In Excess: Studies of Saturated Phenomena

In Excess: Studies of Saturated Phenomena

In Excess: Studies of Saturated Phenomena

In Excess: Studies of Saturated Phenomena

Synopsis

In Excess: Studies of Saturated Phenomena is the third book in Jean-Luc Marion's phenomenological trilogy that includes Reduction and Givenness and Being Given. Marion renews his argument for a phenomenology of givenness, with penetrating analyses of the phenomena of event, idol, flesh, andicon. With an eye turned more explicitly than ever before to hermeneutical dimensions of the debate, Marion masterfully draws together issues emerging from his close reading of Descartes and Pascal, Husserl and Heidegger, Levinas and Henry. Concluding with a revised version of his response to Derrida, In the Name: How to Avoid Speaking of It, Marion powerfully re-articulates the theological possibilities of phenomenology. Flowing at a breathtaking pace, In Excess is Marion writing at his very best, and readily illustrates why he has been described as one of the world's most importantliving philosophers.

Excerpt

Jean-Luc Marion frequently shapes his work in trilogies, and with this volume he seeks to complete the phenomenological trilogy that began with Réduction et donation in 1989 and was continued with Étant donné in 1997.’ in this respect it not only concludes a series but also bears traces of many of the debates evoked by the earlier works. These debates have centered on the nature and role of phenomenology and, in particular, on the relationship phenomenology might bear to theology. This is in spite of the fact that Marion himself would argue for the trilogy’s strictly phenomenological focus. Nevertheless, in working out the consequences of two main insights—givenness as the sole horizon of phenomena, and the possibility of phenomena that saturate intuition to such an extent that all horizons are shattered—he seems inevitably to return to questions about phenomena of revelation. Because of this fascination, his phenomenological works resonate to some degree with his theological ones, although, as I have argued at length elsewhere, and as Thomas A. Carlson insists with clarity and brevity in his introduction to The Idol and Distance, this is not to say that the relationship between Marion’s phenomenology and his theology is straightforward or lacking in subtlety. Two basic complaints correspond to Marion’s central insights: that his emphasis on givenness implies a divine Giver and that his saturated phenomenon allows him to smuggle theological

Jean-Luc Marion, Réduction et donation: Recherches sur Husserl, Heidegger, et la phénoménologie (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1989); Reduction and Givenness: Investigations of Husserl, Heidegger, and Phenomenology, trans. Thomas A. Carlson (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1998); Jean-Luc Marion, Étant donné: Essai d’une phénoménologie de la donation (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1997); Being Given: Toward a Phenomenology of Givenness, trans. Jeffrey L. Kosky (Stanford: Stanford University Press, forthcoming).

Robyn Horner, Rethinking God as Gift: Marion, Derrida, and the Limits of Phenomenology, Perspectives in Continental Philosophy 19 (New York: Fordham University Press, 2001); Thomas A. Carlson, “Translator’s Introduction,” in The Idol and Distance: Five Studies, Perspectives in Continental Philosophy 17 (New York: Fordham University Press, 2001), xi-xxxi.

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