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Phenomenology and henology

Renaud Barbaras

pp. 99-110

In Broken Hegemonies, Rainer Schürmann rereads Neoplatonism while distinguishing between two versions of the ontological difference. One is traced back to a foundation of being: this is the metaphysical difference. The other brings to light the One as the very condition of being: this is the henological difference, but it can also be termed phenomenological, since the One is the transcendental condition of appearing. I propose to show that such is precisely Patočka's position and that his phenomenology is, therefore, a henology. The demonstration includes three stages: (1) the question of Being is to be approached on the basis of the question of appearing: ontology makes sense only as phenomenology; (2) appearing as such cannot be understood if it is referred to something appearing, whatever that may be: the phenomenological difference cannot be a metaphysical difference; and (3) there is a surpassing of beings (of appearance) toward their appearing only as the making evident of their submission to a condition of unity: the phenomenological difference makes sense only as henological difference.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-90-481-9124-6_8

Full citation:

Barbaras, R. (2011)., Phenomenology and henology, in E. Abrams & I. Chvatík (eds.), Jan Patočka and the heritage of phenomenology, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 99-110.

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