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Between Chora and the GoodMetaphor's Metaphysical Neighborhood$

Charles P. Bigger

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780823223503

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823223503.001.0001

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To Feel and to Know

To Feel and to Know

(p.121) 4 To Feel and to Know
Between Chora and the Good

Charles P. Bigger

Fordham University Press

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the views of Plato on the concept of feeling and knowing and on the philosophical relevance of the Holy Spirit. It explains that according to Plato's works, the way beyond being is dual: with the uranian Good beyond being in his Republic, which is the cause of knowing and being, and its chthonic supplement in his Timeaus, which is the procreative receptacle that gives beings place. This chapter explains that though the chthonic aspect does not appear to be a promising subject of discourse, it is of special importance and relevant to theology.

Keywords:   Plato, Holy Spirit, beyond being, duality, Republic, Timeaus, uranian Good, chthonic supplement

Or the waterfall, or music heard so deeply That it is not heard at all, but you are the music While the music lasts.

T. S. Eliot

1. The World Soul

Thanks to Whitehead's rather elliptical mention of the consequent nature of God and recent discussions in quantum mechanics, the Holy Spirit now may have a relevancy it has not enjoyed since Joachim of Fiore, Hegel, or Karl Rahner. The way beyond being is dual; there is first the rather uranian Good (agathon) beyond being (Rep., 509B) which is the cause of knowing and being, and then, in the late dialogue Timaeus, its chthonic supplement, the procreative receptacle that gives beings place. Though neither is on the surface a promising subject for further discourse, we will find the chthonic aspect to be of special importance and relevant to theology. The Good and the matrix can hardly be named, much less known. That might well be the end of it, except that in our religious tradition the Good reveals itself as love hypostatizing in a Trinity one of whose members became fully human and lived among us. Why? That we might dwell in Him and He in us and thus participate with Him by whom all was made in a new creation. I welcome this kenosis, but (p.122) would Plato? Perhaps not. There is also the even more elusive Holy Spirit who would, on Jesus' promise, be with us as a Comforter. Granted that you and I will do most of the comforting, still Christ's invitation in the "comfortable words" of the Anglican Communion rite, "Come unto me all that are heavy laden and I will refresh you" echo in my heart and I cannot reduce our Savior to responsibilities to others. This immanent aspect of God is usually taken to be the work of Providence; we shall, with the help of the anima mundi and some recent physical theory, integrate it into the archival doings of the hypodoche.

We can bring these great classical principles into the neighbor-hood of Faith with the help of ancient myth and an icon that illuminates the hypodoche and the writings of some Greek Fathers who will close the gap with the Good. The latter were either oblivious to or in ignorance of Aristotle and worked within neo-Platonic and even Platonic schema. They found in apophatic theology a way of ascent to God as this ineffable and unknowable Good. One must begin with the Good as cause (aitia), taken in terms of God's self-emptying initiative, and not ascend to it from the world with which there is no proportion and no analogy. Though I gloss Marion's term "distance" as "proximate alterity" within the rubric of participation as koinonia and not as his "imparticipable participation," it is an important approach to patristic mystical theology. Patristic theology recognized neither the way of affirmation nor negation, but sought a way beyond them in which the divine names direct one to a non-object from whom, as Marion says, "one receives determinations so radical and so new that they speak to me and shape me far more than they teach or inform me … They expose me to what lets itself be said only for the sake of no longer permitting me to say it, but to acknowledge it as goodness, and love it."1 "The unthinkable, as the distance of Goodness, gives itself, not to be comprehended, but to be received. It is therefore not a question of giving up on comprehending (as if it were a question of comprehending and of not being comprehended). It is a question of managing to receive that which becomes thinkable, or rather acceptable, only for the one who knows how to receive it… If love reveals itself hermeneutically as distance… only love is able to welcome it."2

Does an emphasis on distance instead of proximity neglect the latter's attendant vulnerability and thus religion's chthonic roots? Our Apollonian frameworks hover unstably over their Dionysian roots, which are most prominent in the orgiastic religions of the (p.123) earth mother, in Ti'amat, Gaea, Cybele, Artemis, and the like. Early myths said something about the mystery of divinity that is eliminated by their Christian successors who rejected from its earliest times any effeminaton of the Godhead, even though the familial language of the Trinity requires a mother, even as devotion to Mary—reflected in such titles as Queen of Heaven and Mother of God and expressed in encyclicals on her ontological status, such as the Assumption or Immaculate Conception—provides a place for her in the deity. These, and efforts such as John Paul's to enshrine her as Mediatrix, are misplaced. Nevertheless, they testify to a need to feminize God. Better that she be a symbol (Kant) or icon (Marion) of the Spirit. The effemination of Spirit and not the divinization of Mary, who would be her Icon, would go a way toward meeting the need to bring the feminine into these mysteries.

Icons that make this chthonic appeal are to be found in numerous European representations of the Black Virgin. In the chapel in the crypt at Chartres, for example, she is represented—the original was destroyed in the French Revolution—as crowned with oak leaves. One can proceed from her presence in the mass through the crypt by the sacred well into the lighted nave and the labyrinth. Unlike Plato's cave, which on one reading is an escape from the mother, this ritual is less a sacrifice than an ontophany, a plenary manifestation of being. The cathedral is itself an icon for the cosmology in the Timaeus. Its power is that of a sacred place, hedra, manifest in its name "cathedral."

Since Jesus was baptized in the Jordan and sought drink from the Samaritan woman at the well (pege) (John 4: 1–42), water has been a symbol of the Spirit. Not always. According to Saint Albert, "The woman contains more liquid than the man, and it is a property of liquid to hold things up easily and to hold onto them poorly. Liquids are easily moved; hence women are inconstant and curious. Woman is a misbegotten man and has a faulty and defective nature in comparison with his. Therefore she is unsure of herself… And so, to put it briefly, one must be on guard with every woman, as if she was a poisonous snake and the horned devil."(Commentary on Aristotle's Animals, 15, q.11) This nonsense has informed the attitudes of Mother Church. Better to think her as the receptacle in the image of the sea, whose foremost characteristic, W. H. Auden said, is its "perpetual motion, the violence of the wave as tempest; its power may be destructive, but unlike the desert [which haunts Derrida], it is positive. Its second is the teeming life that lies hidden below the surface which, however dreadful, is greater than the visible. As this appalling ocean surrounds (p.124) the verdant land, so in the soul of man there lies one insular Tahiti, full of peace and joy, but encompassed by all the horror of the half-known life."3 With Mary these waters should have undergone a transformation. What had been a symbol of blind and irrational force is in part domesticated by dwelling, "the gentle presence of the feminine," who is "welcome in itself."4 These forces that surround even Tahiti always threaten rational control and self-understanding, the dwelling we erect and struggle to maintain against the elemental. Mary symbolizes hope that love will triumph.

The chiasmatic crossing of God and Mary should transform our understanding of both. God would now be seen in Mary, his icon, as effeminated, while Mary would assure for women a part in creativity hitherto left to the masculine God. In seeing God through her sub-missiveness, patience, and loving care, he becomes the loving and caring Father and not the God of battles; while we see through her that the creative principle in divinity that gives being, power, and life is feminine, and Mary herself, if she is to be a type for women, as any-thing but the meek and mild nobody of religious tracts. The waters of death are still there, still those of an elemental and affective apeiron gignesthai. Violent anger, jealousy, greed, revenge, disrespect, and the like are not abolished, but her gift is the "impossible possibility" of an "insular Tahiti, full of peace and joy." Mary is the arché of the waters of baptism and healing, the "living waters" of salvation (John 4: 13–16). Henry Adams's Mont Saint Michel and Chartres makes the point that God seen through her is Love, an island of refuge and succor, and is no longer the cruel oriental potentate slaughtering the infidels as celebrated by the Psalms, troubadours, or in the fabric of a fortress-like Romanesque basilica. The great Cathedral of Notre Dame at Chartres and the Zoodochus Pege are revelations of new ontological dimensions of deity through which she, in turn an icon, is best understood. With the aid of our icon and Timaeus, I will make an effort to disclose this creative source of beings and a more integral vision of God, ourselves, and the participatory structures that govern these relations.

Together with its meanings as purification, life, self-reflection, violence, death, and the like, water retains all things, though often as dissolved or otherwise transformed. This retentiveness, associated by Plato with the receptacle, is a vital element in the transformation of Mary through the Zoodochus Pege into an icon or symbol of the Holy Spirit. This can open us to a deeper appreciation of the role of God in the ongoing creation of the world. I will take up and develop these (p.125) points in greater detail in the sequel. For now, please be satisfied with a sketch that suggests the importance of the Zoodochus Pege as a rep-resentation of the anima mundi, the Timaeus world soul or spirit. What? The anima mundi? Though she is not exactly respectable, let's give her a hearing. It is through her that God is immanent in the world.

Newton spoke of space and time as God's sensoria. That presence of things to God is preserved in the anima mundi, an image that fuses Plato's world soul, usually represented by water or a woman, with the Holy Spirit, which impregnated these with life. Avicenna, the great Muslim philosopher, reminds us that Spirit points beyond Christianity: "He is the spirit of the Lord which fills the whole world and in the beginning swam upon the waters. They also call Him the spirit of truth which is hidden from the world,"5 while the Hebrew Genesis begins when the Spirit walks upon the waters. The anima mundi symbolizes the immanence of God, the providential Spirit, which was later to play a major role in alchemy and, with Plotinus, Leibniz, Hegel, and Whitehead, lead into panpsychism. I once thought it highly unlikely that physical particles, electrons, photons, and the like have any share in such memories, but now I am no longer so sure.

