Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Primordial Contingency

Michel Henry asks:

Is not the fact that a consciousness has a body contigent fact, the contingent fact par excellence? Moreover, are we really in the presence of a fact? Rather, if the relationship sui generis of the body to consciousness rather proves to be the foundation of our idea of contingency, and more fundamentally, of the very fact that such a contingency and even contingent facts in general are possible for us, then does not this relationship truly constitute a structure, which is not only rooted in human nature, but which must further serve to define it?

(Philosophy and Phenomenology of the Body, p. 2)

Where is Henry going with this? The question of the body leads toward a critique of the transcendental ego. Henry suggests that one way of proceeding is toward an existential realism that would have the courage to acknowledge and confront contingency, finitude and absurdity (p. 7). Another approach is to follow the Biranian discovery of the subjective body, the body which is an I. This latter approach is the path Henry will take.

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posted by Fido the Yak at 3:11 PM.


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