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Continental Philosophy Review
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.145
Number of Followers: 28  
 
  Partially Free Journal Partially Free Journal
ISSN (Print) 1387-2842 - ISSN (Online) 1573-1103
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2467 journals]
  • The impurity of praxis: Arendt and Agamben

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      Abstract: Abstract If politics is understood as a foundational and open-ended activity, a general problem that arises from such a framing concerns the question of how to sustain the possibility of continuous openings without converting action into permanence and closure. In this article, we approach this problematic by treating Hannah Arendt as an exemplary figure in the current of political thought that emphasizes the indeterminate nature of action. We focus more specifically on how Arendt addressed the question of sustaining action by exploring the role of forgiveness, promises, divided power, and principles of action in her thought. While we show that the task of sustaining the indeterminacy of action partly remains an unresolvable paradox for Arendt, a general force underpinning the thought of Giorgio Agamben sheds new light on this paradox. Rather than affirming radical openness and pure praxis as such, Agamben’s work helps accentuate the need of a certain contamination of praxis by its own limit or apparent opposite. Importantly, this allows us to interpret Arendt and the paradoxical task of bestowing some degree of permanence to the open horizon of political action in a decidedly positive light: that praxis implies a moment of impurity is the very force that sustains it without sacrificing its indeterminate nature.
      PubDate: 2023-01-29
       
  • Exploring the philosophical concept of my death in the context of biology:
           the scholarly significance of the unknown

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      Abstract: Abstract Contemplating one’s own death is a core aspect in the history of Western philosophy. In the modern era, existential philosophy has inherited this tradition and established unique discussions on the concept of “my death,” resting on the premise that this concept is unapproachable via scientific inquiry. Conversely, biological research is essentially conducted within the scope of life phenomena, with death being referred to in the sense of lifespan; thus, death is not among its inherent themes, which automatically excludes the concept of my death from its scope. To establish a dialogue between the two fields, this study questions the widely held premise that my death is unrelated to science and is best examined by philosophy. I consider the movement between continuity and discontinuity as foundational to scientific development, and integrate it with the relationship between the unknown and known. Furthermore, I extend this to the concepts of consciousness and body, and subsequently clarify and define the unknown divisions. Finally, I examine the kinds of unknowns that science confronts to interpret philosophically how an aspect of reproductive theory has unwittingly revealed a completely new dimension of life: my death. Overall, I argue that my death is an essential point of contact between philosophy and biology that reveals the scholarly significance of the unknown.
      PubDate: 2023-01-29
       
  • Difference and presence: Derrida and Husserl’s phenomenology of
           language, time, history, and scientific rationality

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      Abstract: This article seeks to reconstruct and critically extend Jacques Derrida’s critique of Edmund Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology. Derrida’s critique of Husserl is explored in three main areas: the phenomenology of language, the phenomenology of time, and the phenomenological constitution of ideal objects. In each case, Husserl’s analysis is shown to rest upon a one-sided determination of truth in terms of presence—whether it be the presence of expressive meaning to consciousness, the self-presence of the temporal instant, or the complete presence of an ideal object through intuition. At every juncture, Derrida’s reasoning is deployed in order to demonstrate how presence is irreducibly bound up with absence and otherness and thus how the ideal of a phenomenological self-presence of consciousness is itself an abstraction from the contingency of history and our concrete embeddedness within a particular lifeworld. The article concludes with an appraisal of reason’s limits in a time of technological domination and the threat of global annihilation. Rather than a flight into irrationalism or skepticism, the author advocates a deepening of philosophical responsibility and an ethics of undecidability as essential for meeting the challenges of modernity.
      PubDate: 2023-01-28
       
  • Essentialism, historicity, and ethicalization: rethinking Husserl’s
           project of phenomenological theology

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      Abstract: Abstract Husserl’s conception of theology and God is a lesser noticed aspect in his phenomenological system. This paper is devoted to a return to Husserl’s text, reconstructing the implicit threads and essential features of his phenomenological theology. First, I will outline the general features of a phenomenology of religion and theology, arguing that it is not without historicity, which is not in conflict with the essentialism that phenomenology has always pursued. Then, Sec. 2 focuses on the analysis of teleology, considering which is the true teleology leading to God, pointing out that it ultimately resorts to an ethical approach. Sec. 3 and 4 provide an in-depth textual analysis mainly based on the Grenzprobleme der Phänomenologie, concluding that they are all fundamentally ethical-relevant and capable of being in harmony with each other. Last, I will respond to some criticisms of Husserl’s conception of God, the most major of which are Mall’s and Held’s. Of course, I do not mean to suggest that Husserl has perfectly integrated his project of theology and God into the phenomenology program—it is precisely these criticisms that motivate us to reconstruct Husserl’s fragmented narrative into a self-consistent system.
      PubDate: 2023-01-27
       
