Philosophy Today

Volume 64, Issue 1, Winter 2020

Marxism and New Materialism

Eric Pommier, D. J. S. Cross
Pages 185-203

The Problem of History and the Three Movements of Existence in Patočka on the Basis of an Appropriation of Arendt’s Anthropology

Jan Patočka holds that both the Husserlian and the Heideggerian descriptions of history remain abstract because they lack an authentic reflection on historical sense’s appearing, which presupposes a description of the transition from the nonhistorical and prehistorical states of humanity to its final historical state. Nevertheless, it seems that Patočka would confront an internal aporia here because, even if he sought to think the continuity of these three movements, he tends to affirm the rupture between them. To overcome that aporia, it becomes necessary to formulate the hypothesis according to which the prehistorical is characterized by a repression of sense’s problematic character, whereas the historical as such is characterized by a conversion of consciousness toward this problematic character. Justifying this hypothesis requires exploring Patočka’s anthropology, confronting it with Arendt’s anthropology, and formulating metaphysical perspectives.

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