You are on page 1of 16

The Phenomenological Origin of the Concept of Givenness

I. In recent debates, especially within the French-speaking world, we have seen a question reappear that one might have thought definitively closed after the stubborn refutations of what was qualified (or rather disqualified) under the title of the myth of the given !the question, precisely, of Gegebenheit" #et it was not a matter of taking up once again!doubtless one time too many!the debate over the possibility of unconstituted givens, whether they be understood in the manner of sense data, as in the $ockean tradition% or as the contents of Erlebnisse in the debate concerning protocol statements between &arnap and 'eurath% or, in the (ergsonian style, as immediate givens of consciousness" )ather, the point was to question the mode of being, or, better, of manifestation (precisely not the mode of being) of certain phenomena" For the principle!supposing that there is one!that everything that shows itself must first give itself (even if everything that gives itself nevertheless does not show itself completely) * implies that one is questioning givenness as a mode of phenomenality, as a how or manner (wie) of the phenomenon" +o that the issue is no longer the immediate given, the perceptive content, or the lived e,perience of consciousness!in short, of something that is given ( das Gegebene), but instead of the style of its phenomenali-ation insofar as it is given, which is to say, the issue is its given-ness .donnit/ (Gegebenheit)"0 1he sometimes questioned ambiguity of the French word donation is in fact limited, for donation reflects the ambiguity of the 2erman Gegebenheit itself,

3e first introduced this quasi-principle as a conclusion to Rduction et donation. Etudes sur Husserl, Heidegger et la phnomnologie (4aris5 4resses universitaires de France, *676, 0889), :8:% Reduction and Givenness: nvestigations of Husserl, Heidegger, and !henomenology , trans" 1homas ;" &arlson (<vanston, I$5 'orthwestern =niversity 4ress, *667), 08:" ;fter >ichel ?enry validated it in the essentials ($es quatres principes de la ph@nom@nologie, Revue de "taphysi#ue et de "orale , *66*A*, reprinted in >ichel ?enry, !hnomnologie de la vie, t" *5 $e la phnomnologie (4aris5 4resses universitaires de France, 088:), we developed it in Etant donn. Essai d%une phnomnologie de la donation (4aris5 4resses universitaires de France, *66B, 088C), DD *-E% &eing Given: 'oward a !henomenology of Givenness , trans" Feffrey $" Gosky (+tanford5 +tanford =niversity 4ress, 0880), DD *-E" 0 1o render Gegebenheit as given-ness .donnit/, rather than as given .donn/ or givenness .donation/, has been suggested by several translators of ?usserl (for the different possible translations, see Etant donn, op" cit", p" 67), especially Fean-FranHois $avigne, Husserl et la naissance de la phnomnologie ()*++-)*),- (4aris5 4resses universitaires de France, 088C), *BC"

which indicates equally well that which finds itself given ( das, da.), as its mode of manifestation (wie)" 1hus the field of the debate, as well as its stake, found itself shifted from the theory of knowledge (Er/enntnistheorie) to phenomenality, and thus to phenomenology" (ut this shift itself promptly opened up another question5 is givenness . donation/ limited and able to stand on its own supposed phenomenological determination!that of given-ness .donnit/, of Gegebenheit in the sense of a mode of phenomenality!or does it inevitably slide toward givenness as an ontic processI Jne could thus understand givenness as a gift (in the more general framework of a sociology of the gift), as a modality of production (according to economy or technology), or indeed as a substitute for creation (in the theological sense, here generali-ed or tacit)" It was sometimes this last hypothesis that was privileged, out of suspicion that in givenness lay the simple restoration, hidden but easily uncovered, of creation, itself understood in the purely onto-theological sense as a transcendent causality and grounding": >y only intention in this paper will be to verify the strictly phenomenological status of givenness, and therefore to understand it as a mode of phenomenality and not as an ontic given! as a given-ness (Gegebenheit), and not as a metaphysical and onto-theological foundation" 1his verification can be conceived of in two ways5 either by a strictly conceptual analysis, which would trace back from the crisis of every a priori foundation toward the necessary recourse to an a posteriori principle, as parado,ical as this formulation might at first seem!this is something I have attempted elsewhere"9 Jr!and this more modest path is the one we will follow here!by sketching the phenomenological genealogy of the concept of givenness or Gegebenheit, as found in certain uses in the early ?eidegger and in late ?usserl, respectively, as they worked with the theory of the obKect, such as it was developed by (ol-ano, >einong, and their contemporaries" II. 1o establish the phenomenological status of givenness beginning with ?eidegger, we could proceed without transition to 0eit und 1ein, which develops quite e,plicitly the original