One of Plato's most powerful images is of the receptacle that is always gold and never golden (Tim., 50A). This is seriously challenged by Aristotle in Metaphysics Z, where it is argued that the en suffix (as the translators have it) indicates the accommodation of an inseparable hyle to its supervening "substantial" form (Meta., 1032b 30–1034b 18). Put otherwise, for Plato the chemistry of in vivo and in vitro contexts is the same, but not for Aristotle. If the "elementals" show emergent properties, such as heated water will show in certain convection cells, the structure—and not the constituent—changes. The field theoretic synchronicities, affinities, and transformations that, for example, photons or electrons exhibit in transportation point to something like a coordinating cosmic Spirit. This is acknowledged by Anton Zeilinger who, with colleagues in Vienna and Salzburg, has demonstrated that a particle modified here and now can by quantum entanglement and transport instantaneously qualify another a considerable distance away. Star Wars' "Beam me up, Scotty" is no longer wholly a fiction. Entanglement means that if two quantum entities interact, then no matter how far apart, changes in one are instantaneously recorded by the other. Bell's theorem has a similar import. Bell began with Bohm's assumption that a "hidden variable" accounted (p.126) for the way an electron, a particle, might appear as a wave through a double slit and rejected, for example, the proposal I favor by John Wheeler that there are no isolated particles and the universe gives birth to communicating participants. Bohm assumed that local measurements on one photon cannot affect those on another, but this has been shown to be false. The modification is in fact instantaneous, as demonstrated by Alain Aspect in 1982. Einstein's choice of the velocity of light as a cosmological constant may be untenable. While it will not do to base theology on contingent physical fashions, it seems that the coordination is the work of Plato's world soul or the Holy Spirit.

Aristotle said that mind was the form of forms. Something like that is true of the hypodoche, which is never private, even if my access to it (or what I make of it) is mine alone. We have called it the archive of certain determinates, structures and, yes, ideas that have been assembled over time as potentials for the iteration or analysis of order. Error as well as truth can tweak the affects and make history happen. We must take a lesson from Jung who allowed historical phenomena to become archetypal. In the Sophist, Plato gave artifacts, such as sponging, an eidetic status (228A). The fact that a product of evolution, art, or technology can function as if a paradigm, a structural invariant for later individuals of its species, should not give us pause. Paradigms embody the Good, apparent or real, and sorting this involves coordinating it with the work of Spirit.

For Whitehead the graded order of determinates germane to the present instant or occasion, which, like Leibniz's monad participates in the world from its own locus standi, is the work of God's consequent nature. Each perishing occasion (Whitehead's name for his granular, temporal analogue of Aristotle's ousia) is received into God's consequent nature, "transmuted into a living ever-present fact," and passed back to its successor occasion "according to its gradation of relevance."6 In other words, the past is internal to the present, not by Augustine's distension of the mind, but through God, who grades and orchestrates it to achieve "solidarity" with the whole. I assume this is also the role of the anima mundi or, as I prefer to say, Spirit in the world. This constantly and simultaneously readjusting field that is atomized here and now is evident in quantum phenomena and it could well apply also to the initial conditions for those unpredictable and enduring structures that Ilya Prigogine, Mae-Wan Ho, and others show issuing from a similar chaotic becoming. The harmonious adjustment of each of these self-forming entities to one another is not, however, preestablished but must be reestablished at each successive instant. (p.127) Though this patterning of deictic or hyperdochic structure pertains to the reign of Spirit, there is none of the triumphalism of Leibniz's theodicy or Hegel's progression of its forms (see 11:1 below). The arguments for Plato's instant can be used to give an occasionalistic interpretation to physical entities that are analogues of Plato's stoicheia (see 12:1 below); and this atomicity is over and above their cyclical transmutations (49C); the "volatility" (50A) of becoming always resists nominalized description.7 The "receptacle of all becoming, its wet nurse, as it were (49B)—that receives all bodies that must always be called the same… for she never departs at all from her nature" (50B), is the medial becoming of the original being/becoming distinction (27D).8

These processes have their own implicate order, but, unlike the deterministic scheme proposed by David Bohm, its explication is not implicate—it requires the decisiveness of the now. Hence my appeal for temporal atomicity, which allows continuity to become. The time is irreversible, but this is not the usual position. David Bohm illus-trated the standard position by asking one to imagine a large glass cylinder with a container of glycerin mounted on a turntable. If a dot of black ink is placed in the glycerin and the cylinder turned, the ink disperses; but if counter-rotated, the dispersion will return to the dot. "So in the implicate fully dispersed state," as David Harrison explains Bohm's example, "we have enfolded the motion in space and time of an object throughout the glycerin." Bohm also gave us the image of holograms to model the way the whole is in the part, to which I will give an occasionalist application.

Through Spirit and its work-up of the archives of chora the emergent receives that whole. We have modeled Plato's participation on perception in which observer and observed form a single event whose unity is given in the sensed eidos (supra, 3:2). John Wheeler and Wolfgang Pauli take this event to be central. Pauli is reported by Zeilinger to have written that what "is physically unique cannot be separated from the observer anymore—and therefore falls through the net of physics. The individual case is the occasio and not causi. I am inclined to see in this occasion—which included the observer and his choice of the experimental setup and procedure—a revenue of the anima mundi (of course in "changed shape") that was pushed aside in the seventeenth century. La donna émobile—also the anima mundi and the occasion."9 Because the connection is almost self-evident, I brashly integrate, and in the process modify, Plato's anima mundi, Whitehead's "consequent nature of God" and the Holy Spirit. The most radical (p.128) difference between the first two and Spirit is that the latter assumed, besides the ongoing creativity common to all, an original act that is ex nihilo, and the assumption behind this is that living beings are not accidental strangers but have a home in the universe. We are not panpsychists and do not attribute the attunement of physical entities of lower grade to a spark of mentality or the implicate order of enfolded patterns but to Spirit. She orders the hypodochic archives to produce environments fit for the fully besouled hypotheses that can integrally shape their futures.

Chaos has its own order. We can see this in Eugene Gendlin's "intricate order" at work as we await the appearance of the word in the empty slot:

The poem is unfinished. How to go on? The already written lines want something more, but what? The poet rereads the written lines. The poem goes on, there, where the lines end. The poet sense that that edge there needs (wants, demands, projects, entwirft, implies…). But there are no words for that…. Many good lines offer themselves; they try to say, but do not say— that. The blank still hangs there, still implying something more precise. Or worse, the proposed lines make the… shrivel and nearly disappear. Quick, get that line out of the way…. The… seems to lack words, since it understands and rejects the lines that come.10

The physical receptacle has its own implicate order; its elementary triangles forming its stereometric elements are initial determinates (peras) of a determinable apeiron gignesthai, "indeterminate becoming." As forms, these triangles always are and never become and are given as conformal necessities on, not artifacts of, the creative god. Are they epiphenomenal resultants or eidetic determinates of more primordial forces? They are both.

I am making an effort to accommodate both physical entities and the hypotheses in an archival, cosmic memory that renders them systematically and effectively present to one another in their unity and differences. The instant—Plato's granular unit of creation to which we give an ex nihilo spin (Par., 255E–160B)—that receives, interprets, and transcendently supplements this past is itself modeled on the world soul (Tim., 37D) and thus partakes in both divisible and indivisible being, same, and other, then it receives the past within both parameters in frameworks or lifestyles valuated by the Good. I always wondered how prayer was supposed to move a pure act of being, but (p.129) is seeing the Spirit active in the archival hypodoche an answer? A demonic and threatening il y a (Levinas), symbolized by the likes of the orgiastic Dionysus hidden in the soul's archives, struggles against the more benign Spirit. The il y a is not something against which we can shore ourselves up in a dwelling; it is, as Visker argues, internal and always with us, never wholly exterminated by the Good. One cannot detach oneself, and in the inevitable return to oneself, one encounters the il y a. Levinas neglects to notice that until now the il y a had been an external threat to the subject and thought there was "nothing in him" by which he might be destroyed.11 We know otherwise.

We are all too familiar with the psychic pathologies of an autistic apeiron il y a that wrecks havoc with all that falls in its path. Stoics have known that the "inside" is not without its resources. Raleigh sat in the Tower awaiting his execution and, having written a history of the world, could say in his great sonnet, "My Mind to me a kingdom is…" With some help from Leibniz we can permit Plato to approach interiority in his instant, which, as we will see (see below 12:2), is not unlike a monad whose only windows are on the future. The instant is a granular and ex nihilo duration born with a past received under a valuation, thanks to the gifts of archival, cosmic memory. It then interprets, revalues, and supplements what has been achieved to be transmuted into a potential for the world being formed. We follow Descartes and Augustine, even Pauli and Whitehead, in searching memory for God. If what Mary is showing us in her Zoodochus Pege icon is true, all nature moves and has its being in Spirit's sheltering womb. But what chora inherits is a thermodynamical chaos that does not determine a predictable future and, as Ilya Prigogine has shown, is the condition for creativity. Much of the work of creation is done by the matrix.

Both Derrida and John Caputo have observed that matrix talk seems to invite the negative predications similar to those used in negative theology. Does this mean that the matrix is divine? No. The created apeiron gignesthai is a nothing that nothings and is never anything definite, but thanks to the indwelling Spirit, she gives life and resources to make something of it. Her gift is that of being, take it or leave it, through a secular and sacred past. Moreover, what is inherited is a set of proposals for an assemblage, not a form per se. The creature reads the text, but unlike complexity theory, we assume that, while textual dissemination and its differential play can largely determine what it reads, the creature is prior to the instructions.

(p.130) It may have been misleading to speak of the matrix and the Good as supplements. In orthodox theologies, but not in Plato's, the matrix was created and seems to appear in Genesis as the earth "without form and void" (Gen. 1:1); as such it is nothing. No matter. Both are outside the reign of Being and together make possible nature's ontic text. The text metaphor highlights the idealistic, assimilative aspects of participation that assures one that the world always already shows itself as significant and signifying. Sense is Berkeley's universal language of nature. Sometimes, as Descartes noticed, we must read it through the parameters of mathematics, but then animals, even E. coli, read it in part. Palimpsests on nature's text, such as languages, customs, histories, myths, gene replacement, electric power grids, cloning, works of art, and the like, overlay and even fuse with nature so that the distinction between what is natural and what is artifactual is difficult to make. In any case, never assume that we approach nature through concepts, that "maze of mental fictions" (Scotus) we inherited from Aristotle, Aquinas, and Kant, which set us on the road to representational thinking. Whether artifactual or natural, we see form in the facts though the formal structures that we contribute. We must approach experience hermeneutically, putting nature to the test as we let ourselves be tested.

