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Studia Phaenomenologica

Volume 7, 2007
Jan Patočka and the European Heritage

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Displaying: 1-20 of 26 documents


1. Studia Phaenomenologica: Volume > 7
Ivan Chvatík Introduction: Jan Patočka and the European Heritage
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jan patočka — new translations
2. Studia Phaenomenologica: Volume > 7
Jan Patočka Das Innere und die Welt: (aus dem Tschechischen übersetzt von Sandra Lehmann, Einführung von Ana Cecilia Santos)
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Presented here is the German translation of Jan Patočka’s fragment Nitro a svět (The Inner and the World) which was written in the 1940s and belongs to the so called „Strahov Papers“. The fragment reflects Patočka’s early attempts towards a thinking of subjectivity and the world. Thereby Patočka’s approach is phenomenological, but also integrates motives of German Idealism. The critical impact of the fragment lies in its orientation against the scientific biologism of its times.
3. Studia Phaenomenologica: Volume > 7
Jan Patočka Des deux manières de concevoir le sens de la philosophie: (traduit du tchèque par Erika Abrams)
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The essay “On the Two Conceptions of the Meaning of Philosophy”, published in 1936, links up with other early writings such as “Remarks on the Wordly and Other-Wordly Stance of Philosophy” (1934) reflecting Patočka’s initial approach to the question of philosophers’ moral commitment. He distinguishes here an “autocentric” (Aristotle, Descartes, Hegel) and a “hetero-” or “sociocentric” (Plato, Enlightenment philosophers, Comte, Nietzsche) conception of the meaning of philosophy, characterizes its possible influence on human life as either “apperceptive” or “magical” and concludes on a vision of “autonomous life” as “the divinity struggling with its intrinsic peril” which heralds later writings on freedom and sacrifice.
4. Studia Phaenomenologica: Volume > 7
Jan Patočka Ideology and Life in the Idea: (translated from the Czech by Eric Manton)
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Patočka’s text from 1946, right after World War II and before the Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia, analyzes the important historical events he was living through from a philosophical perspective. Patočka describes the crisis in Enlightenment-based social humanism, which even though having won the war, was left battered and distrusted for not preventing the disaster. With this branch of social humanism being discredited, people turned towards its Eastern manifestation, i.e., Socialism or Communism. Patočka distinguishes the various aspects of Socialism that exist undifferentiated within the term: the concept of Man, ideology, and the Idea. The liberation of the Idea is twisted when combined with a material concept of Man as just one force among other forces, which the ideology then uses and abuses for an external aim.
documents
5. Studia Phaenomenologica: Volume > 7
Jan Patočka Briefe an Krzysztof Michalski
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We reproduce here forty previously unpublished letters sent by Jan Patočka to the Polish philosopher Krzysztof Michalski between 1973 and 1976. The letters to Michalski reveal his key role in motivating Patočka to formulate his ideas concerning the philosophy of history and present them first in a series of underground lectures in Prague and finally on paper in his last samizdat book, the Heretical Essays on the Philosophy of History.
6. Studia Phaenomenologica: Volume > 7
Ivan Chvatík Geschichte und Vorgeschichte des Prager Jan Patočka-Archivs
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This paper presents a short biography of Jan Patočka, as well as biographical data of the author in connection to the life and work of Jan Patočka. The paper describes Patočka’s academic activity at Charles University between 1968 and 1972, how he continued by giving private underground seminars in the dark years of 1972 to 1976, and how his engagement culminated in the dissident movement Charter 77. The author explains how the unofficial underground Patočka Archive was established on the very day of Patočka’s death, even before the terrible events around his funeral. Before the official Patočka Archive was founded on the 1st of January, 1990, many volumes of his works were edited secretly during the period of 1977 to 1989. This made it possible to continue successfully publishing the series of the Complete Works of Jan Patočka after 1990.
articles
7. Studia Phaenomenologica: Volume > 7
Paul Ricœur Jan Patočka: De la philosophie du monde naturel à la philosophie de l’histoire
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We reproduce here the text of a lecture held by Paul Ricoeur at Naples in 1997. Ricoeur sees in Patočka’s work an elliptical movement with two foci: the phenomenology of the natural world and the question of the meaning of history. Ricoeur evidences the new features of Patočka’s a-subjective phenomenology compared to Husserl’s transcendental idealism and Heidegger’s existential analytics. The transition from the phenomenology of the natural world to the problematic of history suggests in any case a substantial dialectical thread that starts from the phenomenology of the movement of life, weaves through the problematic and tragic character of history and ends in the idea of the solidarity of the shaken.
