The Rigor of Things: Conversations with Dan Arbib

By Dan Arbib; Jean-Luc Marion et al. | Go to book overview

in Normandy had been the haven for so many other beginnings that even this undertaking found a natural place there. My gratitude goes to them.

Consequently, this won’t be a sketch of memories or a parody of a premature final judgment, made blindly and in bad faith. I will not move forward masked,2 neither to unmask myself nor to unmask others, but in order to uncover a history that greatly exceeds my own. It was the unbelievably good fortune of my generation to have witnessed the group of notable figures that lived through it or gave shape to it and who often were far more than merely professors or thinkers.

It is my first duty to bear witness to them, if only so that my former and current students might know that the desert they are crossing was once inhabited, even if the period’s major figures were still obscure. Maybe this will give them new hope for the present. I have only included anecdotes that go beyond me and have current import. While not engaging in useless polemics, I have not refrained from any overly tidy judgments when it is a matter of evidence that has been ignored and must some day come to light.

My second intention was to try to reconstruct the path my work has taken without simplifying too much by bringing together as best I can its various regions—history of philosophy, phenomenology, theology, and prudential judgment. My entire life has consisted of intellectual work, and I cannot take account of it except in those terms: This is the sense in which I should be read. Retrospectively, I am struck today by its overall coherence. Its main theme in the end is the question of the event, the approach of presence starting from the present understood as gift. What really matters always happens. This is the way in which rigor is unleashed, but the rigor of things, not what we impose on them or think we can force on them.

Jean-Luc Marion Nonancourt, December 2011–Lods, July 2012

Dan Arbib thanks Judith for her proofreading.

2. [A reference to the important theme of “larvatus pro deo/larvatus prodeo,” which Marion investigates repeatedly in his work on Descartes. He briefly discusses this in Chapter 2.]

-xii-

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The Rigor of Things: Conversations with Dan Arbib
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • Translator’s Note xiii
  • 1- My Path 1
  • 2- Descartes 40
  • 3- Phenomenology 71
  • 4- Theology 106
  • 5- A Matter of Method 134
  • 6- The World as It Runs—And as It Doesn’T 162
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