1his was Lominique FanicaudMs crucial point in his 2e tournant thologi#ue de la phnomnologie fran3aise (&ombas5 $M<clat, *66*)" 9 $Mautre philosophie premiNre et la question de la donation, !hilosophie, 96, 4aris, *66E, included in $e surcro4t. Etudes sur les phnom5nes saturs (4aris5 4resses universitaires de France 088*)% n E6cess: 1tudies of 1aturated !henomena, trans" )obyn ?orner and Oincent (erraud ('ew #ork5 Fordham =niversity 4ress, 0880), chapter *% and then in Etant donn, (ook I"

function of es gibt" 'evertheless, I shall not take this route, because, in a certain way, this te,t, more aporetic than it is conclusive, does not prove givenness in detail, but instead supposes it as already secured5 the thesis that es gibt 1ein, es gibt 0eit serves as point of departure, without ever being granted a genuine phenomenological e,position" ;nd this starting point itself remains rather provisional, since the double es gibt ends up by quickly canceling itself in the Ereignis, the anchoring of which in Gegebenheit soon becomes quite problematic" C Instead, then, we might reverse course and take up one of the te,ts from the very beginning!specifically, the very first course from Freiburg, taught during the 7reignotsemester of *6*6" (ut this approach remains contestable5 even if the discussion ?eidegger was then conducting with 'atorp and )ickert opened up the right perspective (which I will confirm here), the young ?eidegger did not yet have at his disposal the analytic of $asein, or even the hermeneutics of facticity, and these shortcomings impact with a considerable indecision his moreover frequent uses of es gibt, Gegebenheit, and even Ereignis"E 1he risk of drawing incorrect correspondences in this reading between the beginning and the eventual accomplishment, and of making imprudent anticipations, would become almost inevitable" It seems, then, that the surest path is to e,amine the function and the bearing of givenness in 1ein und 0eit itself% for even if said function and bearing do not play upon the occurrences of Gegebenheit,B but of es gibt, they appear equally significant and difficult to interpret" $et us note first of all that, from the moment the formal position on the question of being is articulated (at D0), the first occurrence of the e,pression es gibt arises5 ;ber PseiendM nennen wir vieles und in verschiedenem +inne" +eiend ist alles, vowon wir reden, was wir meinen, wo-u wir uns so und so verhalten, seiend ist auch, was und wie wir selbst sind" +ein legt im LaQ- und +osein, in )ealitRt, Oorhandenheit, (estand, 2eltung, Lasein, im Pes gibt"M ;n welchem +eiendem soll das +in von +ein abgelesen werdenI !(ut we call many things Pe,istentM .seiend/, and in different senses" <verything we talk about, mean, and are related to is in being

I attempted to show this in Etant donn, D:, pp" C: and following% &eing Given, pp" :9 and following" 4ublished by (" ?eimbSchel, under the title 0ur &estimmung der !hilosophie, in the Gesamtausgabe, (d" CEACB, Frankfurt a"A>", *67B" I have attempted a brief commentary in &e que donne P&ela donne,M in 4" &apelle, 2" ?@bert, and >"-L" 4opelard, eds", 2e souci du passage. "langes offerts 8 9ean Greisch (4aris5 &erf, 088C)" B 4rincipally the Gegebenheit des ch (D0C, +"**C,08 T **E,:)% of the totality of $asein (D9*, +"*6*,9% DE0, +":86,0Bsq")% and of Erlebnisse (DC:, +"0EC,*Csq")" I adopt as my own Fean-FranHois &ourtineMs remark5 .U/ the ?eideggerian Pes gibt,M as it appears well before the last variations of 0eit und 1ein in 1ein und 0eit, in order to indicate, moreover within quotation marks that interpretation is necessary, that (eing is not, but that that gives (eing .il y a <tre/ (!rsentation in ;" >einong, 'horie de l%ob:et, French trans" with >" de $aunay, 4aris5 F" Orin, *666, p" :9)" In a sense, this paper is merely an attempt to interpret these quotation marks"

