The creative self and the other in man’s self-interpretation
The phenomenological conception sees man progressively unfolding his potentialities simultaneously with his existence through the process of the transcendental constitution; this latter is conceived as the instauration of a system of meaningfulness. In this sense there is only one step further to be made to envisage “constitution” as “interpretation.” But with this understanding of man as advancing himself within his life-process by unfolding from within a network of meaningful synthesis, do we not penetrate to the radical borderline between — not as M. Levinas would say — “the same and the other,” that is, man’s “sameness,”1 his fundamental identity shaping itself over against the circumambiant circumstances, and these circumstances appearing in this process as the “otherness”? If, on the one hand, we consider that this “otherness” emerges as such with respect to man’s effort to establish himself within organic life as an autonomous being, and on the other hand, that this effort is the search after a system of conditions which at the same time would embrace fundamental elements from both sides within the same system of meaning, should we not conclude that man’s being and existence proceeds by self-explication? In fact, this system of meaningfulness, although dealing with both types of conditions; namely, of the radical “otherness” and of the virtual “sameness” of the human individual in progress, owes its significance to man’s own quest after the establishment of his own being and to his interpreting the “otherness” to this effect.
Tymieniecka, A.-T. (1977)., The creative self and the other in man’s self-interpretation, in A. Tymieniecka (ed.), The self and the other, Dordrecht, Reidel, pp. 151-186.
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