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The Yearbook on History and Interpretation of Phenomenology 2014

Normativity & Typification


Edited By Anton Vydra

The second issue of The Yearbook on History and Interpretation of Phenomenology focuses on the intertwined topics of normativity and of typification. The area of their application and specification is relatively broad: from biological questions through various lived experiences and political life to aesthetical judgments. The contributors see normative aspects of human existence as a possibility to act according to inherent or personal values rather than according to some fixed and external rules or even laws.
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Le rôle de l’intuition philosophique pour l’intelligibilité de la vie


Abstract The Role of Philosophical Intuition for Intelligibility of Life

Is it possible to understand “life” by means of scientific rationality? Is “life” reducible to any other physical/mathematical object? In this article I focus on Bergson, Merleau-Ponty and Patočka’s ideas of life and biological evolution, by pointing out their attempts to present “philosophical intuition” as a model of intelligibility of life phenomena that is quite distinct from scientific rationality. As for Bergson and Merleau-Ponty, between “life” and “scientific rationality” one may grasp an unbridgeable gap: none of the existing theories concerning life and biological evolution provide sufficient explanations for the emergence of novelty and randomness intrinsic to evolution (philogenesis/ontogenesis). Ultimately, the “phenotype determination” is the result of an evolutionary history in most parts characterized by a “scientific” indeterminacy. As we shall see, Bergson and Merleau-Ponty’s reflections on ontogenesis and biological individuation, allow us to shed new light on the ontology of nature, by suggesting a new epistemological apparatus for the scientific inquiry on life and its dynamics.

Keywords: Ontogenesis and Individuality, Life Phenomena, Philosophical Intuition Vs. Scientific Rationality

1. Introduction

Chez sapiens, on peut penser l’individuation comme un processus biologique de transformations indéfinies et imprévisibles qui, pendant l’ontogénèse, va situer l’individu à l’intérieur d’une compréhension rationnelle du chemin évolutif. Ce que je veux dire, c’est que chez l’homme, la mise en place de la constitution phénotypique survient simultanément (sans jamais s’y r...

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