  • Emmanuel Alloa, Looking Through Images: A Phenomenology of Visual Media,
           trans. Nils F. Schott. New York: Columbia University Press, 2021.
           Xiv + 391 pp.

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      Abstract: Abstract This review of Emmanuel Alloa’s Looking through Images considers the author’s arguments with regard to their philosophical bearings and their significance for modern visual aesthetics. Particular attention is paid to the way that the traditions of Platonic and Aristotelian Realism are linked to modern phenomenological theory (Husserl, Merleau-Ponty, Marion). Alloa’s elegant and lucid exploration of the image as a form of non-propositional cognition makes this monograph a landmark document in contemporary visual studies and aesthetic theory.
      PubDate: 2023-01-25
       
  • The Resistance of Presence

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      Abstract: Abstract In marked contrast to Husserlian “unities of sense” that structure consciousness around egoic ideal-meaning intention, contemporary phenomenology orders sense according to an excess of givenness – a surfeit of presence – that surpasses this intentional relation. But Emmanuel Falque argues that there is a resistance that precedes the phenomenological order of givenness and sense. Before the saturated phenomena (Marion), the pathos of the flesh (Henry), and the irruption of the Other (Levinas), there is a resistance of presence that is not sensu stricto given at all. Falque turns to the early writings of Emmanuel Levinas on trauma and insomnia and the hum and buzz of the il y a (the “there is …”) that precedes the order of givenness and sense, including the Levinasian Other, in order to make sense of this a priori resistance. There is a presence of the body, experienced in some sense via trauma, insomnia, and Falque’s own notion of the “spread body” that is not given yet constitutes an integral part of embodied experience. The way Falque engages with these bodily experiences reformulates the phenomenological limit, not in terms of excess and givenness, but in terms of resistance and the “extra-phenomenon.” Phenomenological engagement with resistance thus becomes a wager on meaning and sense, the outcome of which cannot be known in advance, that is, cannot be always and already ordered to phenomenological givenness.
      PubDate: 2023-01-18
       
  • Kevin Thompson and Perry Zurn (eds.): Intolerable: Writings from Michel
           Foucault and the Prisons Information Group [1970–1980]

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      PubDate: 2022-12-24
       
  • Shannon M. Mussett: Entropic Philosophy: chaos, breakdown, and creation,
           

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      Abstract: Abstract Shannon Mussett’s Entropic philosophy offers a creative and important new lens through which the history of philosophy and a number of contemporary ethical, social, and political problems can be read and interpreted. By exploring the concept of entropy not merely as a scientific certainty but as a “root metaphor” through which the inexorable finitude, fragility, and vulnerability of material reality might be re-examined, Mussett invites her readers to re-consider the nature of their responsibility for one another and the material world as a whole. In this way, Mussett offers her readers a new paradigm by which they can approach philosophical and ethical problems; one which takes the tendency towards pessimism entropic thinking typically inspires and transmutes it to an invitation to care more reverently for material beings, human and nonhuman alike. As such, Mussett’s work provides a valuable new contribution to contemporary philosophy by highlighting how we might re-imagine both its history and the ethical, social, and political problems which motivate it together.
      PubDate: 2022-12-10
       
  • Husserl on shared intentionality and normativity

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      Abstract: Abstract The paper offers a systematic reconstruction of the relations that, in Husserl’s work, bind together our shared social world (“the spiritual world”) with shared intentionality. It is claimed that, by sharing experiences, persons create social reasons and that these reasons impose a normative structure on the social world. Because there are two ways in which persons can share experiences (depending on whether these experiences rest on mutual communication or on group’s identity), social normativity comes in two kinds. It is either directed (it has an addressee) or it is collective or absolute (it applies to all group members). Social normativity should be distinguished from axiological normativity: The first is grounded in shared intentionality, the second in values.
      PubDate: 2022-12-07
       
