Michel Henry: Incarnation, Barbarism and Belief: An by Michael O'Sullivan

By Michael O'Sullivan

This publication is a well timed creation in English to at least one of the main wide-ranging and imaginitive philosophical initiatives of the final fifty years. It bargains shut readings of the most subject matters of Michel Henry’s philosophy, a philosophy that has produced one of the most devastating evaluations of phenomenology, Freudianism, and Marxism during this interval. The author’s contrasting of Henry’s fabric phenomenology with Derridean deconstruction extends the diversity of modern severe concept when it comes to embodiment and affectivity. In an age of rejuvenated evangelism and fundamentalism, the author’s examining of Henry’s later paintings on faith as an extension of his fabric phenomenology additionally provides a tough exam of the principles of Christian religion and trust. offered in a transparent and simple demeanour, with cautious explication of the more challenging passages from Henry, this ebook additionally makes obtainable to English readers, for the 1st time due to the fact their unique book, a number of the texts significant to Henry’s phenomenology. it may be a welcome source for researchers within the fields of French phenomenology and the phenomenology of faith.

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Manifestation is an event that los es its essence in 'its transformation into a detennined appearance' (EM 117). Since representation is generally considered for Henry as either being responsible for a schematism that introduces division into 'living work', or as a tool for reducing the power of the concept in Heidegger's understanding of intuition, 8 it serves to occasionally hinder the work of manifestation and auto-affection. The subsequent chapters look more 7 8 Henry writes of Dasein that the 'unavoidable condition of its character' reduces its 'tmth' to 'Being-unto-Death' because it 'faces up to death and is broken by it' (EM 360).

Reflection is not transcendental but is instead concerned with 'that which does not pass through the world, that which returns, on the contrary, to the self, and maintains itself close to self in its distance with every thing' (PP 19). Such reflection is opposed to the classical definition of the term. Henry tells us that Biran borrowed the term from Locke 'in desperation' so as to oppose the school of Condillac and its sensualist terminology, a terminology that, for Biran, aligns itself too closely with scientific language.

The notion of auto-affection is closely related to another concept, that of auto-impressionality, that becomes important when Henry relates the phenomenology of ontological monism to his philosophy of Christianity. In incarnation Henry describes auto-impressionality as the 'original affectivity', one that 'accomplishes for itself the autorevelation of life' (l 90). This 'original affectivity is the phenomenological matter of the auto-revelation that constitutes the essence of life' (190). AlI these concepts relate us back to the 'retro-reference' that Henry regards as essential also to the 'act of appearing' that grounds his earlier philosophy.

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