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(1986) Phenomenological explanations, Dordrecht, Springer.

Intuition of freedom, intuition of law

Alphonso Lingis

pp. 103-112

Phenomenology set out to make philosophy a positive discourse; all its statements were to be justified by the evidence of insights. Distinctive, then, to a phenomenology of action is the claim that there is something like an intuition of freedom. Freedom would be a given. The intuition of freedom cannot, to be sure, occur in a representational consciousness that represents the present, the hie et nunc, an empirical fact. It occurs in affectivity, it is an anxiety. Anxiety contains a non-discursive, immediate insight. It apprehends one's own nature as disconnected from universal nature, apprehends one's act, and, in Sartre's celebrated analysis of anxiety at the cliff's edge, one's subsistence, as not determined by the forces in the world.1 It perceives in one's own present state causal inefficacy with regard to its continuation - one will have to conjure up an act in order to ensure one's being there in the next moment. It is at the same time insight that the goals that lure, those inactualities, issue not out of the plenum of the actual, but out of the gap between the actual and the future which our existence has to project itself across.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-94-010-9610-2_7

Full citation:

Lingis, A. (1986). Intuition of freedom, intuition of law, in Phenomenological explanations, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 103-112.

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