  • The unaffordable and the sublime

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      Abstract: Abstract In this paper I examine a set of exceptional aesthetic experiences that remove us from our pragmatic everyday life and involve a specific type of unaffordability. I then extend this notion of unaffordability to experiences of awe and its relation to the sublime. My analysis is guided by considerations of the phenomenologically inspired enactivist approach that supports an affordance-based accounts of aesthetic experience. I review some recent neurophenomenological studies of the experience of awe, and I then sketch out a phenomenology of awe as it approaches the sublime.
      PubDate: 2022-12-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s11007-022-09567-y
       
  • Rethinking Husserl’s lifeworld: The many faces of the world in
           Heidegger’s early Freiburg lecture courses

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      Abstract: Abstract This paper examines the concept of the world elaborated by Heidegger in the early Freiburg lecture courses of the years 1919 to 1923, in which he proposes a renewed conception of phenomenology through a comparison with Husserlian phenomenology. First, I show that although the theme of the lifeworld became central only in late Husserlian works, especially in The Crisis of European Sciences, Husserl began to deal with this concept before 1920, anticipating some fundamental issues of the Crisis, as it results from the lectures of 1919 on Natur und Geist. Husserl had addressed the concept of the world already in the lectures of 1910/11, The Basic Problems of Phenomenology, and, subsequently, in the second book of Ideas, which was published posthumously, but which was known to the young Heidegger. Then, I discuss the way in which Heidegger revisited the issue of the world in the early Freiburg lecture courses by means of a critique of Husserl’s analysis, focusing on perceptual experience as “environmental experience” and on the “world-character” of life. Particular emphasis is placed on the distinction between “environing-world,” “with-world,” and “self-world,” which Heidegger introduces in the lectures of 1919–1920. Finally, I point out that the Heideggerian rethinking of the concept of lifeworld is closely connected to the recognition of the immanent historicity of life, while Husserl only later takes into account the historicity of the lifeworld.
      PubDate: 2022-12-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s11007-022-09565-0
       
  • The ethical night of libertinism: Beauvoir’s reading of Sade

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      Abstract: Abstract This paper examines Simone de Beauvoir’s reading of the eighteenth century writer and libertine Marquis de Sade, in her essay “Must we Burn Sade'”; a difficult and bewildering text, both in pure linguistic terms and philosophically. In particular, Beauvoir’s insistence on Sade as a “great moralist” seems hard to reconcile with her emphasis, in The Ethics of Ambiguity, on the interdependency of human beings and her exhortation to us to promote other people’s freedom, as well as the aspiration of The Second Sex to equal relations between the genders. While earlier scholars addressed the ethico-political implications of Beauvoir’s essay, they insisted that the ambiguity so fundamental in her philosophy is denied by the Sadean hero, and that the Other can never be attained in his system. In this essay, I argue that Sade paradoxically emerges as an ethical model in Beauvoir’s text: as a writer, he assumes the ambiguity of the human condition in the extreme. Further, Sade reveals the potential of sexuality if it is explored in a form of eroticism that largely transgresses behavior constructed as normal: his writings open up new forms of existence, where, contrary to prevailing ideas, woman’s sexual freedom is claimed as equal to man’s, where genders are unstable and heterosexuality no longer the standard. Beauvoir’s fascination with Sade in this essay can be linked with the seemingly unresolvable asymmetry in the relation between men and women in The Second Sex: in his writings is revealed sexuality’s potential to subvert patriarchal norms and mystifications, and perhaps, in the end, even gender itself.
      PubDate: 2022-11-16
      DOI: 10.1007/s11007-022-09589-6
       
