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Postdeconstructive Necrophilia: Grave Spaces in Aristotle, Augustine, and Blanchot and the Question of the Decision

Postdeconstructive Necrophilia: Grave Spaces in Aristotle, Augustine, and Blanchot and the... 1. The Critique of the Essential Subject: The Problem of Existential Voluntarism Martin Heidegger and Iris Murdoch offer two challenging critiques to Sartrean Existentialism. In his Letter On Humanism, Heidegger charges Sartre with merely inverting the Platonic order of essence and existence: COMPARATIVE LITERATURE /148 By way of contrast, Sartre expresses the basic tenet of existentialism in this way: Existence precedes essence. In this statement he is taking existentia and essentia according to their metaphysical meaning, which from Plato’s time on has said that essentia precedes existentia. Sartre reverses this statement. But the reversal of a metaphysical statement remains a metaphysical statement. With it he stays with metaphysics in oblivion of the truth of Being. (Basic 208) This is the Existentialists’ move, a move that, according to Heidegger, kept Sartre imprisoned within the history of metaphysics. Heidegger’s dasein, on the other hand, as an instantiation of the continuous historical self, suggests a self that is involved in an ongoing process. “Being-there,” hereness, consciousness folded into temporality, becomes Heidegger’s account of a postmetaphysical selfhood. Iris Murdoch critiques Sartre’s Existentialist move for a different reason— namely, that it privileges an omnipotent will. In order to resist the Existentialists’ reduction of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Comparative Literature Duke University Press

Postdeconstructive Necrophilia: Grave Spaces in Aristotle, Augustine, and Blanchot and the Question of the Decision

Comparative Literature , Volume 56 (2) – Jan 1, 2004

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2004 by University of Oregon
ISSN
0010-4124
eISSN
1945-8517
DOI
10.1215/-56-2-147
Publisher site
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Abstract

1. The Critique of the Essential Subject: The Problem of Existential Voluntarism Martin Heidegger and Iris Murdoch offer two challenging critiques to Sartrean Existentialism. In his Letter On Humanism, Heidegger charges Sartre with merely inverting the Platonic order of essence and existence: COMPARATIVE LITERATURE /148 By way of contrast, Sartre expresses the basic tenet of existentialism in this way: Existence precedes essence. In this statement he is taking existentia and essentia according to their metaphysical meaning, which from Plato’s time on has said that essentia precedes existentia. Sartre reverses this statement. But the reversal of a metaphysical statement remains a metaphysical statement. With it he stays with metaphysics in oblivion of the truth of Being. (Basic 208) This is the Existentialists’ move, a move that, according to Heidegger, kept Sartre imprisoned within the history of metaphysics. Heidegger’s dasein, on the other hand, as an instantiation of the continuous historical self, suggests a self that is involved in an ongoing process. “Being-there,” hereness, consciousness folded into temporality, becomes Heidegger’s account of a postmetaphysical selfhood. Iris Murdoch critiques Sartre’s Existentialist move for a different reason— namely, that it privileges an omnipotent will. In order to resist the Existentialists’ reduction of

Journal

Comparative LiteratureDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2004

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