måndag, januari 30, 2012

Om epistemologins död

“Now, the analysis of “thought,” “reason,” “understanding,” and so on - in general, of the cognitive, contemplative, passive behavior of a being or a “knowing subject” - never reveals the why or the how of the birth of the word “I,” and consequently of self-consciousness - that is, of the human reality. The man who contemplates is “absorbed” by what he contemplates; the “knowing subject” “loses” himself in the object that is known. Contemplation reveals the object, not the subject. The object, and not the subject, is what shows itself to him in and by - or better, as - the act of knowing. The man who is “absorbed” by the object that he is contemplating can be “brought back to himself” only by a Desire; by the desire to eat, for example. The (conscious) Desire of a being is what constitutes that being as I and reveals it as such by moving it to say “I….” Desire is what transforms being, revealed to itself by itself in (true) knowledge, into an “object” revealed to a “subject” by a subject different from the object and “opposed” to it. It is in and by-or better still, as “his” Desire that man is formed and is revealed-to himself and to others - as an I, as the I that is essentially different from, and radically opposed to, the non-I. The (human) I is the I of a Desire or of Desire.

—Alexandre Kojève: Introduction to the Reading of Hegel, 3

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