Hermeneutics of Resistance in Marion’s Phenomenology of Givenness

  • 1 University of Tübingen,, Tübingen, Germany


My goal in this paper is to investigate the role of the subject in Jean-Luc Marion’s phenomenology aided by his interpretation of the Kantian categories in ‟Being Given” and ‟In Excess”. I shall relate Marion’s hypothetical saturation of the Kantian categories to the suspension of the I-identity. The inner mechanism of this suspension will be shown to consist in a critical resistance to an excessive intuition that is defined by a failed attempt at the conceptualizing of intuitions. This failure shall manifest the saturated phenomenon as a counter-experience. The critical resistance to an excessive intuition acts as a temporary activity of the subject leading to its role as interpreter inscribed in an infinite hermeneutic. Based on this I argue that Marion’s subject is not destroyed by an excessive intuition but is only called upon to investigate a phenomenon from a multitude of perspectives. I hold this to be of the essence for Marion, as it explains the possibility of interpreting and experiencing the given as a given during the encounter with the given in which both the subject as well as the given become manifest. I shall argue thus that the recourse to Kant further clarifies Marion’s account of a critical, resistant subject. However, this does not mean that I am arguing for Kant’s categories, but that I hold them to have an important explanatory role for Marion’s phenomenology.

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