8. Studia Phaenomenologica: Volume > 7
Domenico Jervolino Ricœur lecteur de Patočka
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In this essay, Domenico Jervolino summarizes twenty years of Ricoeur’s reading of Patočka’s work, up to the Neapolitan conference of 1997. Nowhere is Ricoeur closer to Patočka’s a-subjective phenomenology. Both thinkers belong, together with authors like Merleau-Ponty and Levinas, to a third phase of the phenomenological movement, marked by the search for a new approach to the relation between human beings and world, beyond Husserl and Heidegger. In the search for this approach, Patočka strongly underlines the relation between body, temporality and sociality. Central to this new encounter of Patočka and Ricoeur is the discovery of an idea of inter-human community based on a a-subjective conception of existence.
9. Studia Phaenomenologica: Volume > 7
Françoise Dastur Réflexions sur la «phénoménologie de l’histoire» de Patočka
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This paper is dedicated to the analysis of some important points of Patočka’s Heretical Essays on the Philosophy of History in order to question his major thesis of the common origin of philosophy, politics and history shared by Hannah Arendt and based on Husserl’s and Heidegger’s phenomenological conception of the Greek beginning. It tries to show the complexity of Patočka’s conception of Europe, which on one side can be understood as falling into Eurocentrism, but on the other side brings to light the dark face of modern European nihilism and planetary domination and tries to find a remedy for it by appealing to a philosophical conversion leading to the recognition of the diversity of human culture.
10. Studia Phaenomenologica: Volume > 7
Renaud Barbaras L’unité originaire de la perception et du langage chez Jan Patočka
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This article explores some indications in the texts of Patočka that point towards a concept of language which no longer takes it to be a derived layer of an original perceptive basis: he disassociates intuition from origin, and establishes a co-origin of language and perception. It is this co-origin whose meaning and limits this article seeks to determine.
11. Studia Phaenomenologica: Volume > 7
James Mensch The a priori of the Visible: Patočka and Merleau-Ponty
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Jan Patočka and Maurice Merleau-Ponty attempted to get beyond Husserl by focusing on manifestation or visibility as such. Yet, the results these philosophers come to are very different — particularly with regard to the a priori of the visible. Are there, as Patočka believed, aspects of being that can be grasped in their entirety, the aspects, namely, that involve its “self-showing”? Or must we say, with Merleau-Ponty, that being can only show itself in finite perspectives that can never be summed to a whole? At stake in their attempts to speak of appearing as appearing is, I propose to show, nothing less than the question of the finitude of being.
12. Studia Phaenomenologica: Volume > 7
Lorenzo Altieri À même les «choses mêmes»: La jonction de sentir et mouvement dans la phénoménologie de Jan Patočka
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In this paper I would like to reconstruct Patočka’s effort to give a faithful account of the phenomena, without betraying these phenomena with an objectivistic theory of perception. Only by remaining close to the things themselves will we be able to understand them as an appeal, as a call, while understanding ourselves as a response to this call. On the basis of this “ontological rehabilitation of the sensible”, which reveals Patočka’s affinity with Merleau-Ponty as much as his departure from Husserl, I will criticize the idealism of Husserlian phenomenology and reconsider the a priori of correlation in a different fashion. World and subject will then find a different articulation, grounded in the ontological couple of movement and feeling. The analysis will consist of three parts: in the first part I will introduce the problematic of the opposition between phenomenological and physical space; the second part will deal with the notion of movement; the third part will concentrate on Patočka’s new account of subjectivity, the a-subjective cogito, arising precisely from the fundamental coupling of κίνησις and πάθος. Embodiment, qua original phenomenon, will be constantly present in the background of this analysis.
13. Studia Phaenomenologica: Volume > 7
Ana Cecilia Santos Die Lehre des Erscheinens bei Jan Patočka: Drei Probleme
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In this article the author attempts to establish whether we can find a “theory of appearance” in the philosophy of Jan Patočka. The “appearance” for Patočka is basically composed of two elements. First there is a “primeval movement” which accounts for an infinite possibility of phenomena. The second element is the relation of this movement with an “addressee”, the subjectivity. If we begin to analyse the unity of these two elements we fundamentally come across three problems: what is it that appears, when appearance presupposes a certain totality of appearance; how does this total appearance come forth; and, finally, is this whole “structure of appearance” taken as a free movement, kept once and for all within the boundaries of phenomenology, which is founded on a precise and positive term of “appearance” — or do we have to stipulate a special “experience” as the starting point of a phenomenology, which accepts the abyssal impossibility to control its frame?
14. Studia Phaenomenologica: Volume > 7
Alessandra Pantano Vers les moments de l’apparaître
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The main theme of this article is the phenomenality. Jan Patočka’s asubjective phenomenology distinguishes itself by the description of the plan of phenomenality, where beings can appear and that is independent from everything which appears in it. Only by an universalization of the phenomenological epoché, it is possible to turn our eyes towards the phenomenality itself and to understand its independence. To put the theme of the world and the consciousness between brackets means to discover the structure of the phenomenality, which is constituted by what appears, to which something appears and the way of appearance. The world is the transcendental field of appearance. Everything appears in the world. It is the whole, always given and opened to the human being. The subjectivity is a moment of phenomenality that presupposes the relation with the world. It has a role that makes it an “existence”. It is that to which something appears. Finally the way of appearance: the characters of the phenomenality are “objective mediators”. Mediators because they show the strings that build up the field of appearance, objective because wordly. What they show, even if in the darkness of the absence, is the relation with the world.
