The theme of this conference was suffering and the way it relates passivity and selfhood, otherness, life and the world. My purpose, in more concrete terms, was simply to investigate the reasons which have lead Paul Ricoeur to give so great an importance to Michel Henry’s phenomenology of suffering, from the moment the author of Oneself as Another stresses the need to consider the fundamental passivity of an embodied self. My approach is also the result of a surprise to verify the decisive role which a philosophy that renders selfhood inseparable from action, speech, narratives and ethics, that is to say, from relationships and the mediation of interpretable cultural symbols, grants to a phenomenology which claims that selfhood and ipseity are indistinguishable from the immediacy of auto-affection and that any hermeneutic attempt to know who we are by means of symbolic representations misleads us necessarily into an unending quest which drives us away from the essence of our own selves.
15 Oct 2019
Science and Culture-Removing Borders: Permanent Seminar