in one way or another" 3hat and how we ourselves are is also in being" (eing is found in the fact and the manner of being, in realitas, in the readiness-to-hand of things .;orhandenheit/, subsistence, validity, e,istence .La-sein/, and in the Pit givesM . es gibt/., too/" In which being is the meaning of being to be found% from which being is the disclosure of being to get its startI

?ere one hears, in fact, an echo of (rentanoMs question on the plurality (or here, the diversity) of the meanings of being, formulated by a recension composed as much of the traditional metaphysical senses, as of those, already in outline, that the e,istential analytic will bring out" (ut to this double list, es gibt has Kust been added, the literal sense of which we will retain! it gives!without covering over and concealing it with its usual ine,act but hallowed-by-much-use <nglish or French equivalents, there is, il y a"6 (ut the addition of this syntagma raises in itself a difficulty5 for, if es gibt does not belong to the meanings of being, nor to the categories of beings, nor even to the le,icon of metaphysics, why has it Kust been added to their listI ;nd furthermore, is it a term of the same rank as the others, or is it a new theme altogetherI If the latter is the case, does it still belong to the question of beings and to the search for the meanings of beingI 1o these questions, the occurrences of es gibt that immediately follow offer no response, because they stick to the pre-conceptual usage of everyday language"*8 III. ;nd yet, an interpolated clause provides a first indication5 3elt ist selbst nicht ein innerweltlich +eiendes, und doch bestimmt sie dieses +eiendes so sehr, daQ es nur begegnen und entdectes +eiendes in seinem +ein sich -eigen kann, sofern es 3elt Pgibt"M ;ber wie Pgibt esM 3eltI !1he world itself is not an innerworldly being, and yet it determines innerworldly beings

>artin ?eidegger, 1ein und 0eit, D0, +"C,:E-E,:% &eing and 'ime, trans" Foan +tambaugh (;lbany, '#5 +tate =niversity of 'ew #ork 4ress, *66E), C .translation modified/" In his personal copy, ?eidegger notes that $asein here remains neither the usual concept nor any other" 6 I adopt as my own Fean-FranHois &ourtineMs Kust remark on the UPes gibt,M which both the French Pil y aM and the <nglish Pthere isM translate badly" Indeed, with Pes gibtM we are in front of a figure that is clearly elementary, e,tenuated as much as one might wish, and reduced to an almost nothing (but nevertheless not nothing) of givenness or of given being (op. cit., :9) (see Etant donn, op. cit., C*)" (ut why speak from the outset of an e6tenuationI Jn the contrary, it may be that es gibt supports no analogy or gradation at all, but instead either produces itself perfectly, or does not produce itself at all, precisely because it indicates a fact, or indeed an event" 3hat is more, can one legitimately make an equivalence between givenness and given being, if the whole point is precisely to think that U(eing is not I 1his isnMt simply about a detail% or rather, everything here plays out in terms of such details" *8 For e,ample, 1ein und 0eit, DB, +":E,0E% D*0, +" CC,*:% D*7, +"7B,*8% D::, +"*C7,:8% D96, +"09B,0E% DC0, +"0C7,C% DB0, +":8% etc"

to such an e,tent that they can only be encountered and discovered and show themselves in their being because Pit givesM the world" (ut how does Pit giveM the worldI