  • Time’s entanglements: Beauvoir and Fanon on reductive temporalities

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      Abstract: Abstract Simone de Beauvoir and Frantz Fanon both argue that oppression fundamentally constrains the subject’s relationship to and embodied experience of time, yet their accounts of temporality are rarely brought together. This paper will explore what we might learn about the operation of different types of reductive temporality if we read Beauvoir and Fanon alongside each other, focusing primarily on the early works that arguably lay out the central concerns of their respective temporal frameworks. At first glance, it seems that these two models of temporality have radically different emphases. While Beauvoir suggests that reductive temporalities work to sever the future from the past and present, Fanon locates this destructive operation in the heightening of their entanglement. However, I will contend that there are deep affinities between these accounts: For both Beauvoir and Fanon, freedom is bound up with futurity, with its lack therefore cashed out in terms of stagnation, repetition, and the entrapment within a hollow moment that prevents authentic projection. Both resist teleological perspectives; problematize the endeavor to describe the structures of lived temporality in neutral terms; and show that temporality is crucial to the pursuit of a political phenomenology. These resonances, however, should only serve to recast rather than dissolve the tension between their approaches; ultimately, we need to acknowledge the distinctiveness of their differing concerns and aims.
      PubDate: 2022-11-03
      DOI: 10.1007/s11007-022-09588-7
       
  • Lifeworld art: on Husserl’s Crisis book and beyond

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      Abstract: In the article I discuss Husserl’s conception of the Lifeworld as developed in his Crisis Book, in order to find out whether art can be especially illuminative in order to understand the Lifeworld and one’s own living in it. I draw a parallel between the sciences as discussed by Husserl as abstractions from the Lifeworld that offer a special view of what in the Lifeworld as such remains disclosed. However, scientific and artistic abstraction differs in character. Whereas the sciences establish formal systems and thereby discover the world as to its computability, the arts abstract from the everyday set of meanings and go back to the primordial and original experience of the world in its perceptibility. Thus they are able to draw attention to the essential character of the Lifeworld as such.
      PubDate: 2022-10-29
      DOI: 10.1007/s11007-022-09586-9
       
  • Riddles of the body: Derrida and Hegel on corporeality and signs

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      Abstract: Abstract Proper attention to the theme of corporeality is crucial for understanding Derrida’s analysis of Hegel in “The Pit and the Pyramid.” This article argues that Derrida’s essay compels us to face the impossibility of giving a wholly coherent account of embodiment. The Aufhebung supposedly unites the exteriority of the corporeal with interiority in a higher unity that cancels and preserves them both; Hegel’s own text reveals, however, that meaning is primordially absent from the body that was thought to incarnate it. And it is this absence of ideal meaning that is originary: Differance conditions the body as it conditions speech, rendering the body other than itself such that it is not categorizable as flesh that is the self or as an object that is not the self. I am and am not my body because the dichotomy between interiority and exteriority breaks down even at the level of the body. Indeed, I am and am not my self; the embodied self is disrupted from the start, never self-contained. Thus embodiment always already testifies to the other.
      PubDate: 2022-10-14
      DOI: 10.1007/s11007-022-09583-y
       
  • Brave new lifeworld: vicissitudes of the Lebenswelt in French
           “phenomenology” and beyond

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      Abstract: Abstract In this article I focus on a specific knot in the articulated and, as Paul Ricœur famously said, “heretical” constellation of French phenomenology. The aim is to account for a transition that appears to be particularly interesting from both a theoretical and a historical point of view: that from Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s and Mikel Dufrenne’s recasting and overcoming the lifeworld in terms of all-encompassing and more originary conceptions of Being and Nature during the 1950s and the 1960s, to the radical transgression of the phenomenological horizon itself accomplished by their disciple Jean-François Lyotard between the 1950s and the 1970s. As I will argue, far from being simply sidelined, in Lyotard the theme of the lifeworld is instead deconstructed in favor of a dramatic and “scattered” picture of the shattering impact of capitalism and modern technologies on our daily experience. Within this context, art and aesthetic experience become a privileged site of exploration and experimentation.
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.1007/s11007-022-09584-x
       
  • Moments of realization: extending Homeworld in British-African Novelist
           Doris Lessing’s Four-Gated City

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      Abstract: Abstract For Husserl, the homeworld is the tacit, taken-for-granted sphere of experiences, understanding, and situations marking out a world that is comfortable, usual, and “the way things are and should be.” Always, according to Husserl, the homeworld is in some mode of lived mutuality with an alienworld—a world as seen as a realm of difference, atypicality, and otherness. In this article, I draw on British-African novelist Doris Lessing’s 1969 novel, The Four-Gated City, to consider the shifting homeworld of protagonist Martha Quest, a young white African woman emigrating to battle-scarred London immediately after World War II. Throughout the novel, Quest finds herself in unfamiliar or challenging situations where the world she takes for granted is called into question. Lessing draws on these life-testing experiences to portray Quest’s shifting understandings of other individuals’ homeworlds that at first she sees as atypical, abnormal, or unreal.
      PubDate: 2022-08-18
      DOI: 10.1007/s11007-022-09579-8
       
