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(1973) The essence of manifestation, Den Haag, Nijhoff.

The clarification of the concept of phenomenon

ontological monism

Michel Henry

pp. 47-133

Phenomenology is the science of phenomena. This means that it is a description anterior to all theory and independent of all presuppositions, of everything that presents itself to us as existant, regardless of order or domain. Understood as a description, phenomenology implies the rejection of all hypotheses, of all principles having some unifying value, whether real or supposed, with regard to some area of knowledge, and finally, the rejection of a sector of reality which would contain in it a rule of intelligibility as a necessary condition for its existence. Science, it is true, is concerned with going beyond the facts and coordinates them into systems of explanation. But in all cases, the scientific element and the totality, to which it belongs, necessarily refer to a phenomenological datum without which they could have no meaning whatever. Moreover, these elements and these systems themselves exist for us only under the rubric of data. They are juxtaposed in the phenomenological milieu within the very reality which they pretend to explain. [60] By consequence, this reality will never be capable of total reduction, any more than the scientific reality itself in all its forms will be capable of total reduction. Once their explanatory value is put between parentheses (and remains in this condition), these theories penetrate our environment as data.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-94-010-2391-7_2

Full citation:

Henry, M. (1973). The clarification of the concept of phenomenon: ontological monism, in The essence of manifestation, Den Haag, Nijhoff, pp. 47-133.

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