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The Primordial Dance

Diametric and Concentric Spaces in the Unconscious World

Paul Downes

This book argues that a silent axis of the unconscious world rests largely undiscovered. It recasts foundational concepts in the psychology of Freud, Jung, Carol Gilligan and R.D. Laing, as well as in cognitive science, to highlight this hidden unconscious axis: primordial spaces of diametric and concentric structures. The author generates fresh approaches to understanding the philosophy of early Heidegger and Derrida, with the idea of cross-cultural diametric and concentric spaces fuelling a radical reinterpretation of early Heidegger’s transcendental project, and challenging a postmodern consensus that reduces truths and experiences to mere socially constructed playthings of culture.
The book, which also examines projected structures in modernist art, suggests a systematic refashioning of many Western assumptions, but it is more than a deconstruction. It also attempts to offer a new interplay between structures and meaning, as a spatial phenomenology. This significant expansion of the boundaries of human subjectivity opens alternative pathways for imagining what it means to be human, in order to challenge the reduction of experience to instrumental reason.


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Part IV Primordial Structures Prior to Subjectivity: Projections of a Dynamic A Priori Structure


Part IV Primordial Structures Prior to Subjectivity: Projections of a Dynamic A Priori Structure chapter 10 Early Heidegger’s Search for Concrete, Dynamic A Priori Structures of Being-in-the-World A broadening of the unconscious world has already been observed to take place through a scrutiny of not only concentric and diametric spatial struc- tures but also of the dynamic background relation between these spaces. This background level moves the unconscious beyond anthropocentrism, while being resonant with a reinterpretation of the Freudian life and death drives, the Jungian self as circumference and dynamic mandala, and Derrida’s erasure of the trace of unconscious imprints. This dynamic back- ground level of interactive relation, allied with foregrounded concentric and diametric spaces, will now be argued to pertain to Heidegger’s (1927) structures of being-in-the-world. Heidegger’s (1927) structures of being are purportedly primordial, a priori transcendental structures of relation. Understanding of these unthought concentric and diametric spaces can revitalize early Heidegger’s transcendental project, one that was subse- quently abandoned by him. Early Heidegger’s question of being sought a primordial structure of relation, a holistic (though not simple), background structure of primor- dial experience and truth, transcendent of linear time. Heidegger (1924) refers to ‘the dangerous threat of relativism’ (p. 20E) and for Heidegger (1927), ‘the structure of existentiality lies a priori’ (p. 69), with his search being for ‘not just any accidental structures, but essential ones’ (pp. 37–8). Early Heidegger is not to be marshalled into a postmodernist straitjacket. The question arises as to how a structure...

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