If metaphor cannot reach the supplements, it can envelop and open a creative and disclosive place between being, the ideas or determinates that are always and are never becoming, and the indeterminate apeiron gignesthai, which is always becoming and never really is (Tim., 27D). This gap is metaphor's home. Metaphor can range over these formal determinates and extensive determinables and, as an analogue of participation, creatively exhibit and even effect their unity. Beyond being and the range of metaphor is its cause, the Good (Rep., 509B), while becoming presupposes as its extensive condition the mysterious creative and procreative matrix, which, with some unintended help from Duns Scotus, can be understood as giving each being place (chora), its this (haecceitas) and its there (Da-sein). This procreative chora/receptacle is the mother, the creature engendering arché; meaning is its phenomenological analogue. If the creature incarnates form and the attendant possibilities of universality in the "maternal" or individuating features of its being, then approaching it in metaphor can also disclose both its formal or eidetic and deictic dimensions.

We do not regard becoming from the standpoint of a value-positing will to will the "preservation and enhancement of life," and then (p.131) understand the resulting hierarchy of differences in terms of a "lust to rule" and the correlative submissions of its opposites, the others qua differing drives, instincts, and so forth in a replaying of Hegel's master-slave dialectic.12 Instead, we assume an affective becoming in which, lacking a transcendent solicitation, nothing (no thing) becomes.13 Plato and Whitehead see it as creative and procreative.

2. Phenomenological Foundations

The difficulties presented to metaphor by the Good are not those of the matrix.14 Since it is said by Plato to respond to the persuasions of reason (Tim., 88A), perhaps we can find metaphors that do elicit this receptivity, which—as it does not answer to the ontological predicates active/passive—must be a receptivity of a mysterious kind. Can we find therein traces of the Good, especially when "it" gives eidetic horizons in response to reason's persuasion? It could be objected that metaphor is semantic and has nothing to do with constituting horizons, that is, letting things be seen objectively. Rather than being phenomenologically disclosive, it is a way of saying something about something in terms more appropriately said of some other thing. A bridge crosses a gap, so "bridge" is said of a dental appliance. But its polyvalence renders it suspect, for a word must have only one meaning if reasoning is "not to be annihilated" (Meta., 1006a 34–1006b 13). In a metaphor this meaning is transferred onto another on the basis of a resemblance, as if awareness of resemblance were prior to the metaphor. Does metaphor really entail, as Aristotle said, "giving something a name that belongs to something else"? (De Poet., 1457b 6). Yes, of course; but this substitution thesis confuses the issue, for metaphor rests on intuition; we see in the linguistic space of one term or, if reflexive, through their chiasmatic play, a world opened through the signifying intentions or interpretations of the crossing. We must first come to recognize the richness—not the positivistic limits— which words confer on sensibility, if we are to rescue experience from conceptualists and nominalists called to rescue us from Platonic mumbo-jumbo. Does truth depend on univocity? How else can we have science, save through carrying over things into and onto number? Like Pythagoras's truth about harmony seen in whole numbers, Faraday's truth about electricity in the flow of a liquid, Hölderlin's truth about metaphor as "flowers of the mouth" or, in general, of almost anything mapped onto the semantics and syntax of a language, truth is mediated. Hence Plato's appeal to the thing itself, the (p.132) idea, through the mediation of the name, which is language relative, and images (7th Ep., 342A–D). The idea, not a semantic interchange, sanctions metaphor and translation, its near cousin.

Metaphor is often a double mediation; when something x is newly or freshly seen through the metaphor "A is B," I see x in A through B, and conversely. I could be said to transport or carry B to A, but now even talk of carryover is suspect. Echoing Donald Davidson, Richard Rorty says that metaphor has no place, no truth value, or cognitive content in a language until it "dies" and becomes a commonplace literalism or creates a new language game. It is a way of breaking off the conversation by producing an effect, like slapping or kissing your interlocutor.15 In this game there is neither showing nor saying, neither inside nor outside, and language is returned to its signs or to the sophist. Nietzsche's expression that truth is a mobile army of metaphors need not deny the truth of metaphor, as Rorty claims—metaphors being expressions that have yet to be trans-formed into literal language games or to introduce new ones, as Copernicus created a new literal paradigm when the sun was no longer seen to rise but to stand stable in the sky. Truth is a matter of situation and interpretation, but not all metaphors are equally perspicacious. We must retain Husserl's belief that we see the world through language that is, in turn, rarely self-referential. Rather than talking of the transfer of meanings or expressions awaiting a meaning, we should talk of seeing what a term designates as interpreted through the semantic space of another. Alexander Mourelatos suggests that Parmenides uses the copula as hermeneutical; whatever the case with Parmenides, metaphor's copula is hermeneutical, a matter of seeing something as something.

To see something objectively is to see it categorically, as a thing, an aggregate, part of a whole, a relation, an eidos, and the like, in what Husserl called nonsensory intuition. The red in the assertion "The book is red" gives "red" as part of a whole; but we can also speak of it as a red being, and then the book becomes one of many possible instances of the eidos red. Categories are not imposed on sense but are implicit in perception itself. "We see what one says about the matter."16 Phenomenological seeing is not a matter of inner sense or a representation; it is objective and always implicitly eidetic. As Heidegger said: "Concrete intuition expressly giving its objects is never an isolated, single-layered perception, but is always a multi-layered intuition, that is, a categorically specified intuition." Metaphor can let us see some of these eidetic layers and reveal the objective structure of (p.133) a thing or state of affairs. To say that metaphor is "constitutive" is to say that "it lets the thing be seen in its objectivity."17

Husserl's idealism confuses the issue. Heidegger recognized this as early as 1925 in his lectures, published as The History of the Concept of Time, which is his most sustained discussion of Husserl and an altogether masterful introduction to phenomenology in a route leading through the sixth Logical Investigation. He mentions the pervasiveness of Cartesian immanent consciousness whose structure was "not thought in the original manner" required by phenomenology by Brentano, Scheler, and Husserl: "Even today intentionality is taken simply as a structure of consciousness, of acts…" (PT, 46). Husserl's impending subjective idealism was evident even in the first Logical Investigation, where animated signs replaced indicative signs and signification seemed to have fallen prey to silent soliloquy. Though Dasein is not consciousness, the existential analytic in Being and Time was haunted by egological themes, which were then replaced by an earlier concern with Being and then the Ontological Difference. Though both Husserl and Heidegger recognized that givenness is central, in Husserl's "Principle of Principles" it is said that "we must take the phenomena as they give themselves," where givenness is understood as given to consciousness, and consciousness, not givenness, became primary.18 Heidegger also took givenness to be abso-lute, and Husserl's detour into consciousness was the issue behind Heidegger's break. In the 1930s Heidegger came to believe that nihilism was the issue of the history of being and would, with the help of Hölderlin, make possible "another beginning" that would take one beyond its nihilistic implications.

Levinas anticipated our path in comments on a text from the Cartesian Meditations. "The peculiar attainment [of internality] is the uncovering of potentialities implicit in the actualities of consciousness… [in] what is meant in its objective sense… Every cogito as conscious, is, in a very broad sense, the "meaning" of the thing it intends, but this "meaning" exceeds, at each instant, that which at that very instant is explicitly intended… it is laden with more that extends beyond…. This exceeding the intention in the intention itself, which is inherent in all consciousness, must be considered as essential to that consciousness."19 Phenomenology need not begin with the intentional givenness of an object to a self-transparent consciousness; one could take the more realistic route with the recognition that intentionality in its directedness to objects "does not grasp their meaning but only an abstraction in an inevitable misunderstanding." (p.134) This is because, Levinas continues, the "bursting forth of the intention upon its objects is also an ignorance and a failure to recognize the meaning of the object, since it is a forgetting of everything that the intention contains only implicitly and that consciousness sees without seeing… Intentionality designates a relation with an object, but a relation bearing within itself an implicit meaning."20 If there is a surplus in the noesis, there is a greater surplus in the noesis that resists intentional disclosure. The meaning of the thing intended by consciousness "exceeds the intention in the intention itself," and this excess, inherent in consciousness rather than in history, is, Husserl contends, essential to consciousness.21

The history in the world that Heidegger, not Husserl, joins is also the history of things, which are not altogether posited by constitution or construction. With this breakdown of a perfect concord between noesis and noema, should one think of construction as a persuasion of the necessities by mind (Tim., 48A)—which, though it may bring the "greater part of created things to perfection," leaves open the door to incommensurables and Derridian "dissemination"? Moreover, the phenomenological subject rejoins history to discover the possibility that sedimented noema hidden in the earth or receptacle are necessary for phenomenology and their secrets can be partially desedimented with a metaphorical epoché. These reflections establish a bridge to Plato.

3. Affectivity

In my general feeling at any moment there is more than the objects before me, and no perception will ever exhaust the sense of a living emotion… We have experiences in which there is no distinction between my awareness and that of which it is aware. There is an immediate feeling, a knowing and being in one, with which knowledge begins.

F. H. Bradley

Whitehead experienced the dawning of a new awareness of the fundamental nature of affectivity for understanding ourselves and our world in the first book of Wordsworth's Prelude. "It would hardly be possible," he said, "to express more clearly a feeling for nature, as exhibited in entwined prehensive unities, each suffused with modal presences of others." These "Presences of Nature in the sky and on the earth" that "impressed upon all forms the characters of danger or desire" haunted (p.135) the young Wordsworth and made him aware of situational affectivity. Chora gathered him into nature's archive. What Whitehead calls entwinement reappears in recent physics as holistic, quantum entangle-ment.22 Heidegger's Dasein is also open to the world in feeling and mood before there is a subject or an object.