(eing is discovered

only in the world, precisely because it is only insofar as it is innerworldly, never without an already-opened world" From this transcendental anteriority of the world over innerworldly being, it obviously follows that the world is not numbered among the innerworldly beings" ;nd because only being .lM@tant/ is, it is necessary to infer from this that the world, which is not a being, cannot properly be spoken of as being" 1hus we will not say that the world is, but rather, with all rigor, that it gives the world!that the world es gibt" ; similar e,clusion from being of that which cannot be defined as a being is confirmed in D99, which summari-es the fundamental accomplishment of the first section of the published part, by enthroning es gibt as such in the e,istential analytic5 +ein!nicht +eiendes!Pgibt esM nur, soferm 3ahrheit ist" =nd sie ist nur, sofern und solange Lasein ist" +ein und 3ahrheit PsindM gleichursprSnglich" !PIt givesM .Es gibt/ being!not beings!only insofar as truth is" ;nd truth is only because and as long as La-sein is" (eing and truth PareM equiprimordially"

1he first sentence confirms the

preceding point5 if only beings are, and if .U/ das +ein nicht am +eiendem PerklRrtM werden kann! .U/ being certainly cannot be Pe,plainedM in terms of beings , *: then being itself in the strict sense is not, but comes to pass by virtue of an es gibt" &onversely, $asein, privileged as it may appear before all other beings, still remains a being, *9 and thus one can say of it that it is (without quotation marks)" 1his contrast, moreover, serves only to ratify a formula from D9:5 ;llerdings nur solange Lasein ist, das heiQt die ontische >Vglichkeit von +einsverstRndnis, Pgibt esM +ein"! ?owever, only as long as La-sein is, that is, as long as there is the ontic possibility of an understanding of being, Pit givesM .gibt es/ being" between beings and being passes between that which is and what it gives" 1he second sentence of the passage from D99 e,tends to truth the privilege accorded to being5 truth only is with a restriction, because it lines up equiprimordially with being, which


;t the risk of

oversimplifying, it would be necessary to conclude that the difference (soon called ontological)

1ein und 0eit, D*E, +"B0,*C-*B" 1rans" +tambaugh, pp" EB-E7 .translation modified/" &ouldnMt one bring together the distinction between two modes of innerworldy beings5 ;ber Wuhandenes Pgibt esM doch nur auf dem 2runde von Oorhandenen (D*C, +"B*,:B)I *0 1ein und 0eit, D99, +"0:8,C-E" 1rans" +tambaugh, p" 0** .translation modified/" *: 1ein und 0eit, D98, +"*6E,*Bsq, trans" +tambaugh, p" *7: (see D9:, 08B,:8 T 087,:)" *9 1ein und 0eit, D95 X<s ist vielmehr dadurch ontisch ausge<eichnet, daQ es diesem +eienden in seinem +ein um dieses +ein selbst gehtY (+"*B,C)" *C 1ein und 0eit, D9:, +"0*0,9-C" 1rans" +tambaugh, p" *6E .translation modified/"

itself is not, either% they only are with the reservation of quotation marks" 1hus es gibt intervenes in the place of is when the question is no longer that of a being, even a privileged one, but instead of being or of that which demands beingMs phenomenali-ation5 first the world, then, as here, truth" #et a certain ambiguity remains, especially seeing as this te,t still avails itself of typographical means in order to maintain that being is, that truth is, and that the one and the other both are" ?owever, this ambiguity is corrected by an earlier statement from the same

D995 =ahrheit >gibt es% nur, sofern und solange $asein ist. ?> t gives% @>gibt es%A truth only insofar as $a-sein is and as long as it is " 1hus, only the being (par e,cellence) with the rank of $asein really is, whereas the truth demands another instance, an es gibt" 1o which one could doubtless add several quick indications concerning time" For the second section of the published part ends up putting into question Kust as clearly whether time can be, if not in its common and metaphysical sense5 Labei blieb noch vVllig unbestimmt, in welchem +inne die ausgesprochene Vffentliche Weit Pist,M ob sie Sperhaupt als seind ausgesprochen werden kann" Z3e did not determine at all in what sense the public time e,pressed Pis,M or whether it can be addressed as being at all"

