After the end (of continental philosophy)

Abstract : One cannot consider the future of continental philosophy without accounting for its specific "hermeneutic situation." It seems to us that the state of continental philosophy today returns us to metaphysics and to the possibility of truly having done with it. Continental philosophy, in reality, does not cease to live metaphysically, because by asserting the end of metaphysics, it still continues to think according to the topos of the here-and-now and the beyond: that which seeks the ruin of the heavens continues to obsess over the heavens; the cult of immanence can only understand itself in opposition to the other world, therefore in constant reference to it; insufficiently radical, the critique, in the words of Karl-Otto Apel, is but an "inverted metaphysics." Our inversions of the for and against (the sensible vs. the intelligible, the body vs. the soul, the empirical vs. the transcendental, and more recently, the multiple vs. the one) still belong to the landscape of metaphysics. How do we imagine what comes after metaphysics? Can philosophy think according to a topos other than the one of the world above and the world below? Can it respatialize itself in a new way? Put more precisely, can we accept what science tells us about the world and about humanity in any other way than as the deposing of the other world? Can science provide us with anything other than weapons against metaphysics; in other words, can science give us anything other than metaphysics? As a response to these questions, we imagine an alternative scenario tied to the (scientifically attested) fact of our animal origin. Our animal origin can be, for philosophy and more specifically for phenomenology, the chance for a new beginning. But it can do so only on the condition that it does not follow the current method of evolutionary psychology. If it is true that we can be metaphysicians while being reductionistic, because we thus preserve the "old schema," then evolutionary psychology is today, in virtue of its very reductionism, one of the more metaphysical currents of thought. Conversely, if phenomenology decides to face the fact of evolution and to confront its estrangement, we think that it possesses all the resources to invent a new intellectual landscape.
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Contributor : Etienne Bimbenet <>
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Etienne Bimbenet. After the end (of continental philosophy). The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 2012, 50 (2), p. 319-328. ⟨hal-00993228⟩

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