Primordial affectivity frees there for the gift of the other unencumbered by representation or intention. This elimination is an aim of Jean-Luc Marion's important Reduction and Givenness. Marion begins by observing that some years after the fact, Husserl spoke of his Logical Investigations as a "breakthrough work," and then considers what he and his successors, Derrida and Heidegger, could have meant by this "breakthrough." Was it through Husserl's extension of the range of intuition from sensuous to categorical and even eidetic intuition that Heidegger, following a clue in the Sixth Investigation, was led to Being and then on to the Ontological Difference? This route culminates with an intuition of Being mediated by angst. Or was it the theory of signification in the First Investigation that led Derrida to renounce intuition and the intention to the things themselves for a virtually autonomous signification terminating in the deconstructive program announced in différance? Or does the break-through lie, as Marion says, "neither in the broadening of intuition, nor in the autonomy of signification, but solely in the unconditioned givenness of the phenomena"? To whom are they given? How are they given? As ready or present at hand to ecstatic Dasein? To intuition as intended by transcendental apperception? As representations to the Cartesian cogito? As an I's auto-affection? At least in those con-texts where intentionality breaks down, such as being face-to-face with an other, the I, stripped of its constituting intentions, it is left naked in his vulnerability. Affectivity is the ground form of experience which, through emergent self-affectivity and then self-consciousness, opens the possibility of representation. But it is equally an opening to givenness. The ego is nonreflexively engaged with the other prior to language, representation, or intention. Michel Henry and Jean-Luc Marion tell of a way beyond the ego cogito and, with the aid of Bradley and Borch-Jacobson, beyond self-affection.

While Levinas never explicitly invokes the middle voice, "satisfactions" invite such descriptions. "The upsurge of the self beginning in enjoyment, where the substantiality of the I is apperceived not as the subject of the verb to be but as implicated in happiness (not belonging to ontology but to axiology) is the exaltation of the existent as such… One becomes a subject of being, not by assuming being but (p.136) in enjoying happiness, by the interiorization of enjoyment that is also an exaltation, an ‘above being.’23 In happiness the world is "for me"; but this is the world of self-affection, not that of the res cogito; it is neither the object of a representation nor the mineness of horizons; neither is the "me" a self-reflection. Heidegger speaks of a similar transparency in the context of readiness-to-hand that, when interrupted by an alterity, can shift its focus to something present-at-hand or cope with contingencies. Transparency (Umsicht, "circumspection") is a nonthematized seeing that is absorbed without being reflective. Francisco Varela says transparency "is a readiness or dispositional tendency [or habitus] for action in a larger field of specific ontological readiness, that is, an expectation about the way things in general will turn out."24

The relation with myself is accomplished when I stand in the world that precedes me is an absolute of unrepresentable antiquity. The bit of earth that supports me is not only my object; it supports my experience of objects… The relation with my site precedes thought and labor. The body, position, the fact of standing—patterns of the primary relation with myself, of my coincidence with myself—nowise resemble idealist representation. I am myself; I am here, at home with myself… immanent in the world. My sensibility is here. Sensibility is the very narrowness of life, beyond instinct, beneath reason.25

The more-or-less diachronic time of happiness can give rise to a reflexive consciousness, which leaves behind its medial and chorastic roots. In reflexive consciousness, the future comes back to me through the past; when I say something and I want to get it right, it comes back to me as having been expressed; I hear what was said or pick it up from the response of others so that I can explain, apologize, correct, and the like. These ecstasies presuppose the diachronic time of medial becoming from which they can stand away.

The time of Cartesian extension can be represented by a variable whose domain is the real numbers on coordinate axes that integration then eliminates. This virtual time that comes down as if from on high must be reconciled with Descartes's granular temporality. God creates the world at each moment, and because consciousness, starting again in each "I think…", is not causi sui and can neither assure itself the veracity of memory nor its future existence, embodied or other-wise,26 the time of the I is the time of Zeno's arrow. Each moment is externally related to its own past or future.

(p.137) For all the many things that can be said against the usual interpretation of Descartes, something very powerful can be said on his behalf. If the indubitable "I think…" obtains whether or not we have a body, and thinking is first affective, then a moment has been captured that must be acknowledged in any account of human time. Thought can also bracket out its bodily base in standing out toward a transcending alterity and, on returning to itself, reduce this other to a same with itself. Actuality, past or present, does not define possibility, but something is possible only if its ingression makes sense. The theme of the reduction of alterity to a same has been familiar since Plato's circle of the same crossed and assimilated that of alterity and Aristotle identified mind with its objects; the result is Levinas's totalities that encompass being. But in this appropriative movement when Descartes finds that his thought can encompass all things, even make them its modes, he encounters within an Alterity, God, who lies beyond the limit of intentionality; and though this reduction of God to a being (ontic) obscures Being in the Ontological Difference, by showing that He is infinite we discover that the infinite cannot be assimilated to a concept. He made possible Levinas's way to a radical transcendence. Descartes allows another opening; the return to the self is not to the object self, the self included in the procedural doubt, but to its formal embodiment here and now. Granted the systematic ambiguity of chora, bodies are its vulnerable modalities. Merleau-Ponty says that "experience discloses beneath objective space, in which the body eventually finds its place, a primitive spatiality to which experience is merely the outer covering and which merges with the body's very being."27 This proto-spatial/tem-poral matrix makes possible the fundamental structures of koinos, such as vulnerability, sensitivity, and even saying. This primordial spatiality is, in Lacoue-Labarthe's words, the "place without place of the advent."

Levinas saw that for Descartes body is implicit in the position taken up in thinking.

The body excluded by the Cartesian doubt is the body object. The cogito does not lead to the impersonal position, "there is thought," but to the first person in the present, "I am something that thinks." The word thing here is admirably exact. For the most profound teaching of the Cartesian cogito consists in discovering that thought is a substance, that is, as something that is posited. Thought has a point of departure. There is not only (p.138) a consciousness of localization; there is also a localization of consciousness that is not in turn reabsorbed into consciousness, into knowing. There is something that stands out against knowing that is a condition for knowing. The knowing of knowing is also here; it somehow emerges from a material density, from a protuberance, a head. Thought, which instantaneously spreads into the world, retains the possibility of collecting itself into the here, from which it never detached itself… In spite of its sleepless eternity, it can begin and end in a head.28

The "something that thinks" has a body, the place (chora) from which one lives and the condition for its vulnerability. This original affectivity that can receive the gift of alterity is founded—not on the thought of the body, but on its incarnate reality.

François Raffoul makes the case for Heidegger that responsibility begins when we take upon ourselves our opaque and ineluctable thrownness. The facticity in which we find ourselves in "affective dispositions" is beyond will and cognition. These self-affections are also hetero-affections. Dasein is "always already being with others and with others not of Dasein's nature" and is thus primordially dispersed.29 This being with others (mitsein) is so essential that Heidegger rejects empathy as something accruing to a subject and not something pri-mordial.30Dasein is already from infancy open to others. Egoism is a defective mode of being. Though I too begin with affectivity as primordial being-with, my medial reading also places it beyond the willing and cognitive subject. Moreover, facticity is less a matter of the opacity of thrownness than the opacity of creation ex nihilo and our freedom to resolutely accept or reject the burden of being thrown upon us.

Proximity, a mode of being-with, makes possible separation between persons. Though Levinas says proximity is asymmetric, this is not necessary; the Christian prays that we may dwell in God, and He is us. Moreover, the attempt has been made to show that the possibility of an approach of the other in whom we are affectively entangled is also legitimate. But from Levinas's point of view, this would threaten the Other, the Good, with contextualization. Though I walk partway in Levinas's tracks, I have a different destination. On my Platonic model, we are incarnate beings who discover who we are in the Incarnation. Jesus wept. The Good dwells with us. God is vulnerable. Beauty is its icon. We are singularized already by fear, pain, loves, despair, dread, joy, and all the archival feelings of the hypodoche (p.139) or, if you will, the il y a that marks our origin ex nihilo and lurks within feelings or moods, which erupt on the approach of alterity. These are already intellectual feelings that can inauthentically justify or explain away what is unacceptable, but they can contain a trace of a transcendent love. In the mystery of the Incarnation, the absolute remains absolute even as it becomes man. We will take certain liberties with "proximity" by extending it, together with certain features of its implicit "spatiality," to our relations with God and one another.

Levinas says otherwise. Proximity is an obsessive relation with another, which is "not consciousness… but overwhelms the consciousness that assumes it… [whose urgency] jostles the ‘presence of mind’ necessary for the reception and identification of the diverse."31 This is more like ecstasy that assimilates oneself with the other than separation in proximity. Be that as it may, I can respond to his pain, because I share it, feel it as mine. Those who rushed into the Twin Towers to save others were motivated by their emotions. Even a child can empathize with and respond to the other as other with her "Can I help?" But she who is in need or pain or misery is also in the likeness of God. He said of Adam as he was cast from the Garden: "Behold the man has become one of us" (Gen. 3:22). The Christian sees the Good, not as deflected onto the other, but as the Christ in his neighbor, irrespective of his neighbor's enrootedness, facticity, religious affiliation. If that is too pious, then the other is seen as a concrete universal and a thing of infinite Beauty. The response on any account is one of love. I labor the obvious: rather than being deconstructed by Good's enravishment, these are acts of the self founded on singularizing affect. Take them away and there would be no I to say "I will…" Levinas will tell us that on the approach of another, "I am not called to play the role of a perceiver that reflects or welcomes, animated with intentionality, the light of the open and the mystery of the world. Proximity is not a state, a repose, but a restlessness, null site, outside the place of rest." But this is a virtual world seen as if from above, and not in its deictic mystery. Listen carefully. "It suppresses the distance that consciousness of… involves, opens the distance of a diachrony without a common present… [a] disturbance of remembered time." In this irreversible passivity beyond passivity, "the term of the relation becomes a subject."32 By loosing what made him one in the first instance? "This being caught in fraternity which proximity is we call signifyingness… [which is] the one for the other, exposedness of the self to another, it is immediacy of caress and in the contact of a saying."33 Sensibility is one with affectivity (p.140) whose transmutation into intentionality is motivated by the very signification of feeling as for-the-other. Affectivity is a being's innate determinable, even essence, whose initial form is the infant's recognition of another. Through relations with the mother, proximity becomes symmetric.

