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Negative certainties

By: Marion, Jean-Luc.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookSeries: Religion and Postmodernism. Publisher: Chicago The University of Chicago Press 2015Description: viii, 278 p.ISBN: 9780226505619.Subject(s): Certainty | Phenomenology | Negative theologyDDC classification: 121.63 Summary: In Negative Certainties, renowned philosopher Jean-Luc Marion challenges some of the most fundamental assumptions we have developed about knowledge: that it is categorical, predicative, and positive. Following Descartes, Kant, and Heidegger, he looks toward our finitude and the limits of our reason. He asks an astonishingly simple—but profoundly provocative—question in order to open up an entirely new way of thinking about knowledge: Isn’t our uncertainty, our finitude and rational limitations, one of the few things we can be certain about? Marion shows how the assumption of knowledge as positive demands a reductive epistemology that disregards immeasurable or disorderly phenomena. He shows that we have experiences every day that have no identifiable causes or predictable reasons, and that these constitute a very real knowledge—a knowledge of the limits of what can be known. Establishing this “negative certainty,” Marion applies it to four aporias, or issues of certain uncertainty: the definition of man; the nature of God; the unconditionality of the gift; and the unpredictability of events. Translated for the first time into English, Negative Certainties is an invigorating work of epistemological inquiry that will take a central place in Marion’s oeuvre. Translated by Stephen E. Lewis http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/N/bo11936487.html
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Books Vikram Sarabhai Library
Slot 130 (0 Floor, West Wing) Non-fiction 121.63 M2N3 (Browse shelf) Available 192821

Foreword
Translator’s Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 Attempt to Introduce the Concept of Negative Certainties into Philosophy
IThe Undefinable, or the Face of Man
2 “What Is Man?”
3 “Ipse mihi magna quaestio”
4 What It Costs to Know (Oneself)
5 Proscription
6 The Fund of Incomprehensibility
7 The Indefinite and the Unstable

II The Impossible, or What Is Proper to God
8 The Impossible Phenomenon
9 The Irreducible
10 Possibility without Conditions
11 The (Im)possible: From Contradiction to Event
12 The (Im)possible from My Point of View
13 The (Im)possible from God’s Point of View

III The Unconditioned, or the Strength of the Gift
14 The Contradictions of the Gift
15 The Terms of Exchange
16 Reducing the Gift to Givenness
17 Without the Principle of Identity
18 Without the Principle of Sufficient Reason

IV The Unconditioned and the Variations of the Gift
19 Sacrifice According to the Terms of Exchange
20 Regiving, Beginning from the Recipient
21 The Confirmation of Abraham
22 Forgiveness According to the Terms of Exchange
23 Regiving, Beginning from the Giver
24 The Return of the Prodigal Son

V The Unforeseeable, or the Event
25 What the Object Excludes
26 The Condition of the Object
27 Concerning the Distinction of Phenomena into Objects and Events
28 Without Cause
29 The Original Unknown
30 The Double Interpretation
Conclusion
31 In Praise of the Paradox
Bibliographical Note
Notes
Index

In Negative Certainties, renowned philosopher Jean-Luc Marion challenges some of the most fundamental assumptions we have developed about knowledge: that it is categorical, predicative, and positive. Following Descartes, Kant, and Heidegger, he looks toward our finitude and the limits of our reason. He asks an astonishingly simple—but profoundly provocative—question in order to open up an entirely new way of thinking about knowledge: Isn’t our uncertainty, our finitude and rational limitations, one of the few things we can be certain about?

Marion shows how the assumption of knowledge as positive demands a reductive epistemology that disregards immeasurable or disorderly phenomena. He shows that we have experiences every day that have no identifiable causes or predictable reasons, and that these constitute a very real knowledge—a knowledge of the limits of what can be known. Establishing this “negative certainty,” Marion applies it to four aporias, or issues of certain uncertainty: the definition of man; the nature of God; the unconditionality of the gift; and the unpredictability of events. Translated for the first time into English, Negative Certainties is an invigorating work of epistemological inquiry that will take a central place in Marion’s oeuvre.

Translated by Stephen E. Lewis

http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/N/bo11936487.html

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