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)
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.
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)
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)
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)
Through careful analysis of phenomenological texts by Husserl and Heidegger, Marion argues for the necessity of a third phenomenological reduction that concerns what is fully implied but left largely unthought by the phenomenologies of both ...
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)
René Girard’s breakthrough consists in uncovering the mechanism of violence, namely the mimesis and rivalry it permits. Yet, mimetic violence still leaves the very origin of evil and murder unquestioned. Here Lévinas plays a decisive role: the call to murder only becomes possible as one of the versions of the call of the face, the call of the other. This is what Girard should have taken up in order to clarify his final allusions to a “good mimesis”—this other, properly Christic, (...) possibility of the call of the face. (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.
Examines the relationship between the question of God and the destiny of metaphysics. Concept of the end of metaphysics; Ambiguous relation between phenomenology and metaphysics; Return of special metaphysics in phenomenology; Phenomenological figure of God. Examines the relationship between the question of God and the destiny of metaphysics. Concept of the end of metaphysics; Ambiguous relation between phenomenology and metaphysics; Return of special metaphysics in phenomenology; Phenomenological figure of God.
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.
"Besides the impact of their content, the clarity and reach of these essays force one to consider foundational questions concerning philosophy and its history."—Richard Watson, Journal of the History of Philosophy.
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)
First translated into English in 1991, God Without Being continues to be a key book for discussions of the nature of God. This second edition contains a new preface by Marion as well as his 2003 essay on Thomas Aquinas.
La question du sujet se trouve, historiquement, toujours rapportée à Descartes : de Kant à Heidegger, par Nietzsche et Husserl, les critiques s’accordent sur cette paternité. Cette tradition ne peut se contester, mais elle ne doit pourtant pas, dans le détail, être admise sans réserves. En effet, Descartes n’a littéralement pas soutenu la thèse d’un ego sujet, ni substance, ni réfléchissant, etc. Ce qui ne signifie pas que ces thèses postérieures ne proviennent pas, en un sens à préciser, de son (...) initiative conceptuelle, mais au moins qu’elles ne lui sont pas identiques et que l’ego cartésien recèle plus de potentialités que ce que l’histoire y a compris.Descartes hors sujetLa questione dello soggetto se trovà relata per la storia della filosfia a Cartesio : Kant e Heidegger, ne meno che Nietzsche e Husserl, sono d’accordo sù questà paternità. Non si contesterà qui questa traditione interpretativa, purtoppo non dobbiamo accerter la senza qualcune riservazione. E un fatto che Descartes, nella litteralità de sui testi, non ha mai sotenuto che il ego sià un soggetto, una sostanzia, neanche ché si pensà per une reflessione, etc. Questo fatto non significà che queste tese non vengonno dell’impostazione cartesiana, mà che al meno non se identifacono con elle et che il ego di Cartesio tiene anché possibilite molte piu ampie che quelle che l’historia a già vista. (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)
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)
L’interprétation des Regulae ad Directionem Ingenii soulève un problème spécifique. La plupart des critiques ont tenté de le comprendre à partir de la problématique du Discours de 1637. D’où d’évidentes impasses, puisque les concepts originaux des Regulae, précisément, disparaissent dans le moment postérieur qu’ils ont rendu pourtant possible. Il restait une voie : déterminer les Regulae comme un dialogue avec un interlocuteur jamais nommé, avec lequel la pensée du jeune Descartes, à l’aurore d’elle-même, devait s’expliquer pour devenir cartésienne; cet interlocuteur, (...) c’est Aristote.En retrouvant les textes aristotéliciens qu’interrogent chacune des Regulae on dégage une polémique. Elle contribue déjà à éclairer le point de départ de la doctrine cartésienne de la science. Mais il y a plus : l’épistémologie ne s’établit pas en réfutant une autre épistémologie, mais en récusant l’ontologie d’Aristote. Descartes conquiert donc, avec son épistémologie, rien moins qu’une ontologie, ontologie grise, parce qu’elle ne s’avoue pas comme telle. (shrink)
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)
Being is evil not because it is finite but because it is without limits. This extraordinary declaration no doubt marks the rather hidden center of a work 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)
As they appear to us, we separate phenomena into objects and events according to an apparently phenomenological distinction that is both radical and undisputed. The object appears according to four basic characteristics: it is predictable; it is reproducible; it results from a cause acting as an effect; and it always inscribes itself within the conditions of possibility for experience. The event appears as a reversal of these characteristics: it appears without warning; it appears once and for all, that is, without (...) the possibility of repetition or reproduction; it appears without any assignable or anterior cause; and finally it appears in defiance of the conditions of the possibility for experience—as the impossible made possible. (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)
Geneviève Rodis-Lewis, professeur à l’Université Paris-Sorbonne, où elle fonda le Centre d’études cartésiennes en 1981, est décédée le 25 août 2004. Éminente spécialiste de la philosophie moderne, mais aussi de la philosophie antique et d’esthétique, elle laisse une œuvre remarquable par son ampleur comme par la qualité de son érudition. L’influence de ses travaux..