Robert Post, reflecting on how emotional memories can effect neural activity, says:

The amygdale is thought to be involved with imparting the emotional significance to an object and linking it to other memory systems initially imparted by the hippocampus but then sub-served by other complex cerebral pathways potentially involving many hundreds of thousands of synapses. Just the way the properties of objects are synthesized convergently by different pathways, we can surmise that the historical and emotional significance of objects are likewise "synthesized," but also edited, updated, and revised based on new experiences. In this way the more complex associative experimental properties and cues may be attached to critical objects in the environment, such as one's parents, siblings, and even the concept of oneself.34

These syntheses pertain to one's natural conatus essendi, the obscure framework of self-absorption within which we habitually live.

Affectivity is an irresoluble surplus that at times points beyond Being. Rudi Visker makes the case that singularization can occur without our being taken up into self-denying responsibilities for the other, for these responsibilities are there from the beginning. The price Levinas would have us pay for the hypostases' ransom from the anonymity of the conatus essendi is that one cease to be for one's self, and that is a price few outside the lecture hall would be willing to pay. Though I do not doubt that the deconstruction of the self by the other as Other is possible, this may well require the gift of a grace beyond our doing. While we do not want the other "to disappear into his form, neither is he merely a face which is released from its form through its surplus."35

In a face-to-face encounter with the other, is my only alternative to return to the world of the conatus essendi or to be released for the other from the anonymity of the demonic il y a? Is the il y a that demonic? But isn't there a third way, that of vulnerability founded on being sit-uated in a world? No doubt the conatus essendi elicits a response to persons recognized as belonging to some type or in some role and thus within a totality. But my facticity includes empathetic feelings (p.141) for the other as a persona. Though perhaps sedimented or undeveloped since their emergence in infancy, feelings—and not just my respect for the other as self-legislative—are transcendent dimensions of the hypostasis that allows one to welcome a person as persona and thus as beyond price. I respond out of shared facticity.36

Aristotle recognized that the emotions are the material causes of arâte. The courageous person is not fearless, but rather fears yielding to what is terrible more than he fears death. Affects need reorienting, not casting aside. We could not answer the call to be persons and to serve persons unless our vulnerability was the ground of our response. We respond to persons out of a common facticity, not as Good's deflections. We must break ranks with Levinas and build the ethical relation that will take us beyond Being on an original affectivity that apparently is out of place in the face-to-face. Levinas wants to prescind the Other from formal and even singularizing aspects, such as race, sex, language, suffering, origin, and the like—vulnerabilities that make an appeal to my vulnerabilities, but which, he thinks, would compromise the absoluteness of the face. This abstraction of the absolute Good from facticity makes the face-to-face applicable only to saints. He also misses some criteria of human Good, namely, that it be attainable (E.N., 1096b 30) and choice worthy, the sort of thing a man of good sense would pursue (1097b 15). Levinas will continue to be my guide. If I disagree, it is in the interest of pre-serving the integral hypostasis in the face-to-face relation with other human hypostases.

Now that we have made a plea for the role of affects in singularization, we need to see how they function in the economy of human development. Philosophers have tended to reduce all phenomena of consciousness to states of Descartes's cogito; but in the light of the criticism this has engendered, just what this means is an open question. Jean-Luc Marion and Michel Henry begin with the procedural doubt, as if an epoché, which discloses the cogito to be first and fore-most a primordial self-affectivity, which, though expressed by the cogito ergo sum, is prior to cognition and said by Descartes to be "a type of inner knowledge that always precedes acquired knowl-edge."37 I want to show, on the contrary, that initial affectivity is at best only proto-self-affective and, as an avatar of Plato's receptacle, its powers bear his marks of being.38 In The Genealogy of Psychoanalysis, Michel Henry reads Descartes's at certe videre videor ["At the very least it seems to me that I see"] as the key—one Descartes immediately dropped—to consciousness's nonintentional or nonrepresentative (p.142) ground. Granted the procedural doubt of the first Meditation, then "existence means appearance, affective self-manifestation," and not its external cause or object. Thinking that I see is seeing that I see. Let us take our clue from the medial interpretation of seeing in our ancient Indo-European origins; seeing would be, as it in fact is, a process occur-ring in me of which I am aware but not as its conscious agent or self-conscious subject. Videor, the infinitive "to see," is a seeing that sees itself seeing.39 But if seeing is medial, then such doublets as videre videor may be its unintended marks. The self conscious of itself could be founded on a more primordial affectivity whose portal would be free from Being.

Let us begin by recognizing that there is more to experience than perception can factor; this more persists in the perception and consciousness that arises from this surplus, which Eugene Gendlin identifies with situation. Situation is the bodily sense of living from an affective attunement to various alterities, and includes such things as how I feel about those near me, my awareness of and orientation to the space behind and around me, my sense of what may happen to me from there—these make up an affective and meaningful situation that is beyond the subject/object dichotomy. In "I seem to see," seeming to see is situated, not locked within the representations and intentions of an autistic ego. Levinas may have been the first to notice the priority of situation in Descartes. "For the most profound teaching of the Cartesian cogito consists in discovering that thought is a substance, that is, as something that is posited. Thought has a point of departure. There is not only a consciousness of localization; there is also a localization of consciousness that is not in turn reabsorbed into consciousness, into knowing."40 Seeming to see must then be a non-reflective seeing in which one has a sense of and even control over a situation. When I am driving and talking to my wife, am I self-consciously driving? I have a tacit or reflexive awareness of what I am doing; if something unexpectedly comes up, I can usually deal with it. When I self-consciously (reflective consciousness) drive, it is difficult to keep the car on the road. Meaningful activity need not have anything to do with mental or linguistic acts or issue from self-consciousness or even self-affection. Meaning is wider than Descartes's ego-cogito or Husserl's ego-noesis-noema formulae. If the procedural doubt were to be abandoned and the sum freed from any taint of intended or represented presence, then affectivity could mean a primordial acceptance, even a welcoming, not just intending, of the other. We could then free the I from Husserl's transcendental subjectivity and Heidegger's analogous clearing from Being.

(p.143) Let us return to Descartes and see if an elimination of the sum and a medial reading of the doublet videre videor can be worked into Henry's thesis. In discussing the will in the Passions of the Soul, Descartes asserts the independence of certain passions from "proximate causes." We self-affectively perceive our volitions; they are called actions because "they proceed directly from our soul and seemingly depend upon it alone." Though willing something is said to be an action, "the perception of such willing may be said to be a passion of the soul."41 Henry notes that this affectivity ("passion") is thought's essence, the "primordial aperceptio, appearance's insurmountable passivity, its immanent self-affection that makes it what it is: appearance's original self-appearing ‘thought’." Prior to any self-appearing, it is a feeling for the other. Volition, said to be infinite, cannot be imaged. For Henry,

its being has no outer face whose recollection and summation would allow its essence to be seized, that is because it is neither possible nor infinite except as power. And power can never be grasped in any given aspect or imagio, in the outside-itself of some exteriority. Instead, it experiences itself interiorly and arrives at itself and its own power to grasp and deploy it, only through the mute experience and passion of itself. Thus, as we have already seen, Descartes expressly characterizes the original aperceptio as passion. In this aperceptio, volition lives immediately as will, arising from and depending directly on soul…. Now the nature of this passion becomes perfectly clear, this passion that permits volition [the root of dubitans, affirmans, negans, nolens] to reveal itself in one fell swoop just as it is, in its infinity and power, the nature of thought's most original essence: not understanding's videre, in the finitude of its ek-stasis, but videors first semblance, the first appearance as it appears it itself in the self-affection of its radical immanence.42

Such are the affective, chthonic, and medial roots of the soul's power.

The sum in the Cartesian cogito ergo sum seems to be the cogito's object. Henry and Marion argue that were this reflective sum taken either as a representation or intention, it would fall under the procedural doubt of the first Meditation and thus contradict the intent of Descartes's formula. If this is to be the site of Descartes's first certainty and the very foundation of his philosophy, then the reflectively apprehended sum, "I am," can be given neither by an intention (Husserl) nor in a representation (the later stages of Descartes or (p.144) Kant) to the cogito. While Descartes usually presumes representation, Marion denies that this sum is a representation. Henry takes the I to be receptive and directly given in auto-affective feeling; it is neither a noema nor a representation. "We, who are thinking egos, sense what we perceive—that is, we think only by sensing, since to sense here means to allow oneself to be immediately affected: to see as we do, i.e., sensing or thinking."43 However, we cannot stop here. Is affectivity already self-affectivity, and is Henry confined, in Borch-Jacobson's words, to the "closure of representation he so brilliantly challenges"? Being affected by the other is equiprimordial. Affects are intentional, and—except perhaps for angst—attuned to situations. "An affect is not representational; one passionately acts and experiences one's actions before and without thinking about them. One does not say, ‘I love you because you made me think of so and so.’ The affect does not think before acting. It is [as medial] indissolubly thinking and acting, acted thought, thought in actu, a thought that is the more active as it is passive; pure passion of the present that never has time to think, to which is never accorded the time for reflection."44 Henry's acceptance of self-affection is an unnecessary concession to ingrained Cartesianism. Even if it does not begin in motion, as William James taught, an emotion is a motion. A restrained monkey and, by inference a child, watching another of its kind perform, will mirror an identical pattern of neural activity. Primal affectivity is a nonreflexive welcome of alterity and fore-shadows the vulnerability in which we welcome the Other.45 These primal emotions, according to Dr. Daniel Siegel, occur in a wide range of wordless textures and can exist without consciousness; they reflect shifts in the flow of activation and inactivation, "of energy and evaluations" through the "system's changing states." Does one feel oneself as passive in loving another? Rather than experiencing him-self, he experiences the passion that "carried him away" beyond him-self.46 The beyond begins with the others through whom, as a child, one became a self.

