The Implications of Schelling’s Metaphysics of Contingency for Phenomenology
In Ecstasy of Reason, Jean-François Courtine states that F.W.J. Schelling’s late, “positive philosophy” is “not a sublime ground of being as a whole, but the contrary itself of a ground, the attempt of a phenomenology of … the divine!” Schelling’s paradoxical idea of the non-ground which grounds everything that is, a decisive feature of his philosophy from 1809 to 1854, will guide this essay through an account of the link between Schelling and phenomenology. As a main representative of contemporary phenomenology, I take the work of Hungarian philosopher László Tengelyi, particularly as presented in his magnum opus World and Infinity: On the Problem of Phenomenological Metaphysics, published in 2014—the year of his death. This decision is not based on Tengelyi’s worldwide notoriety as a phenomenologist (his work has been overlooked by much of the English literature on phenomenology). It is rather anchored in the importance of Tengelyi’s clear, original exposition of a “phenomenological metaphysics,” which links Husserl’s late phenomenology to contemporary phenomenology in France (specifically to Jean-Luc Marion, Jean-François Courtine and Marc Richir), while also demonstrating that phenomenology can offer a metaphysical alternative to Martin Heidegger’s constitution of metaphysics as “ontotheology.”
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