15. Studia Phaenomenologica: Volume > 7
Darian Meacham The Body at the Front: Corporeity and Community in Jan Patočka’s Heretical Essays in the Philosophy of History
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This paper investigates the relation in Patočka’s thought between the concepts of the “front” and the “solidarity of the shaken”, which we find in the Heretical Essays in the Philosophy of History, particularly the sixth essay, “Wars of the Twentieth Century and The Twentieth Century as War”, and the phenomenological analysis of corporeity that we find in Patočka’s work from the late sixties, namely, “The Natural World and Phenomenology” (1967). We argue for a reading of the “front” and the “solidarity of the shaken” that emphasizes the importance of the body and intercorporeity. Based on this we argue for an interpretation of Patočka’s “absolute” as life’s transcendence of itself.
16. Studia Phaenomenologica: Volume > 7
Peter Trawny Die Moderne als Weltkrieg: Der Krieg bei Heidegger und Patočka
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In the article “The Modern Age as World War” Heidegger’s and Patočka’s considerations of the First and the Second World War are interpreted as a reflection on the modern age. The historical background of this reflection goes back through an important influence of Ernst Jünger to Heraclitus’ thought of an all-ruling πόλεμος, which brings forth the close affinity between Heidegger and Patočka. Here it is unavoidable to pay heed to the question, whether war that is understood on the basis of the Heraclitean πόλεμος is a historical (geschichtliches) event or not. Besides this, Heidegger’s and Patočka’s philosophical approaches to the world war are set back in the context of their thoughts, which we can find by Hobbes, Kant, Hegel, or Clausewitz. In the end, we argue that Heidegger’s and Patočka’s thinking of war is a contribution to the almost refused self-knowledge of the modern age itself.
17. Studia Phaenomenologica: Volume > 7
Marc Crépon La guerre continue: Note sur le sens du monde et la pensée de la mort
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“The Continuous War: note on the sense of the world and the thought of death” is a free commentary on the last chapter of Heretical Essays, “Wars of the Twentieth Century”. It takes as a guiding thread a reflection on the reasons for which, as Patočka suggests, “even in peace, war continues”. It finds these reasons both in the way in which we are bound to the fear of death, and in the sense of the world determined by that bind. It poses the question as to the extent to whichthis calls for another meaning of the world.
18. Studia Phaenomenologica: Volume > 7
Lubica Učník Patočka on Techno-Science and Responsibility
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Starting from Patočka’s understanding of history as a reflective confrontation with the “shaken present”, I will examine his understanding of human responsibility. For Patočka, human responsibility is impossible to think if the basis of our investigation is couched in the formalised scientific explanation. To think about human responsibility is to recognise that our lives are not something in the world, unchanging and open to investigation by formalised knowledge as a tree or rocks are. We must be responsible for the way we live. In that sense, science is incapable to account for the meaning of life. However, this does not mean that to speak of the meaning of life is meaningless. The life one leads is an achievement. What kind of an achievement it is depends on the way we understand the world and our place in it, who we want to be.
19. Studia Phaenomenologica: Volume > 7
Emilie Tardivel La Subjectivité dissidente: Étude sur Patočka
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Patočka has never developed the political and historical concept of dissidence. But trying to sketch its phenomenological foundation in the writings of the Czech philosopher, who experienced human liberty as an act of dissidence, could be an original way in qualifying his alternative idea of the modern subjectivity in phenomenology: between finitude and autonomy. The first part of the article presents the radical criticism aimed by Patočka to the transcendental subjectivism of Husserl, and thinks the requirement of a split between autofoundation and autonomy. Then, it is analysed the articulation between the movement of life and the movement of existence, in which lies the very idea of dissidence. In a third and final part, one shows to what extent the dissident subjectivity fully reveals itself in the political life.
20. Studia Phaenomenologica: Volume > 7
Eric Manton Patočka on Ideology and the Politics of Human Freedom
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This essay examines Patočka’s reflections on the ideological battles in the middle of the 20th century and the nature of ideology as such. Drawing on Patočka’s texts from around the time of the Second World War and the Communist takeover in Czechoslovakia, the essay describes Patočka’s analysis of the main philosophical schools of the age, how they conceive of Man, and how they seek to use Man for their own purposes. The essay shows how this external materialization of Man dehumanizes and thus abuses. Only an idea respecting human freedom will do justice to the human experience. Lastly the author reflects on whether Patočka’s analysis of the human situation 60 years ago under various types of totalitarianism is still relevant today.