In mundane moments, beings given to my there are assimilated to "mineness," as Husserl describes the domestication of alterity to the monadic ego in the Cartesian Mediations, to then become elements in a "totality." Assimilation is participation (metalambano, "to share the beyond amid") in which another, remaining other, is also a same. Dasein is also led to intuit Being by Heidegger's analysis of anxiety in the 1929 essay, "What Is Metaphysics?" If this intuition is not a necessary consequence of his phenomenological/ontological reduction, (p.145) that is, if the consequent experience of nothing does not lead to an intuition of Being, then the hold of the Ontological Difference will be broken. Why? Because no corresponding ontological intuition is possible—the conclusion which must be drawn from the failure of the 1943 "Postscript" and the 1949 "Introduction" to What Is Metaphysics? to provide one. There freed from Being is qua chora a medial matrix, which can welcome the gift of Alterity, such as Levinas's Other or Plato's Beauty that provokes "the wonder that is the pathos of philosophy" (Theat., 155D). These radical and inassimilable invasions deconstruct the self and its totalities. The details of Marion's "third reduction" that makes a very strong case for "there" beyond Being must be passed over.47 I suggest that Heidegger's "nothing that nothings" is not "a nullity" but is a medial matrix which, on provocation, can gather itself and thing.

That the infant's affective relations with others are prior to the development of interiority is a conclusion confirmed by the empirical discoveries of Alison Gopnik, Andrew Meltzoff, and Patricia Kuhl. They are persuaded that recognition of the other person is innate:

  • The soul that arises with us, our life's Star
  • Hath had elsewhere in its setting, and cometh from afar:
  • Not in entire forgetfulness,
  • And not in utter nakedness
  • But streaming streams of glory do we come
  • From God, who is our home:
  • Heaven lies about us in our infancy.
Wordsworth and Plato are closer to being right than Watson and Skinner. Gopnik and associates have shown that the infant recognizes persons, and nothing else, within moments of her birth. Conscious life begins in the vulnerabilities of intellectual feelings that will, with nurture, become a feeling intellect. The infant is fascinated into exploring a world long before there is a self-conscious "I," and her self-consciousness is a posit of growing individuation in the anxiety of separation in which she slowly becomes aware of her difference from the feelings and thoughts of others and then can feel their feelings as her own. The other is not posited by the alter ego as Husserl tries to show in his constructions in the last Cartesian Meditation. In an immediate and innate recognition of and response to the mother, in smiling when she smiles, in discovering her interiority when mother sometimes does not smile or is angry as limits are set, who talks with her in babble talk, she gives the child a self as she (p.146) becomes its other. The other as the eject of Freud's primal narcissism is a fiction. Self-consciousness comes to be through the willful and limit-testing behavior of the "terrible twos" in which the child studies the reaction of parents by doing what is forbidden; she establishes a self as she begins to establish her distance from them. In discovering the different likes and feelings of the other as other, the infant can become self-affectively aware of her own. Infants become upset at another's distress and by the age of two they comfort:

They don't just feel your pain; they try to allay it… This kind of empathy demands the same sophisticated understanding of other people we see in the terrible twos. To be genuinely empathetic, you have to understand how other people feel and know how to make them feel better, even when you don't feel that way yourself. You have to know that the other person needs a Band Aid and you don't—just as you know that the other person wants broccoli, though you don't, that she wants you to stay away from the lamp cord you find so desirable. Real empathy isn't just about knowing that other people feel the same way you do; it's about knowing that they don't feel the same way and caring anyway. Babies aren't born with this deep moral insight, but by the time they are two, they have already begun to understand it.48"

This primal empathetic bond before there is a clearly defined self foreshadows its loss when one is face-to-face with the other. Thus is born the possibility of that more radical nexus of obligations that Levinas will associate with Alterity. With this, thanks to the other's interiority, I begin discovering my own and, with this, the cogito's representative function, the possibility of lying and truth.

The loving face-to-face relation with the other is the matrix of the human world. The social, interpersonal nature of affectivity, which is "saying," isn't anything, yet it gives us a world, ipseity and others. Neither passive nor active and yet both, neither sensitive nor cogitative and yet both, neither subjective nor objective and yet both—such is the primal, medial affectivity within which a child progressively differentiates and represents a world, distinguishes faces, then things through stripes and movement, and finally distinguishes itself from others and others from things and one another. Affectivity frees a being's there from bondage to Being and, opening the "I" to social alterity, bears in itself the sense of koinos, community, communion, and communication. The hypostases is from the beginning always (p.147) already in participatory relations with others. We are intersubjective before we are subjects. Developmental psychology shows that

quite literally from the moment when we first see other people, we see them as people. To be a person is to have a mind as well as a body, an inside as well as an outside. To see someone as a person is to see a face, not a mask; a "thou" not an "it." We arrive in the world with a set of profound assumptions about how other people are like us and about how we are like other people…. In the first few months of life, babies already seem to have solved a number of deep philosophical conundrums [other minds, the existence of the external world, the non-constructive character of original spatiality, etc.]. They know how to use edges and patterns of movement to segregate the world into separate objects. They know something about how these objects characteristically move. They know these objects are part of a three-dimensional space. And they know the relation between information that comes from different senses— they can link the feel of a nipple and its pink protuberance, the sound of a voice and the moving lips they see, the ball's exuberant bounce and its accompanying boing.49

These are among the resources, affective and behavioral, implicit in the fundamental interpersonal relation, the hypodochic "between" or "saying" that links us with one another.

4. Metaphor as Disclosive

Our discussion of metaphor focuses on its demonstration of the given rather than on Marion's complex analysis of how beings are given to I's welcoming there. Metaphor lets something be seen or seen in new parameters and, above all, in its truth, its aletheia. Seen in its aletheia? What has truth to do with metaphor? Nothing, if Richard Rorty is to be believed. It has no place in a language game; since it is an utterance that is neither true nor false, "one can only savor it or spit it out."50 Maybe the contingencies will bring this into a new language game, where truth is what the best-informed players agree on. We should give up saying that truth is a deep matter, or that there is no truth, for the nature of truth is an unprofitable topic and best avoided. Unhappily, Rorty is caught up in the virtual world of language instead of language as a primal showing that comes down to us in the first teacher's word. Miss Sullivan, Helen Keller's first teacher, (p.148) opened Helen's world when, blind and deaf, Helen responded to the marks "w-a-t-e-r" Sullivan made on the palm of her hand as she ran the water over it. She suddenly knew that everything had a name and knew "joy and sorrow for the first time." Even the blind see through the word.

In literature metaphor is often constitutive. In an enthralling discussion of how metaphors worked in making her novel, Morpho Eugenia, A. S. Byatt shows how her characters generate and are generated by metaphors. "Morpho," the heroine's name, is one name for Aphrodite Pandemos, while "Eugenia" brought in "well-born" as well as sexual and natural selection; moreover, Morpho Eugenia is a butterfly, a name appropriate to the heroine's transformations. The house central to the story is like an ant hill, and Eugenia is like Maeterlinck's ant queen.

A characteristic of working out a story through metaphors, and the metaphors through the story, is that you have repeated moments when you discover precisely and intellectually what you always knew instinctively. (Though the story calls in question any definition of instinct)…. Late in writing my story I was flicking through my insect book and thought they were walking analogies, walking metaphors."51

One character, the Darwinian agnostic William, sees all personification through Feuerbach's lenses; while the clergyman father, Harold, reads Darwin through the design implicit in the eye and looks to places where natural selection is the work of Dame Nature. "I like the formal energy… in the personifications in Morphe Eugenia— Venus, Ant Queen, Dame Kind, Matilda. I think the stories are studies of the danger of thinking with images that think with images themselves (like Derrida's La Métaphore Blanche) and I do think that in some curious way they find, not impose."52 Metaphor is marvelously seductive—the shock of its unanticipated conjunctions opens a horizon in which something is anticipated that seems to make sense even if no sense is to be made. Is there a better way of unconcealing? Truth, Nietzsche says, is like a woman and must be persuaded to let herself be seen. Once aroused, she will throw aside her veils and come forth to meet us. Aletheia, truth or unconcealment, has this adverbial force of taking the initiative in presenting herself. Her approach is chiasmatic, for now she solicits the inquirer in her doxa, where doxa means "appearing in splendor" or, less dramatically, "agreeably appearing." Strangely, she will appear only if we have already (p.149) clothed her in language and its hidden posits. We are carried away by truth. Metaphor, the most important of these linguistic posits, is an imaginative and provocative receptivity to what then unconceals itself in what Aquinas called its claritas, its radiant splendor of form. To come to know is to be seduced by the appearing of truth. Seductions can be destructive, and appearances deceive. For better or worse, this is where we begin. Eidetic monstration is that movement that lets something be seen in its truth through provocation and response.

