Thursday, September 3, 2015

Polarity in the Phenomenological Moment: An Uneven Laterality of Phenomenality

If givenness, as the sole horizon of phenomena, drives the phenomenological moment, then the relationality between the given and the gifted provides a certain polarity that drives the very reduction that allows the given to show itself. The secondary literature on Marion's work often identifies either pole in the moment, and still more often marks an unevenness or asymmetry of the privilege enjoyed by the given and the receiving consciousness, the pure call (the gift) and the receiver (the gifted).

Though it is probably impossible to retrieve Husserl's noema and noesis, buried as they are in 100 years of critical sediment, they still might illuminate the polarity within the Marion's phenomenological moment. Despite Marion's apparent dissatisfaction with these terms because of their ultimate inadequacy, noema seem to belong to the given itself, and noesis to the gifted. In particular, noema embraces the self of the given within its essence---its act of meaning, and noesis embraces the self of the gifted, within its gaze of seeing---its mode of knowing. If we avoid becoming too dogmatic here, too structuralist, too dialectical, hold too hard to the correspondence between the two terms, or their tension, we might find an oscillation within the polarity in this moment---its inherent sidedness---where the given enters the intuition and the crosshairs of the intention.

To maintain the integrity of the unconditionality of the given giving itself, giving must remain anterior to showing. Giving then is the dynamic of showing---what it is doing to the consciousness. Showing is the revealing of a surface that appears within the gaze of the recipient whose response constitutes the kinetics of either ignoring or receiving---giving of the self to the call. The reduction to givenness allows for an oscillating play in which noema presents meaning and essence to the receptive noeisis through the gaze; for noema constitutes the self of the given, which through giving, shows itself in the noesis of the receiving self of the gifted. Both selves on either side of the phenomenological moment 'do' something to the other: the dynamic side of the given unconditionally calls the self on the other side, which in turn gives itself to what is shown through the kinetic gaze which either ignores or responds.

'Phenomeno-dynamics' maintains the initiative of givenness, while 'phenomeno-kinetics' maintains a limitless response to the gift without compromising its initiative. It might turn out that noema and noesis are simply probes that identify a polarity in the phenomenological moment and leave us with these ideas of phenomenodynamics and phenomenokinetics, which ensures the integrity of an (asymmetric) laterality that marks phenomenality itself. Perhaps we should avoid speaking of polarity and begin to speak of a constitutive laterality if that really turns out to be a distinction that makes a difference.

No comments:

Post a Comment