  • Lines made by walking—On the aesthetic experience of landscape

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      Abstract: Abstract Landscape is often seen as a predominantly visual aesthetic phenomenon, which is closely connected to painting. Georg Simmel calls landscape “a work of art in statu nascendi.” Yet from a phenomenological point of view, landscape can also be seen as something we do not only view but also experience bodily, as something we walk through and live in. In this respect, there are many connections between landscape and the experience of space and place. For Edward Casey, it is important to recognize that a landscape consists of places, which thus function as “its main modules, its prime numbers.” Consequently, the aesthetic experience of landscapes will have to take its located and situated character into account. In my contribution, I will draw on this line of thought and try to point out some key aspects of a phenomenological critique of reductive accounts of landscape and consider its relevance for the arts. As landscape and nature have become a prominent theme in artistic practices since the 1960s and 1970s, this paper will relate the philosophical discussion to artistic projects such as Richard Long’s art of walking. In his practice, the status of the work of art as well as a solely pictorial idea of landscape is questioned.
      PubDate: 2022-07-07
      DOI: 10.1007/s11007-022-09572-1
       
  • Healing the Lifeworld: On personal and collective individuation

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      Abstract: Abstract The paper argues that the dynamics of personal and collective individuation could be interrelated and bear ethical significance thanks to an analysis of the Lifeworld and intersubjectivity that link together the genetic and the generative perspectives of phenomenology. The first section of the paper recalls the epistemological and ontological implications of Husserl's and Stein's analysis of personal individuation in relation to what Husserl would call, later, the “Lifeworld” and the intersubjective constitution of communities. The second section of the paper turns to a phenomenology of the Lifeworld through an analysis of refugees' care and the intersubjective dynamics involved in the clinic of exile. Such an example will bring to light the importance of embodiment and intercorporeity to grasp the process through which the genetic constitution of the Lifeworld constitutes itself as a collective process of individuation trying to heal the scars of historicity. Consequently, individuation will appear as a personal and collective task, rather than a static and ego-centered achievement that would be forgetful of our fundamental interdependency. Finally, the last section argues that “healing the Lifeworld” does not amount to conceive of its “horizon” as being itself a predetermined “telos” of transcendental subjectivity, as if this open structure could be itself constituted. Rather, the varieties of the Lifeworld and its paradoxical movement of appropriation and differentiation point to a relational ontology that considers the becoming of a common and meaningful world as a limit-problem of phenomenology and, perhaps, its ethical and critical promise.
      PubDate: 2022-06-16
      DOI: 10.1007/s11007-022-09578-9
       
  • Varieties of the Lifeworld: Phenomenology and Aesthetic Experience

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      Abstract: Abstract In this contribution we first sketch an outline of the concept of lifeworld (Lebenswelt), to introduce the readers to the guest-edited collection of essays Varieties of the Lifeworld: Phenomenology and Aesthetic Experience, special issue of the “Continental Philosophy Review.” We trace back the origin of the concept of lifeworld to Husserl’s late phenomenology, although also explaining (on the basis of the careful historical-conceptual reconstructions offered by some distinguished scholars of Husserl and the phenomenological movement) that the development of Husserl’s phenomenology of the Lebenswelt was gradual and was connected, among other things, to the question of the natural world of experience. Then, quickly referring to Gadamer, Landgrebe, Fink and other authors belonging to the phenomenological tradition, we explain that different interpretations of the topic “Lifeworld” in Husserl’s thinking have been provided: In our view, this contributes to the fact that still nowadays this topic is a fascinating and philosophically stimulating one. Finally, making reference to more recent works by such authors as Figal, Gallagher, Zahavi and Shusterman (a pragmatist philosopher, whose somaesthetics is nonetheless very rich in insights that can be connected to phenomenological views of the body and its place in the world), we emphasize how the question concerning the lifeworld is still capable today to open a great variety of perspectives and plurality of paths for thinking, as testified by the essays collected in this guest-edited special issue of the “Continental Philosophy Review.”
      PubDate: 2022-06-13
      DOI: 10.1007/s11007-022-09576-x
       
 
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