By Ian Leask
Being Reconfigured provides one of the most magnificent and audacious theses in fresh phenomenological study. tough rather a lot post-Heideggerian doxa, it argues opposed to modern phenomenology s denegation of Being, yet indicates, besides, that phenomenology itself gives you a practicable and fruitful substitute to this deadlock. in particular, Being Reconfigured delineates the resource of phenomenology s refusal of Being, in Husserl; the most strands it demonstrates, in Marion and Levinas; and the basic difficulties its involves in Marion, the required retention of a metaphysical topic, and in Levinas, the required revival of Kantian dualisms and diremptions. past this serious survey, in spite of the fact that, Leask additionally offers an alternate standpoint, via a reassessment of Edith Stein s beneficiant ontology. This reassessment contains: delineating Stein s Patristic and Scholastic assets; amplifying her feedback, throughout the paintings of Michel Henry, Merleau-Ponty and Levinas himself; and demonstrating the modern importance of Stein s phenomenology of Being-sustained and Being-safe(ty). via contemplating Being in those Steinian phrases of help, safeguard and charity, Leask concludes, we would start to triumph over the problems defined within the booklet s previous chapters and to take action by way of appreciably reassessing the character of the Being that we take with no consideration.
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Additional resources for Being Reconfigured
31 Ibid. 32 Ibid, trans. 156; original, 231. 33 As we shall see, it is precisely the apparent ease with which 1) gives way to 2)—that is, the ease with which such a radical rupture can be smoothed over and, ultimately, used to confirm the domain of structural analysis (as well as the egological impulse which this slide reveals)—that is of such significance. For what is laid bare here, in this Aufhebung, is nothing less than the fate of a non-ontological phenomenology of givenness. To make this explicit—that is, to make explicit the egology which frames and subsumes the ur-given—we need to return to those works which announced ‘fully formed’ genetic phenomenology, reading them this time with an eye to their wider schema, their overall dimensions.
Our Abbau-Analyse, our dismantling or ‘deconstruction’ of idealizations, assumptions, encrustations and preconceptions, takes us to a point where the reflective subject is simply no longer present to itself: what we have, instead, is a kind of affective, experiential ‘bedrock’ only manifest, implicitly, in certain traces or indications which it leaves behind. ‘Birdsong’, ‘the colour blue’, ‘the breeze on one’s face’, ‘the taste of sugar’—these thematized significations indicate a ‘primitive’ ur-givenness which allows for and yet is more than thematization or signification.
The aim, we might say, is to subvert adequation and, instead, to show how intuition can impose itself beyond any egological horizon. Accordingly, Marion suggests3 that—in addition to the ‘poor’ phenomenon (of, for example, mathematics or logic), in which certainty requires little intuitive content;4 and in addition to the ‘common law’ phenomenon (of, for example, scientific investigation or technological production), in which there is an equivalence of concept and fulfillment, of intention and intuition—we must also consider the way in which certain phenomena exceed the limits of any metaphysical regime, imposing themselves without or even despite conceptual aim.
Being Reconfigured by Ian Leask