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The Implications of ImmanenceToward a New Concept of Life$
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Leonard Lawlor

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780823226535

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823226535.001.0001

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Eschatology and Positivism

Eschatology and Positivism

The Critique of Phenomenology in Derrida and Foucault

(p.45) 4 Eschatology and Positivism
The Implications of Immanence

Leonard Lawlor

Fordham University Press

Phenomenology has shown a remarkable resilience across the 20th century and has already conceived life through its central concept of Erlebnis, “lived-experience,” or vécu. Therefore, we can ask whether phenomenology itself has already initiated an overcoming of metaphysics. Husserl, of course, thought so. Yet certain critiques in France dating from the 1960s imply that lived-experience consists in a kind of insideness that is not internal and a kind of sameness that is not identity but mixture and ambiguity. If mixture and ambiguity define lived-experience, then it follows that sometimes phenomenology restores Platonism, while at other times it merely reverses Platonism into its opposite. Understood in this way as sameness and insideness, phenomenology does not overcome metaphysics. This chapter shows that phenomenology is not a thought of the outside. The allusion in the phrase “the thought of the outside” is, of course, to Foucault, in particular, to his critique of phenomenology in Words and Things. The other critique comes from Derrida's Voice and Phenomenon. The chapter reconstructs the critique of phenomenology found in Foucault and Derrida.

Keywords:   Foucault, Derrida, phenomenology, metaphysics, lived-experience

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