidegger, un rôle limité à l'interprétation de l'histoire de la philosophie. Lorsque Sein und Zeit entreprend de déterminer le mode d'être propre et irréductible du Dasein, Heidegger doit entrer en confrontation avec certes Husserl, mais surtout, par-delà la « conscience » husserlienne, avec Descartes lui-même. Car l'ennemi mortel du Dasein, cest l'ego du cogito. Dans quelle mesure cette rivalité n'induit-elle pas aussi une similitude? Die Rolle, die Descartes in dem Denken von Heidegger (...) spielt, darf nicht in dem Feld seiner Deutung der Geschichte der Philosophie eng begrenztwerden. Denn, als Sein und Zeit eine Bestimmung der eigentümlicheigentlichen Seinsweise des Daseins hervorzubringen unternimmt, setzt die « Destruktion der Geschichte der Ontologie » eine Auseinanderstzung nicht nur mit Husserl, sondern auch, über Husserl hinaus, gerade mit Descartes vor. Der Todfeind des Daseins ist das ego, das aus dem cogito stammt. Inwiefern aber diese ständige Gegenüberstellung eine tiefe Nachahmung hinweise ? (shrink)
Question - Dans Sur le prisme métaphysique de Descartes, vous concluiez par la « destitution » de la métaphysique, ainsi laissée enfin à elle-même, et vous en appeliez à une autre « instance » , un autre ‘ordre’, pour définir la tâche d'élaborer une doctrine de la charité, d'en retracer l'histoire, selon la règle d'une historicité absolument indépendante de l'historialité. Les deux protagonistes emblématiques de cet ouvrage (Pascal contre Descartes) permettaient de comprendre la nature du « saut » ainsi requis (...) et d'instituer la rupture. Le mouvement général de Réduction et donation est le même, mais cette fois une case reste vide. Il ne s'agit point, en effet, dans ce dernier ouvrage, de ‘jouer’ quant à la réduction, Heidegger contre Husserl; cette confrontation n'intervient qu'en un premier moment, puisqu'aussi bien Husserl élargit déjà la réduction. Reste que, s'il est légitime de distinguer et d'opposer dans un horizon phénoménologique commun la réduction transcendantale de Husserl à la réduction au « phénomène d'être » de Heidegger, le passage à la troisième réduction - tel que vous le proposez - reste beaucoup plus problématique, sauf à jouer d'une certaine équivocité du terme même de « donation » , celle-là même qui conduit de la Selbstgegebenheit à la constellation du Geben, de la Gabe et du es gibt. (shrink)
Being is evil not because it is finite but because it is without limits (TO 51). This extraordinary declaration no doubt marks the rather hidden center of a work (dating from 1946–47) that is seminal, in any case essential, because it constitutes, in the same way as the brilliant 1951 article “Is Ontology Fundamental?” one of the irrevocable decisions that helped Levinas to become what he was: the greatest French philosopher since Bergson and also the first phenomenologist who seriously attempted (...) to free himself from his provenance, which is to say, from Heidegger. (shrink)
The primary purpose of this study was to explore the unique impact of individual differences (e.g. gender, managerial experience), social culture, ethical leadership, and ethical climate on the manner in which individuals analyse and interpret an organisational scenario. Furthermore, we sought to explore whether the manner in which a scenario is initially interpreted by respondents (i.e. as a legal issue, ethical issue, and/or ethical dilemma) influenced subsequent recognition of the relevant stakeholders involved and the identification of intra- and extra-organisational variables (...) significant to the scenario depicted. Data for this study were anonymously collected from professional samples in Russia (Moscow region) and in New Zealand. Findings show a strong effect of social culture (i.e. working in New Zealand or working in Russia) on the manner in which respondents characterised the scenario, on the experience of ethical climate and ethical leadership in their organisations, and on the ability to identify intra- and extra-organisational variables responsible for the situation presented in the scenario, above and beyond other individual and contextual factors. (shrink)
That which we call “negative theology” inspires within us both fascination and unease. We can either challenge all “negative theology” as a language game that is both impractical and contradictory, as many contemporaries do, or we can explore the question in light of the recent arguments of Derrida. The primary thesis in this paper is that we should reject “negative theology” as a descriptor and replace it, following the nomenclature of the Dionysian corpus, with “mystical theology.” In doing this, we (...) will come to realize that “mystical theology” no longer has the ambition to make constative use of language; its ambition is rather to be freed from such use. Thus, we move from a constative (and predicative) use of language toward a strictly pragmatic usage. This movement has yet to be proved, and what follows is an attempt to do just that. (shrink)