Thursday, January 04, 2007

All Aboard

When I said that for phenomenology the transcendental ego must necessarily exist I was being hasty. Marion, after a hundred pages of regaling his readers with his fastidious exegeses of Heidegger, takes up the task of thinking the transcendental ego's status as something other than being (Reduction and Givenness, pp. 161ff.). Can we say that the transcendental ego is a phenomenological horizon and not also be saying that it is? Speaking for myself, I'm not sure how that would work. In Marion's words:

Could not the indetermination in which Husserl–indisputably–leaves it also indicate that I does not have first nor especially to be determined according to Being? And, just as there are with the reduction more and better things to say of the I than to reestablish in it the Cartesian inconcussum quid, so with the transcendence of the I could there not be more and better things to think than to consecrate that transcendence without remainder to the Being of beings. Placed outside of Being (in the sense that a ship placed out of water is protected from water damage, even though it remains exposed, or that a liquor that is "beyond age" [hors d'age] is not rescued from the years but accumulates them to the point of transmuting them into its spiriit), the I can offer itself through other transcendences, or even offer itself to other transcendences which the reduction, ceaselessly radicalized, like a new apophantics, will free up for it.

(p. 165)

So the transcendental ego is like a ship out of water. You don't need to worry about whether it's seaworthy because it's not really going anywhere.

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posted by Fido the Yak at 5:10 PM.


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