Friday, July 20, 2007

Is Life Transparent?

Kojima argues that because phenomenology cannot prove that the transcendental ego persists when the psychological ego falls asleep, it is dogmatic to presume "even a relative independence of the transcendental ego from the psychological ego" (Monad and Thou, p. 19). We might provisionally say yes in answer to my earlier question, Does the cogito sleep?. Kojima goes on to say:

We can now reinterpet the genetic self-realization of the transcendental ego in Husserl's account in the opposite direction such that it becomes the special reflective-nonreflective mode of the psychological ego or of life itself.* Life does not need a transcendental master directing and dominating it from above. It has within itself the light that enables it to reflect upon itself and to enrich its own content. Is this not what Husserl wanted to convey with the expression "the transcendental life"? The task of phenomenology should not be to establish the predominance of the so-called transcendental ego, but rather to secure the light inherited from life itself and to develop the wisdom gained by it to illuminate the opacity of the life-world.

(p. 20)

I'm inclined to imagine that if the lifeworld appears opaque, it is life as much as the world that contributes to its opacity. If we believe that life inherently has the means of self-reflection, must we also believe that life is transparent? I'm just not sure.

* Kojima says in a footnote (p. 229, No. 21), "It seems clear that if the agent of phenomenological relfection (reduction) is not the transcendental ego but life itself, this reflection should necessarily return to the nonreflective mode of life."

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posted by Fido the Yak at 9:20 AM.


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