The Erotic Phenomenon

Paperback | April 15, 2008

byJean-Luc Marion

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While humanists have pondered the subject of love to the point of obsessiveness, philosophers have steadfastly ignored it. The word philosophy means “love of wisdom,” but the absence of love from philosophical discourse is curiously glaring. In The Erotic Phenomenon, Jean-Luc Marion attends to this dearth with an inquiry into the concept of love itself.
            Marion begins with a critique of Descartes’ equation of the ego’s ability to doubt with the certainty that one exists. We encounter love, he says, when we first step forward as a lover: I love therefore I am, and my love is the reason I care whether I exist or not. This philosophical base allows Marion to probe several manifestations of love and its variations, including carnal excitement, self-hate, lying and perversion, fidelity, the generation of children, and the love of God. Throughout, Marion stresses that all erotic phenomena stem not from the ego as popularly understood but instead from love.
     “Marion is doing the most interesting work in phenomenology today. . . . This is not a book about other books about love. It is patiently and carefully attentive to ‘the things themselves,’ and reads as an analysis that is at once rigorous and lyrical—attuned to both the concept and the caress.”—Choice
     “Marion's avowed topic is the erotic phenomenon, and his method is phenomenology. He is a master of that method, and the result is an analysis of erotic love of unparalleled precision and depth. The depiction he gives of the erotic phenomenon is fundamentally convincing, and readers will find their own loves illuminated and questioned.”—Commonweal

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While humanists have pondered the subject of love to the point of obsessiveness, philosophers have steadfastly ignored it. The word philosophy means “love of wisdom,” but the absence of love from philosophical discourse is curiously glaring. In The Erotic Phenomenon, Jean-Luc Marion attends to this dearth with an inquiry into the conce...

From the Jacket

While humanists have pondered the subject of love to the point of obsessiveness, philosophers have steadfastly ignored it. One might wonder whether the discipline of philosophy even recognizes love. The word philosophy means “love of wisdom,” but the absence of love from philosophical discourse is curiously glaring. So where did the lo...

Jean-Luc Marion is professor of philosophy at the University of Paris-Sorbonne Paris IV, and the John Nuveen Distinguished Professor in the Divinity School and professor in the Committee on Social Thought and the Department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago. He is the author of several books, including, most recently, On Desca...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.7 inPublished:April 15, 2008Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226505375

ISBN - 13:9780226505374

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Table of Contents

Translator's Acknowledgments
The Silence of Love

Concerning a Radical Reduction
 1. Doubting Certainty
 2. "What's the Use?"
 3. The Erotic Reduction
 4. The World According to Vanity
 5. Space
 6. Time
 7. Ipseity

Concerning Every Man for Himself, and His Self-Hatred
 8. Separation and Contradiction
 9. The Impossibility of a Love of Self
 10. The Illusion of Persevering in One's Being
 11. Whether I Will It or Not
 12. Self-Hatred
 13. The Passage to Vengeance
 14. The Aporia of Assurance

Concerning the Lover, and His Advance
 15. Reducing Reciprocity
 16. Pure Assurance
 17. The Principle of Insufficient Reason
 18. The Advance
 19. Freedom as Intuition
 20. Signification as Face
 21. Signification as Oath

Concerning the Flesh, and Its Arousal
 22. Individuality
 23. My Flesh, and the Other's
 24. Eroticization as Far as the Face
 25. To Enjoy
 26. Suspension
 27. The Automaton and Finitude
 28. Words for Saying Nothing

Concerning Lying and Truthfulness
 29. The Naturalized Person
 30. The Gap and Deception
 31. Abduction and Perversion
 32. The Street of Darkened Faces
 33. Jealousy's Honor
 34. Hatred's Way
 35. Free Eroticization

Concerning the Third Party, and Its Arrival
 36. Faithfulness as Erotic Temporality
 37. The Ultimate Anticipatory Resolution
 38. The Advent of the Third Party
 39. The Child, or the Third Party on the Point of Leaving
 40. The Adieu, or the Eschatological Third Party
 41. Even Oneself
 42. The One Way
Index

Editorial Reviews

"Marion''s avowed topic is the erotic phenomenon, and his method is phenomenology. He is a master of that method, and the result is an analysis of erotic love of unparalleled precision and depth. The depiction he gives of the erotic phenomenon is fundamentally convincing, and readers will find their own loves illuminated and questioned."