In this article, the author analyses Cernuda’s long poem “Lazaro”, in order to elucidate the inner relation between desire and reality that is central in his entire work. That relation is important not only in order to understand how imagination influences poetical creation, but also how poetical creativity acquires its autonomy and independency.
In The Transcendence of the Ego Sartre deals with the idea of the self and of its relation to what he calls 'pure consciousness'. Pure consciousness is an impersonal transcendental field, in which the self is produced in such a way that consciousness thereby disguises its 'monstrous spontaneity'. I want to explore to what extent the ego is to be understood as a result of absolute consciousness. I also claim that the idea of the self Sartre has in mind is (...) Bergson's 'moi profond'. Since this 'deeper self' has to be understood as a result of an impersonal transcendental field, it loses its central position in consciousness. Sartre claims that the ego is not transcendental, as Husserl had claimed, but transcendent to consciousness. But can the role of Husserl's transcendental ego be reduced to that transcendent Bergsonian 'deeper self'? Isn't there something irreducible in Husserl's transcendental ego? (shrink)
We describe a number of puzzling phenomena and use them as evidence for a hypothesis about why bodily continuity matters for personal identity. The phenomena all belong to a particular kind of symbolisation: each of them illustrates how an entity (object or person) sometimes acquires symbolic significance in virtue of a material link with the symbolised entity. Relics are the most obvious example of what happens here: they are cherished, desired or respected, not because of their intrinsic features, but because (...) of their material link with some significant individual person. Crucial for the hypothesis we wish to defend, is the fact that a human being can in some cases and for some others function as a relic of what she used to be; in these cases a human individual has a specific significance in virtue of a material link (bodily continuity) with her own past. We argue that this phenomenon can be extended and that the importance of bodily continuity for personal identity is constituted by the kind of symbolisation upon which the existence of relics is based.1. (shrink)
With his notion of absolute consciousness, Sartre tries to rethink the relation between consciousness and the self. What is the origin of subjectivity in relation to a consciousness that is characterized as impersonal and as a radical lucidity? In this article, I attempt to question that origin and the nature as such of the subject in its relation to a consciousness that in its essence is not yet subjective. On the contrary, it is characterized by a selfpresence that is so (...) radical that it threatens every form of self-knowledge. (shrink)
According to the French thinker Alain (1868-1951), Descartes' Treatise on The Passions of the Soul (1649) contains three layers. First there is the pure physiological account of the passions: the body as mechanical unity ("automaton"). In a second layer Descartes develops a more psychological account: the passions described from the point of view of the union of the soul with the body. And in a third one, he points to the existence of pure intellectual passions (as the "intellectual joy"). What (...) is the relation between these three layers? And how does our knowledge of the existence of these layers contribute to our control over the passions as such? (shrink)
In a letter to Mesland (1645), Descartes suggests that "a greater freedom" consists in a positive faculty to follow "the worse", although "we see the better". What does such freedom presuppose? A good illustration of this kind of excess of the will, as suggested by Beyssade, is Attila, the "black hero" in one of Corneille's tragedies. This article tries to relate the possibility of that freedom with the very nature of the cogito.
Walter Biemel designated Time as the real protagonist of Proust's In Search of Time Lost. This article wants to analyse in detail the complex inner structure of that "Proustian time" by focusing on the existence of a double tension. Indeed, the awareness of time of the novel's protagonist "Marcel" seems to be determined by surprising "paradoxes". The first one betrays a strange opposition between, on the one hand, a very lucid description of temporality as a devastating power, but on the (...) other hand, a complete blindness to one's own ageing. The second tension consists in the fact that, although in one respect everything changed and all characters in the novel grew older, still at the end of his "search", and on the occasion of his long meditation about the meaning of the "souvenirs involontaires" and the works of art, Marcel affirms that he "remained the same". What is the meaning of this "sameness" in connection with time, and more precisely, in relating with the fact that everything vanishes, changes and dies? What have both tensions to do with each other? (shrink)
Descartes is often presented as the "father" of modern subjectivity, because of his identification of thinking and being (cogito ergo sum).However, the autonomy of the cogito rests for its validation on the idea of the infinite. Consequently, what is the relation between the subject and that idea? This article tries to elucidate the complex role of an idea which, as Descartes himself seemed to admit, is very ambiguous, being "cognoscibilis et effabilis" and "ineffabilis et incomprehensibilis" at the same time. This (...) ambiguity, as is argued, determines the very nature of the "Cartesian subject" as such, and that Descartes describes as being "something intermediate between God and nothingness". What is this "between"? (shrink)
In The Search after Truths Nicolas Malebranche (1638-1715) claims that the first man, Adam, had the same senses as we do, that he felt the same pleasures and pains as we do, but without being distracted from God. However, after he had sinned, his senses revolted against him and enslaved him, as they do us. In other words, because of the original sin the union that joins our mind to God and which raises us above all material things is weakened (...) by a union with our body, a union that debases us and which is the main cause of all our errors and miseries. This article tries to analyse these errors and miseries in relation to man's search after truth. (shrink)
Descartes' Fourth Meditation, on Truth and Falsity, bears on a notion of freedom that often was identified with a thomistic model. In this model the freedom of indifference is caused by an accidental lack of knowledge and is thus subordinated to the tendency to give spontaneously our assent to what we clearly perceive. However, exploring more in detail the relation between the understanding and the will (and the lumen naturale), it is argued that the will refers to a notion of (...) freedom that does not coincide neither with the molinist notion of indifference, nor with the thomist notion of spontaneity. (shrink)
