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On the “Theological Turn” in French henomenology

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In this paper, I show that the claim for a “theological turn” in French phenomenology is not tenable by analyzing the relation between transcendencies and the modes of givenness in Husserl, the relation between the ethical transcendence and its mode of givenness in Levinas, and the question of the self of phenomenon and giveness in Marion. I argue that the inner motive of phenomenology requires it to go beyond the horizon of objectness and the question about God or theological issues are determined as part of its essential task in phenomenology. The principle of “go to the thing itself” does not predetermine or presuppose what phenomenology should deal with; it is always the thing itself that imposes itself on phenomenology.


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