This morning I was fairly happily going through a big book of essays by analytic philosophers writing on THE philosophy of perception. It turns out, editors Gendler and Hawthorne tell us, that “much contemporary discussion of perceptual experience can be traced to two observations. The first is that perception seems to put us in direct contact with the world around us: …The second is that perceptual experience may fail to provide such knowledge.”
Then I got the table of contents from The Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology. And I thought perhaps we should revisit Jender’s interesting remarks about analytic and continental.
So here are the essays, followed by reviews. Calcagno’s topic might, I think, been related to the analytic books’ discussion on intentionality, so I looked up “Michel Henry.” And something in David Woods entry make me think I might find that close to analytic, do I went to look at what he had to say. I’ve put the two pages below the lists. I want to suggest, though, that the analytic is far away from, and the continental looks like might get closer to what we might think of as second-stage cognitive neuroscience. So far my favorite short statement comes from Read Montague and Stephen Quarts:
… [E]arly investigators thought that the really important problem was to find the functions or computations being implemented by the brain independent of the specifics of their implementation using biological components. This view is now seen as impoverished because as structures constructed by evolution, most creatures are tightly woven into particular environmental and social niches, and are the ’answers’ to manifold questions posed by their environs. (My stress.)
Roughly, cognitive neuroscience is looking at well-functioning vision where this means vision that is aiding flourishing within one’s niche. Analytic philosophy has a much more static and individualistic interest in the truth-makers of perceptual statements. A hypothesis that might capture the difference is that continental philosophy is likewise more interested at least in the process of life as lived. At least sometimes.
Michel Henry’s Non-Intentionality Thesis and Husserl’s Phenomenology
Giorgio Agamben, Gilles Deleuze and the ‘Idea of Language’ in the Synthesis
The Virtual and the Ether: Transcendental Empiricism in Kant’s Opus Postumum
JAMES N. McGUIRK
Aletheia and Heidegger’s Transitional Readings of Plato’s Cave Allegory
The Wholly Other: Being and the Last God in Heidegger’s Contributions to
Fixing Marx with Machiavelli: Claude Lefort’s Democratic Turn
ND BOOK REVIEWS:
Lars Iyer: Blanchot’s Vigilance: Literature, Phenomenologyand the Ethical,
by Thomas Carl Wall
Jacques Derrida: Sovereignities in Question. The Poetics of Paul Celan, by
Alan D. Schrift: Twentieth-Century French Philosophy: Key Themes and
Thinkers, by John Mullarkey
José Medina and David Wood: Truth: Engagements Across Philosophical
Traditions, by Paul Grosch
Dennis J. Schmidt: Lyrical and Ethical Subjects: Essays on the Periphery of
the Word, Freedom, and History, by Lars Iyer
Ruud Welten © 2001
Phenomenology and the Prohibition of Images
in Emmanuel Levinas and Jean-Luc Marion
In the first section of this part, the antagonism between the idol and the icon, as elaborated in Marion’s God without Being, is examined. The idol fixes the gaze, whereas the icon is experienced without subjective fixation. The idol is analysed, in Husserlian language, as a type of intentional fulfillment. Before exploring the notion of the icon as a ‘perfect inversion’ of the intentionality of the idol, the question of visibility and invisibility in relation to art and visual culture is studied. This is studied in relation to a phenomenological interpretation of the ‘norm’ for the icon as given in Colossians 1:15 wherein Christ is described as ‘the image of the invisible God’. The philosophy of Michel Henry offers a framework for considering invisibility phenomenologically. The quest for religious art is elaborated through a comparison of Marion and Henry. Marion’s thinking on invisibility, which is based on the formula given in Colossians, has consequences for his view of the world and its visibility. This view is compared to Heidegger’s thoughts on ‘worldview’ (Weltbild).
Comments by David Wood Interview by William McClure, Sydney, November 2001
WM Would you say that you are obsessed by “time”?
DW Yes, I am. And it is, I suspect, characteristic of everyone’s obsession that it seems to them wholly reasonable to be so obsessed. It is, famously, possible not to think much about time at all. Or, if one does, to be neurotically obsessed, for example, with being ‘on time’, or with the efficient use of time etc. I am not obsessed in that way at all. There are those who are morbidly concerned with their own mortality. Not me. My ‘obsession’ is best described as a reflective fascination with the way time is woven into everything we do and care about. Sometimes this has to do with the way things take time to develop, how things unfurl in time – such a relationship, or the way a child grows up. But time also operates as a constant dimension of virtual existence. The significance of our lives is tied to the ways in which we brood on, or build on the past, and the way we imagine, fear, or plan for the future. And the ways in which, as we say, we ‘live for the present’. To be, like me – obsessively curious about time, and fascinated with time – is to constantly notice the strange shapes of time, its twists and turns, and the poignancy of memory and hope. It is not typically a cause of troubled anxiety, but of repeated delight. You could compare me to a musician who hears sounds everywhere – in the street, in the insects in the trees, creaks in the floorboards – and who enjoys acknowledging and noticing these little sound creatures. And just as it is not hard for a musician to alert his friends to this world of sound, so too the chronophile quickly has people catching on. Captivation with time is infectious.