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Essays on the Philosophy and Science of René Descartes$
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Stephen Voss

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780195075519

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195075519.001.0001

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Generosity and Phenomenology: Remarks on Michel Henry's Interpretation of the Cartesian Cogito

Generosity and Phenomenology: Remarks on Michel Henry's Interpretation of the Cartesian Cogito

Chapter:
(p.52) 5 Generosity and Phenomenology: Remarks on Michel Henry's Interpretation of the Cartesian Cogito
Source:
Essays on the Philosophy and Science of René Descartes
Author(s):

Jean-Luc Marion

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195075519.003.0005

This chapter ventures into a deeper interpretation of the concept of cogito, ergo sum. The chapter begins with a presentation of the newly-reborn challenge and contact of Descartes' thoughts to contemporary philosophy. One such contact was Henry's use of “material phenomenology” to interpret Descartes' hermeneutic. The chapter emphasizes that this particular line gives access to an original and powerful understanding of the cogito, ergo sum, and not only that its phenomenological repetition pulls the Cartesian ego out of the aporias for which the greatest interpreters—Kant, Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger—had opposed it, but above all that this line opens absolutely new perspectives on the whole of Descartes' work. In particular, the chapter argues that it would in this way seem possible to reestablish, in the “I think, therefore I am” which generosity finally effects, the unity long missing between the love of wisdom and the search for truth.

Keywords:   idea, thought, material phenomenology, cogito, ergo sum, auto-affection, generosity, passion, representation

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