Mystery and Method: The Other in Rahner and Levinas

By Michael Purcell | Go to book overview

ENDNOTES
1
Responding to a question by Patrick Granfield, in an interview of October 1965, regarding his philosophical influences, Rahner mentions Maréchal "who exercised a great influence on my philosophy" ( Rahner 1986, 13). "The initial, truly philosophical insight was given by Maréchal. His book, Le point de départ de la métaphysique, especially Cahier V, influenced me greatly when I was younger" (ibid. 14). Were it not for his study of Heidegger and Maréchal, he acknowledges, in an interview with Albert Raffelt in 1974, that he "would not have done philosophy in a transcendental manner" (ibid. 132). As to whether it was Heidegger or Maréchal who provided the decisive direction for his thinking, in an interview with Leo O'Donovan in 1979, Rahner, at 75 years old, reflected, "if I ask myself whether Heidegger exercised a great influence on me, then I would say I am not exactly sure. Naturally I am grateful that I was able to sit in his seminar with a few others for two years. Certainly, I learned a variety of things from him, even if I have to say that I owe my most basic, decisive, philosophical direction, insofar as it comes from someone else, more, in fact, to the Belgian philosopher and Jesuit, Joseph Maréchal. His philosophy already moved beyond the traditional neoscholasticism. I brought that direction from Maréchal to my studies with Heidegger and it was not superceded by him" (ibid. 90).
2
More recently, the dynamism inherent in Kant's own schema is recognised by Gerd Buchdahl. Buchdahl notes that "Kant's transcendental ontology aims at giving us only the passivity of cognition of an object's existence" ( Buchdal 1992, 5), but goes on to show "the dynamical version of Kant's transcendental method." In his Preface, he writes that his work attempts "a fresh over-all view of the general strategy of Kant's transcendental approach ... [employing]... as a hermeneutical tool, the notion of 'dynamical' process of 'reduction and realisation' in order thereby to yield an entirely fresh explication of Kant's transcendental structure" (p.ix). For a detailed elaboration of the movement within Kant's transcendental process, see 41-52
3
Levinas writes, "the ethical relation, opposed to first philosophy which identifies freedom and power, is not contrary to truth; it goes unto being in its absolute exteriority, and accomplishes the very intention that animates the movement unto truth" ( Levinas 1979, 47, italics added).
4
E Mascall regards this as the central point of disagreement between Kant and Maréchal. Whereas Kant views the absolute as having a regulative role, Maréchal holds it to be constitutive (See Mascall 1971, 69).
5
Whether or not Rahner's project is best described as "a metaphysics of knowledge" or, as V Brannick refers to it, as "an ontology of understanding" ( Brannick 1974) will need to be made clear in the light of Emmanuel Levinas' criticism of the Western Tradition as an ontological confinement which, in reality, is a reduction of the meaning of metaphysics. The unwitting ease with which such a confinement arises is witnessed in the way that the philosophical foundation of Rahner's thought is commonly referred to as an "ontological epistemology." (See, P Burke 1994, 79). Levinas, how

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Mystery and Method: The Other in Rahner and Levinas
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Introduction xii
  • Endnotes xxxiii
  • 1. Method 1
  • 1.7 Summary 56
  • Endnotes 59
  • 2 Philosophical Origins 119
  • Endnotes 121
  • 3. Questioning Presence 129
  • 3.5 Summary 166
  • Endnotes 169
  • 4. Subjectivity and Alterity 171
  • 5. Desiring the Other Or, the Prevenience of Grace 223
  • 5-5 Summary 246
  • Endnotes 248
  • 6 the Sacramentality of the Face, Or, Sacramental Signification 251
  • Endnotes 294
  • 7. Being Ethical 297
  • Endnotes 333
  • 8 the Mystery of the Other 335
  • Endnotes 357
  • Bibliography 359
  • Index 383
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