The nature of the self is qualified in varying ways in philosophy but, as we shall see in detail, one thing is constant: the self is the object of a subjective reflexivity or self-involvement. By this inner folding, a person maintains not only a relationship with himself, but also ascribes a reality value to what he relates to. The self is seen, for example, as the genuine deeper reality of the ego, as that which underlies every relation to the external (...) world. Or just the opposite: it is nothing but a part of that external world, I relate to that self as to a thing in the world. Some thinkers even doubt the existence of such a self: for them, the belief in something like a self is created by certain peculiarities of language. For instance, to what does `self' refer in a statement like “I wasn't myself”, “I will help myself”, “I should give myself some rest”, etc?I will discuss two opposed conceptions of the nature of the self and indicate the shortcomings of each approach, in order to go on to show something about self-involvement and singularity that is often overlooked. The two opposed conceptions deal with the self in different ways because they also deal differently with the relation between consciousness and the self as such. In the first conception, this relation remains external: reflection is not of the same order as the self and, conversely, the self is something that always falls outside of reflection, something against which a position can be occupied and a distance taken. Here, the self is an object whose nature does not in the least affect the nature of reflection. To the contrary, the ego must explicitly identify with that object if there is to be any trace of a connection with it at all. I will refer to this position as that of individualism.The second conception sees the self and reflection as forming an organic unity preceding any conscious identifications.They are both fused into an organic totality in such a manner that any reflection becomes an expression of the self and is affected by it. There already exists, between the self and reflection, a pre-objective relationship by virtue of which the self can never be considered as an object of identification. It is not an object: I have a link with myself that is more intimate, not the result of an identification but of an intuition, a feeling or a creativity. This is the personalistic conception of the self. The self and reflection share one and the same nature, and the relation between them is internal. I am always already myself without needing to identify with a self, and without needing to take a position with respect to a self.Moreover, I can never take the same position with respect to the self as I would take with respect to an object. If I did, I would have misconceived the authentic reality of that self, or of my `person' and the intimate relationship that I maintain with it. What is original in the individualistic conception appears, from a personalistic viewpoint, to be only derived and inauthentic. Individualism confuses the deeper self with a social marionette . Personalism, as we shall see, also developed in reaction to an individualistic conception of the person . In this article, I will draw a distinction between the two approaches on the basis of their differing descriptions of the problem of freedom. (shrink)
Dans cet article, l'auteur propose une étude consacrée à la passion, tout spécialement à partir d'une interrogation sur le rapport entre passion et imagination. Partant du Traité des passions de Descartes, l'auteur commence par examiner en quels termes Descartes décrit la passion comme étant ce qui "fait vouloir". Il montre ensuite que, d'après la conception cartésienne, la passion doit être assez similaire à l'imagination pour autant que l'une et l'autre induisent une modification profonde de notre rapport à la réalité. Les (...) sentiments ne nous donnent pas des objets tels qu'ils sont véritablement, mais à travers des valeurs subjectives qui les "irréalisent". Cette idée n'est rien d'autre que le lien d'étroite similitude entre le sentiment et l'imaginaire que Sartre a redécouvert dans L'Imaginaire. Après avoir discuté en détail les analyses de Sartre, l'auteur conclut en tirant quelques conséquences importantes des conceptions cartésienne et sartrienne de la passion. (shrink)
Introduction Dans ce qui suit, j?aimerais avancer quelques remarques au sujet de la modification que subit le temps en passant du réel à l?imaginaire 1 . Je voudrais situer ces analyses dans le cadre d?observations que certains psychologues et philosophes « empiristes » (comme les associationistes du xix e siècle) avaient faites au sujet du rêve dans son rapport à la sensation, voire l?impression supposée en être la cause plus ou moins occasionnelle. Dans ces observations revient continuellement l?idée d?une tension (...) un peu énigmatique entre, d?une part, le caractère éphémère de l?impression (« un instant ») et l?étendue temporelle du contenu rêvé, d?autre part. Ainsi, pour prendre un exemple classique, Alfred Maury raconte comment un jour, il s?éveille « en proie à la plus vive angoisse », au moment où il sent le couteau de la guillotine lui trancher le cou. Cette image, dit-il, était comme l?aboutissement d?un rêve extravagant (quoique très érudit) qu?il venait d?avoir sur la Terreur et sur le Tribunal révolutionnaire assisté par Robespierre... Or, tous ces événements et leur enchaînement interne semblaient causés par un fait vrai et bien réel : la flèche de son lit qui s?était détachée était tombée sur ses vertèbres cervicales 2 . Comment une sensation vraie et si brève (juste un instant, le temps d?une impression) peut-elle contenir toute cette durée fictive ? Ce que. (shrink)
In his treatise on the passion , Descartes developed a moral based on a specific understanding of the freedom of the will. This freedom of the will should even be counted among the first things and most common notions that are innate in us. What is the relation between this free will and the passions? And what role does this will play in what Descartes called the 'morale provisoire'? This article tries to provide an account of those features of the (...) cartesian morals that his concept of the free will was meant to encompass, and consequently to explain the central role and meaning of the cartesian approach of the concept of generosity. (shrink)
In his treatise on the passion, Descartes developed a moral based on a specific understanding of the freedom of the will. This freedom of the will should even be counted among the first things and most common notions that are innate in us. What is the relation between this free will and the passions? And what role does this will play in what Descartes called the 'morale provisoire'? This article tries to provide an account of those features of the cartesian (...) morals that his concept of the free will was meant to encompass, and consequently to explain the central role and meaning of the cartesian approach of the concept of generosity. (shrink)