The scholastics explored the levels of meaning—literal, moral, allegorical, and anagogic—but these were more like perspectives than homologies, such as those Plato discerned between the human soul, the polis, and the cosmos. The logic of such a many participating inter se underlies metaphor and is found in the logoi (ratios) and analogia (proportions) of the fifth and seventh books of Euclid, the terms in which Plato constructs soul in Timaeus. In the predicate logic, we collect the many as one through recognition in the concept: in metaphor, we see the eidetic one in the many, where this structure is monstrative and performative and only then expressive. Participation is poiesis, creativity. Saying is showing another and, like Celan's poem, is a handshake. Another mediates the appearing of the form as something to be lived and not just thought. "Man always encounters the good," Gadamer notes, "in the specific form of the particular practical situation in which he finds himself, the task of moral knowledge is to see in the concrete situation what is asked of it or, to put it another way, the person acting must see the concrete situation in the light of what is asked of him."53 Moreover, the transcending "other grasped or nurtured in the midst of," the sense of its other founding metaphors (metalanbano, methexis), also suggests that "participation" be thought through Beauty and the Good beyond being and not through the Parmenidian identification of knowing and being (Frag., B3). Beauty animates metaphor's chiasmus; by mutually dwelling in and interpreting one another, its terms effect an epoché and the "confusion and obscurity of sensibility" are transformed, as Levinas says, though in a different context, "into the clarity with which a horizon opens."54

Though metaphors disclose in science or poetics, they will not reach into an objectless catachresis intending the Good or some variant of the receptacle that can be addressed only in a theology that was spawned by the tradition that is ordered to the Good qua God beyond being. Let us follow Levinas and look elsewhere than to phenomenological (p.150) disclosure, theory, or their analogues, such as deontological ethics, for an understanding of truth at the most primordial level. It is found in the significance of the other for whom I may substitute myself and whom I may represent; in a word, it lies in the veracity of saying in which I open myself to my neighbor. This opening begins with birth when the child recognizes a mother's face animated by love. Reality, a world beyond the ego, is the mother's gift. Truth is attributed to statements, but it is founded on persons who, as social realities, must speak truly to one another. As the biological and personal issue of eros, one is always already in communion with others; what is unconcealed is my naked self to the other's beautiful face. What unconceals this nakedness is not the abstract deflection of the Good, but rather the Christ who said, "I am the truth," and calls from the cross to share his love for others.55 Saying and showing is prior to metaphor's more mundane work of unconcealing structure (logos) in the identity of logoi.56

Metaphor strips away banalities of everydayness by letting the thing be seen from itself. This desedimenting is usually the work of imaginative variation and promises an eidetic intuition short of the full phenomenological reduction. Like Kant, we could say that intuitions without concepts are blind, but Husserl widens intuition to cover ideas or essences; we intend a red house, but this already pre-supposes the categorical intuition, which aims through sense at the essence red or house. "A new mode of apprehension has been built upon the intuition of the individual house or its redness, a new mode that is constitutive for the intuitive datum of the idea of red."57 Jean-Luc Marion summarizes this movement as the turning away of the first intuition "from the individual (and therefore from itself, which is first given hic et nunc in the mode of an ‘a this’), under the possessive fascination of the categorial."58 Heidegger says, "These acts of ideation, of the intuition of the universal, are categorical acts that give their object… what is called an idea, species. The Latin term species is a translation of eidos, the aspect under which something shows itself…. The acts of universal intuition give what is seen in the matters first and simply. When I perceive simply, moving about in my environmental world, when I see houses, for example, I do not first see houses primarily and expressly in their individuation, in their distinctiveness. Rather, I first see universally: This is a house."59 No, acts of ideation begin with recognizing individuals almost at birth, long before we have language or universals to recognize them under. If universals are involved, their status is closer to Plato's anamnesis than to Locke (p.151) or Kant. Phenomenology holds out the promise that metaphor is also deictic and, tapping these roots of consciousness, can descend to the originary matrix, the chorastic giver that is the phenomenology's threshold. This necessary role of the receptacle marks beings and even their eidos—not as a one over many, but as a one apportioned to the many in which it inheres. Phenomenology is eidetic, but it cannot be eidetic without being deictic. The self-closure of Husserl's world must give way to phenomenology's original impulse: to the things themselves.

The deictic theme could have entered phenomenology with desedimentation. Husserl said mathematics loses its way and trivializes itself as mere calculation when its arché is forgotten. Heidegger finds a more active sense of concealment in aletheia where what is unconcealed also conceals. The active or temporal sense hidden in pre-Socratic eon (being) was covered up by the first metaphysicians. We seek a logos that "lets something be seen from the very thing the discourse is about,"60 with the proviso that we are less concerned to unconceal Being than to arrive at an eidetic horizon in Husserl's sense. If "man is a wolf," then, as Red Riding Hood discovered, little girls should beware of us. Not just sense but also essences, eidetic structure, and even categories are intuitable. Getting to the eidos is never by way of generalization but requires the method of imaginative variation. To arrive at the essence, "what must belong to an object so that secondary and relative determinations may be attributed to it," one begins with "the individual, perceived or imagined, object. By abstracting from its existence we consider it as purely imaginary and we modify different attributes in phantasy. But through all the possible modifications of an attribute something remains invariant, identical, the necessary basis of the variation itself. Its invariant character is given as something general, precisely because it is one "moment" in a series, in principle infinite, of imaginary variations: it has infinite extension within ‘possibles’."61

An eidetic horizon is given when a series of "as if"s runs up against a limit, as when we see that there is no music without pitch, color without shape, etc., beyond which imagination cannot go without loss of the intended entity.62 Object horizons have a penumbra of possible and actual experiences. The result of this epocé is no more empirical than Descartes's intuition of the wax as infinitely extendible. Like the full-fledged reduction itself, metaphorical intuition is the imaginative apprehension of an eidos.


(1.) Marion, In Excess, 148.

(2.) Marion, The Idol and Distance, 153.

(3.) Auden, The Enchafed Flood, 20.

(4.) Levinas, Totality and Infinity, 157.

(5.) Jung, Alchemical Studies, 214a.

(6.) Whitehead, Process and Reality, 391–392.

(7.) In Donald Zeyl's "alternative" translations of Timaeus 49A–50A, the receptacle can be a neutral stuff, which is the substrate of elements, fire, (p.428) water, and the like, or that in which their images appear. He combines both by beginning with the receptacle as "room" in which to move about. It is like an agitating container in which a contained liquid sloshes about and provides room for some parts to travel through other parts. "The Receptacle is a plenum or stuff… not sheer empty space" (Plato's Timaeus, lxiii).

The receptacle has no independent existence. There are only beings, creatures, whose traces it bears. This generative principle is the matrix, womb or mater, that gives space and time to creatures and through whose dynamism they come to be. By a reduction we can eliminate the creatures and talk about their abstract conditions, even about a featureless space and time, but these are abstractions from a field of events, not a sort of room in which things come to be.

I propose to follow Plato and, picking up Timaeus's opening theme of that which is always becoming and never really is (Tim., 28A), speak of the receptacle as diversified by this flux, a radical becoming which "contains" those necessary conditions for the appearing of fire, air, and the like (50A). These eventual elements, coming to be and perishing, defy demonstrative adverbs, this or that, which would prescind them from the flux and fix them by a name in a nominal eternity, what is, as "that which is ?." Thus Timaeus says, "Not this, but what on each occasion is such," where the "such" is the occasion's "what" (49D), the participated form and a relatum in recognition. The receptacle is a stuff in so far as it holds or retains the forms, like a perfume base, by which each "has some stability."

(8.) That the hypodoche is sometimes said to be a "foster mother" or "wet nurse" (49B) and then again "mother" (50D) could give one pause. Because I take it to be the creative arché, my interpretation stresses its fecundity. Derrida will stress its sterility and thus read it as the nurse, but not wet nurse, of all becoming.

(9.) Zeilinger, "On the Interpretation and Philosophical Foundation of Quantum Mechanics." At http://www.quantum.univie.ac.at/zeilinger/philosop.html.

(10.) Gendlin, Language beyond Postmodernism, 17.

(11.) Visker, Truth and Singularity, 388.

(12.) Nietzsche, Will to Power, 517.

(13.) Heidegger interpreted Nietzsche's will to power as the final phase of western metaphysics. Rather than thinking the will medially, as when I will-ingly let a language speak to me, he fell back on the metaphysics of act and passion. It is then said to actively create stability ("preservation and enhancement for complex forms of relative life duration within the flux of becoming") as a "standing reserve" (Bestand). But "there is no will: there are only treaty drafts of will that are constantly increasing or losing their power" (Will to Power, #715). The difficulty encountered by Heidegger in going beyond being with the nihilistic baggage he carried is an artifact of his belief that the history of metaphysics reaches a closure in the will to power. In the (p.429) later The Question Concerning Technology, he will see through the Gestell the nihilism implicit in the reduction of beings to this "standing reserve."

I give "being" a verbal, presencing, or eventive sense, except in Platonic contexts, and then I will speak of creatures (beings), becoming (existence), and being (ideas).

(14.) Clearly the concept of the hypodoche, receptacle, is not without its difficulties. If one brackets out its diversifying elements, it could be taken to be a four-dimensional non-metric manifold whose elementary contents are the elements: Plato's stereometric air, fire, water, and earth—though earth is excepted from these elementary transformations. What we are trying to grasp is something that gives being through the gift of space and time that is a cosmological analogue to Kant's transcendental apperception. Since the matrix gives beings eventuality under the suasion of the Good, space and time are, strictly speaking, abstract features of events. Different types of events will have different spatial, temporal forms. The time of my relation to another is not the time of a physical process or the time I bide. The receptacle is not a being, not spatial or temporal, though we unavoidably use this lan-guage when we speak of it in relation to creatures that diversify it and regard it under the formality of topos. Only as diversified is it passive or active, "swayed only because of the qualities it receives" (Sorabji, Matter, Space, and Motion, 214) and only then does the sorting out of elements occur, like wheat from the chafe in a winnowing basket (Tim., 52E). This means that natural place, the locative power Aristotle sees as the term of the upward movement of fire and downward movement of earth, is not to be found in the receptacle per se. Nor would this dynamism appear in topoi, the space/time of things moving and at rest as well as the space of Aristotle's "innermost, motionless boundary of that which contains" (De Phy., 212b 20) and, later, of Damascus's "shared space." A more "active" aspect appears in chora; I move around in the topological space of Baton Rouge, but my head stays in the same place (chora). Robert Sorabji noticed that this more organic aspect, which "surrounds and embraces… holds bodies up," leads Iamblichus to speak of space as "cause or origin." Damascus can then say that space (our, if not Plato's, chora) draws things together and, like time, arranges that things be apart. Place (topos) is also open to measure. This will also fit with what Damascus says about time and entails an acceptance of the arrow paradox and ontology of minimal events.

(15.) Rorty, Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity, 18.

(16.) Heidegger, History of the Concept of Time, 56.

(17.) Ibid., 71.

(18.) Husserl, Philosophy as Rigorous Science, 108.

(19.) Levinas, Collected Philosophical Papers, 46, 48. Used with permission.

