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Studia Phaenomenologica

Volume 9, 2009

Michel Henry's Radical Phenomenology

Julia Scheidegger
Pages 59-82
DOI: 10.7761/SP.9.59

Michel Henrys Lebensphänomenologie als Hermeneutikkritik

This essay tries to show how Michel Henry’s Phenomenology of Life can be understood as a valuable criticism of hermeneutical philosophy and especially of hermeneutical phenomenology in the manner Martin Heidegger and Paul Ricoeur had conceptualized it. Using Michel Henry’s concept of phenomenological distance, it will be shown here that on the basis of every hermeneutics there lies the classical topos of the auctorial intention that was once gained by the interpretation of texts and is simply ontologized by hermeneutical philosophers. What follows from such a perspective is that human life seems to be ontologically separated form itself, against which Michel Henry tries to show that each life can only be humane, both in relation to itself as well as to others, if it affects itself without any distance.