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Sergiu Sava, “Back to Basics: Being and Being Thought in the Phenomenology of Givenness”, Hermeneia, Nr. 28, 2022

Sergiu Sava, “Back to Basics: Being and Being Thought in the Phenomenology of Givenness”, Hermeneia, Nr. 28, 2022

Abstract: Metaphysics is a controversial figure in the philosophy of the past century. We see it attacked from the perspective of both analytical philosophy and continental philosophy. On a closer observation, however, it can be noticed that analytic philosophy has never been fully involved in challenging metaphysics (see Simons 2013). Things are no different with continental philosophy. Martin Heidegger himself gives up, at one point, his decades-long explicit attempt to overcome metaphysics under its various instantiations, such as onto-theology or metaphysics of presence (Heidegger 2007). However, the struggle against metaphysics continued in the continental philosophy. One need only think of Jacques Derrida and deconstruction. In fact, the struggle against metaphysics continues even today, beyond deconstruction. Through his writings pertaining to the history of philosophy, theology, or phenomenology, Jean-Luc Marion is a representative of today’s struggle against metaphysics. He even proposes a philosophy free of metaphysics, namely the phenomenology of givenness. Despite all the controversies surrounding metaphysics, it has not always been clear what is to be understood by metaphysics in general or by its various instantiations. Usually, not even in Marion’s writings or, even less, in the writings about Marion’s writings does metaphysics have a well-defined meaning. The consequences of this state of affairs are several: it cannot be clearly understood what Marion is struggling against; the struggle as such cannot be understood; nor can the alternative to metaphysics be fully understood. The task of my text is therefore self-evident. I will contribute to elucidating the meaning that metaphysics has within the framework of the attempt to construct a phenomenology of donation. I do this by considering three hypostases of metaphysics and the relationship between them. Beyond the metaphysics of presence and ontotheology, I will consider idolatry