(20.) Levinas, The Discovery of Existence with Husserl, 115. This surplus is inherent in categorical intention in which something is meant as an "aggregate, indefinite plurality, totality, numbers, disjunction, predicate, state of (p.430) affairs" in "an act that renders identical services to the categorical elements of meaning that merely sensuous intuition renders to the material elements" (Husserl, Logical Investigations, 785). The relation between the two is between parts and wholes, where the categorical is an abstraction from a sensuous whole. Categorial intuitions and the judgments they found are implicit in any intuition.

(21.) Husserl, Cartesian Meditations, 46.

(22.) Whitehead, Science and the Modern World, 122; Zeilinger, "A Fundamental Principle," 637–41; "On the Interpretation…," 3–.

(23.) Levinas, Totality and Infinity, 119.

(24.) Varela, "The Specious Present," 299.

(25.) Levinas, Totality and Infinity, 138.

(26.) Descartes, Philosophical Writing II, 33.

(27.) Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception, 148.

(28.) Levinas, Existence and Existents, 68. Used with permission.

(29.) Raffoul, "Heidegger and the Origins of Responsibility," 109, 116.

(30.) Heidegger, Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics, 301.

(31.) Levinas, Otherwise Than Being, 87.

(32.) Ibid., 82, 89, 85.

(33.) Ibid., 82, 85.

(34.) Cited by Daniel Siegel, The Developing Mind, 49.

(35.) Visker, Truth and Singularity, 376.

(36.) Something must now be said for my continuing use of the Latin persona and the Greek prosopon, as well as Richard Kearney's assemblages from Marion's excess and Levinas's Alterity and his own interest in restoring the thing to phenomenology. Both terms originally referred to an actor's mask. In Jungian psychology, the persona is the constructed self-image in terms of which we want to see ourselves and to be seen by others, but it also masks the shadow, the unacknowledged and repressed desires of the soul, while prosopon meant that aspect of the face which is related to others. Through their common usage as actor's masks, they lend themselves to expressing how the medial hypostasis plays out its roles, its responsibilities, and lifestyles (Plato) or forms of life (Taylor). We must begin with Richard Kearney's illuminating and indispensable distinctions between "person," prosopon, and persona, even if we don't follow his denials of Platonism and the soul's "supersensible" dimensions. He acknowledges the transcendence of the persona/prosopon but means by this what is beyond intentionality (The God Who May Be, 14).

A person is the other entertained as this or that, and as such he/she can be reduced by the totalizing ego to an instance of a kind, such as a cop, a nagging wife, a bully, or, as in Plato's more exalted version, to a likeness of Hera or Ares (Phaedrus 252D–253D). I will tweak this brilliant distinction in the direction of the Platonic soul that, participating in being and becoming, is the demiourgos of the hypostasis' life. Kearney would not agree with (p.431) my claim that the person as welcomed as persona, that is, besouled, has chthonic and uranian roots. On the one hand, the hypostasis participates through the body in the environing world in, for example, seeing the idea "red" on a stop sign (persona as the naturalistic demiourgos of personal life) or being seen in its surplus (persona as an icon of ungraspable possibility); on the other hand, the hypostasis welcomed face-to-face is a prosopon, a participant in the life of God. Where the former evokes the consequent nature of God, the latter points to the Good hypostasized as propositioning Logos.

When a person is intuited as a persona, he/she is no longer open to assimilation or fusion, to a collapse into a "collective representation, a common ideality," and stands before me in the mystery of her personal aurora as unique, irreplaceable. Kearney says that persona is an eschaton, that is, as playing out possibilities, as ends in themselves, in openly endless, changing, and unpredictable horizons. This openness to the adventures of futurity distinguishes an eschaton from a terminating telos. An eschaton as persona "is the other's future possibilities which are impossible for me (to realize, possess, grasp)" and which, moreover, can never be mine. The persona seems to occupy the timeless time we have associated with the receptacle, for he/she is without graspable retentive and protentive horizons. Unlike a character in fiction, the persona continually forces a future, but how and what this is, remains a mystery. Kearney echoes Levinas when he says of the persona that "the relation with the other is the absence of the other, not absence pure and simple, not absence as pure nothing, but absence in a futural horizon, an absence which is time … my persona is both older and younger than my person… and is always already there and still to come." (The God Who May Be, 12) Were we to understand the other as persona, we would "have denied the other's temporality, futurity, alterity … The phenomenon of the persona surpasses phenomenology altogether." (Ibid.)

More to my point is Kearney's suggestion that the persona may constitute the person's haecceitas and, on the account we will soon make for Scotus, would be equivalent to its adverbial interpretations of its form and situations in the processes of being a person.

Persona takes the place of the no place; but it does not itself take place. Yet it does give place to the person and without it the person could not take its place. It is the non-presence that allows presence to happen in the here and now as a human person appearing to me in flesh and blood. It is, in short, the quasi-condition for the other remaining other to me even as he/she stands before me at this moment. But however non-present it is, the persona is not to be understood as some anonymous presence. Nor is to be taken as a merely formal condition of possibility (Kant), nor indeed as some archaic and formless receptacle (Plato's and Derrida's khora). (Ibid., 12)

(p.432) It should now be apparent that what "gives place to the person" refers to the medial persona's chora.

Kearney then proposes a further transformation of persona into prosopon that "signifies the infinite otherness of the other in the flesh-and-blood person here before me." Thanks to its etymology (pros, "toward," and opos, "eye," "countenance," or "vision"), the other faces us "revealing itself from within itself." What Levinas describes as a deflection of the Good onto the other would be, on Kearney's reading, a transcendence in immanence. Kearney is on target when he says that "the good of the persona takes precedence over my drive to be (conatus essendi)." As prosopon one sees "the in-finite in the other person before me. In and through that person. And because there is no other to this infinite other, bound to but irreducible to the embodied person, we refer to this persona as the sign of God. Not the other person as divine, mind you—that would be idolatry—but the divine in and through that person. The divine as trace, icon, visage, passage." (Ibid., 17–18) I will continue to use hypostasis for person with the tacit understanding that we can think it qua persona or qua prosopon.

(37.) Descartes, Philosophical Writings II, 235.

(38.) In The Principles of Natural Knowledge and The Concept of Nature, Whitehead developed phenomenological foundations for applied mathematics. He began with "the undifferentiated terminus of sense awareness," the buzzing world in which something is going on (Concept of Nature, 13). This general fact is later factored into factors, the red feelings, and the like, which then become entities, for example, the feeling of red. Thanks to Bradley's description of immediate experience as "my general feeling that at any moment there is more than the objects before me, and no perception of objects will exhaust the sense of a living emotion" (Bradley, Essays on Truth and Reality, 159), Whitehead identifies this emotion with feeling and will hold that feeling is the basis of experience.

(39.) Henry, The Genealogy of Psychoanalysis, 21.

(40.) Levinas, Existence and Existents, 68.

(41.) Descartes, Philosophical Writings I, 337, 335, 336.

(42.) Henry, The Genealogy of Psychoanalysis, 39–40. Used with permission.

(43.) Marion, Cartesian Questions, 106.

(44.) Borch-Jacobson, The Emotional Tie, 132, 144, 145.

(45.) Dr. Daniel Siegel describes this arousal as an "initial orienting response." It refers, he says, to how the brain and other systems of the body enter a state of heightened alertness with an internal message of "something important is happening here," which, in turn, alerts a cognitive mechanism, "Pay attention now," that does not require conscious awareness and "that does not initially have a positive or negative tone. Within microseconds, the brain processes this representation of the body and the external world generated with this initial orienting process … elaborative appraisal and arousal [arise] that direct energy through the system." Arousal incorporates (p.433) past experiences of the stimulus, emotional and representational elements of memory, the present environmental and social context, expectations, and emotions involved in approach or withdrawal. "Emotional processing prepares the brain and the rest of the body for action" (Developing Mind, 124–125).

(46.) Siegel, The Developing Mind, 125, 147.

(47.) Marion, Reduction and Givenness, 192–198.

(48.) Gopnik, Meltzoff, and Kuhl, The Scientist in the Crib, 39.

(49.) Ibid., 24, 70.

(50.) Rorty, Contingency, 18.

(51.) Byatt, On Histories and Stories, 118, 119.

(52.) Ibid., 122.

(53.) Hans-Georg Gadamer's Truth and Method, 279, concludes this citation with "asked of him in general." Levinas, however, would say that this encounter is with a unique and irreplaceable Other in the context of which the claim of moral knowledge is somewhat misleading. Though as an encounter with such an other it will have the generality, that is, justice, implicit in an ethical demand, this generality is hardly knowledge. The danger of Beauty, which the Good will correct, is that it tends towards totalities, not to the pluralities or the responsibilities I have to those who have nothing in common.

(54.) Levinas, Collected Papers, 26.

(55.) This claim by Jesus is not to be restricted to the way he was understood by Justin Martyr, Clement, or Origin as an affirmation of Platonism, even if it does pertain to the order and perfection of the cosmos, nor is it exclusively directed to a fulfillment of fragments and antinomies of Hebrew sacred history. It is directed to the true or eternal life. Since the "Word became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14), this entails that truth should be understood as dwelling, as Communion. The thesis I propose, though laden with feminist heresy, is in both the cosmological logos tradition of Justin and the Eucharistic tradition of Irenaeus. Moreover, it goes beyond the Greek/Jew of Derrida and Levinas in trying to find a way to speak as a Christian through both.

(56.) Aristotle attributes this discovery to Plato's friend, Archytas of Tarentum (Meta., 1023a 21).

(56.) Husserl, Logical Investigations, 340.

(57.) Marion, Reduction and Givenness, 13.

(58.) Heidegger, History of the Concept of Time, 66–67.

(59.) Heidegger, Being and Time, 33.

(60.) Levinas, Discovery of Existence, 7–8, 5.

(61.) The method of imaginative variation is an avatar of Plato's analytic dialectic. One goes from what is unknown, treated as if known, through similar unknowns until one arrives at something known. These unknowns could be hypotheses or images, as the discussion in Republic 510A–E makes clear. Given that variations may be experimental, it then becomes Kant's method of discovery. Plato too hastily dismisses images, the initial condition of the dialectic.