Metaphysics

Beyond Metaphysics? by John Llewelyn (auth.)

By John Llewelyn (auth.)

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This fact plays a role to some extent comparable with the part played by the fact of objective Newtonian science as the point of departure for Kant's transcendental deduction of the categories of the understanding. But Kant also takes a different point of departure, the fact that our experience is temporally successive. And there is a parallel for this too in Husserl's really primordial starting point, the stream of consciousness of the abstractively reduced de-alienated ego. In Husserl's eyes Kant spoils everything by not acknowledging the absurdity of the thing-in-itself.

Let us consider. As radically meditating philosophers, we now have neither a science that we accept nor a world that exists for us" (59). 1 But Husserl immediately concedes that this first person plural mode of address ought strictly to be eschewed at the beginning of transcendental phenomenological reflection. He corrects himself, referring to "what we (or, to speak more precisely, what I, the one who is meditating) acquire" (60). Yet by the time he reaches the Fifth Meditation the plural is allegedly legitimized.

70 Instead of Rede and Sprache he begins to use the word Sage and is apprehensive that it may get corrupted to signify a concept. 71 Philosophizing through concepts is to give way to phenomenology and phenomenology is to give way to thinking which listens for hints (Winke), but even "hinting" runs the risk of becoming a catchword for a cut-and-dried concept. 72 No wonder that the reader who looks back over Heidegger's lifework finds himself with a string of basic words and is sometimes not clear whether a given pair tells one bead or two of the hermeneutic rosary.

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