International Studies in Philosophy Monograph Series


The Gift of Self

Stephen David Ross
Pages 193-205

Self and WorId

Man, in the analytic of finitude, is a strange empirico-transcendental doublet, since he is a being such that knowledge will be attained in him of what renders all knowledge possible. (Foucault, OT, 318) Man is a mode of being which accommodates that dimension-always open, never finally delimited, yet constantly traversed-which extends from a part of himself not reflected in a cogito to the act of thought by which he apprehends that part; and which, in the inverse direction, extends from that pure apprehension to ... the whole silent horizon of what is posited in the sandy stretches of non-thought .... The question is no longer: How can experience of nature give rise to necessary judgements? But rather: How can man think what he does not think, inhabit as though by a mute occupation something that eludes him, animate with a kind of frozen movement that figure of himself that takes the form of a stubborn exteriority? (pp. 322-3)

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