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The Other Beginning of Philosophy

15 July 2021

The Other Beginning of Philosophy

Illustration par Ikue Nakagawa

The Other Beginning of Philosophy

L'autre commencement de la philosophie

The end of philosophy is an accomplishment that opens a passage to something else or to nothing at all.

Philosophers have interpreted the world. Scientists have made it into a mastered technical world. It remains to be seen whether there is a beyond to mastery.

This is not a matter of debate. There is nothing to discuss: everything has to assert itself and the everything-other or the nothing-of-everything will manifest itself.

No other philosopher determined philosophy’s directions more than Heidegger in recent decades, to the point of it being held hostage within a corpus which has come to have mystical and spiritual force. Heidegger while setting forth a history of philosophy and its end also conceived of an “other beginning”. Is there another beginning possible for philosophy which is free from the inaugural conditions of a Heideggerian history.

To open philosophy towards another beginning, while retaining the insights of deconstruction, Philosophy World Democracy published three texts by Jean-Luc Nancy, Divya Dwivedi and Shaj Mohan together. Jean-Luc Nancy’s wager is that we either surrender to the end of philosophy – instead of letting the philosophical chatter senselessly spreading everywhere which has nothing to do with philosophy – or begin again. It is here that what Heidegger himself received as philosophy becomes important. Divya Dwivedi questions the very concept which conditions this history—ontico-ontological difference—behind which the oriental-occidental difference still awaits its deconstruction. This history of philosophy that Heidegger himself received, like all canons, leaves out questions, texts, concepts and inventions which were taking place beyond what it could recognise as philosophy. Shaj Mohan shows the forgotten question and experience—the obscure experience—which generated the principles of metaphysics, especially the law of identity. The question « what is philosophy? » was determined at first by theologies for this reason that from the absolute identity of God all the other identities are derived. Theology took possession of the « The End of All Things »; and then philosophy surrendered the concepts and concerns which were its circulatory system to the sciences. It was an impoverished philosophy which could only wage a war for meaning and culture that came under Heidegger’s consideration. We can begin again, provided we do not attempt to philosophise according to the ‘logics’ of Heidegger’s system and follow its list of ‘tasks’. We begin again by taking the questions philosophy surrendered to religions and to the sciences, and it might require that we re-think our relation to logic itself.

Philosophy World Democracy Editorial Team

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