;s a matter of fact, it is necessary that time first find itself reduced

(metaphysically) to presence, and then that presence itself be reduced to the present, and the present, in turn, to the instant, which is itself further supposed to be a point (;ristotle, ?egel), in order that time might come back to being in the strict sense, in this case the sense of metaphysics" Inversely, a correct phenomenological analysis of time according to the original temporality of $asein will speak only of .U/ die Weit, die Pes gibtM! .U/ of time, that Pit gives"M

$et us conclude provisionally5 while it is obviously not necessary to read 1ein und 0eit imprudently by anticipating on 0eit und 1ein, one can and even must recogni-e in them, among other common decisions, the following two5 first, that being is no more than time is, because only a being can and must be% and second, that that which is nevertheless gives itself!in other words, it phenomenali-es itself according to the es gibt" 3e find, then, a phenomenality of the es gibt (and in this sense of givenness, Gegebenheit), which grapples with time and being in their


1ein und 0eit, D99, +"00E,:8-:*" 1rans" +tambaugh, p" 087 .translation modified/" +imilarly, =arum mBssen wir vorausset<en, daC es =ahrheit gibtD 3as heiQt Pvorausset-enMI 3as meint das PmSssenM und PwirMI 3as besagt P<s gibt 3ahrheitMI (+"00B,::-:9% see trans" +tambaugh, 086)" *B 1ein und 0eit, D78, +"9**,*6-00" +tambaugh, :B7 .translation modified/" *7 1ein und 0eit, DB6, +"9**,*8" +tambaugh, :BB .translation modified/"

interference with one another, whereas the phenomenality of is A ist only describes $aseinMs plotting regarding other beings, the being of which $asein puts into play" IV. 1his conclusion may certainly seem surprising" First, because the step back outside of metaphysics and its obstruction of the 1einsfrage would demand, parado,ically, the renunciation of the phenomenology of being, of the verb is E ist A einai, in order to attain a phenomenology that is, in fact, resolutely non-ontological (although not de-ontological), at least in the sense of the metaphysical ontologia" 'e,t, the conclusion surprises because a prior question asserts itself5 Loes this step back from (or out in front of) is E ist E einai, and thus to this side of (or beyond) beings, arise from the possibilities of the phenomenological method as such!provided that this as such here retains any meaningI In outlining a shift towards the es gibt, does 1ein und 0eit proceed simply by force, or does it in fact open out a possibility already implicitly inscribed within phenomenologyI ;sked another way, does its usage of es gibt E it gives remain without precedent and indeterminate, or does it achieve a previously glimpsed possibility of acceding to GegebenheitI It seems, in fact, that one might trace the usages of es gibt in 1ein und 0eit back to three problematics nearly contemporary with Gegebenheit5 ! (a) 1he thesis in D*E that beings can only be encountered and discovered and show themselves in their being only for as much as Pit givesM the world .sofern es =elt >gibt%/ , so that one must first ask5 (ut how does Pit giveM the worldI .wie >gibt es% =eltD/ ,*6 can be read as the taking up of one of <mil $askMs central theses5 Les Gegebene ist dabei nicht bloQ das +innliche, sondern die gan-e usrprSngliche 3elt Sberhaupt, woran sich die kontemplative Formenwelt aufbaut" .U/ =rsprSnglich gibt es gar nicht P2egenstRnde,M sondern nur <twas, das kategorial gefaQt 2egenstand wird" ! 1he given therefore is not the mere sensible, but the most original, complete world in general, upon which the intellectual world of forms is erected" .U/ Jriginarily that does not give PobKects,M but only a something which, once grasped categorically, becomes an obKect"
*6 08


1he original character of

1ein und 0eit, D*E, +"B0,*C-*B (cited in note ** above)" <mil $ask, 0ur 1ystem der !hilosophie, Gp"*, in <" ?errigel (hr") Gesammelte 1chriften, 1Sbingen, *609, (d" III, +"*B6-*78" 1he te,t takes up and refounds $ie 2ogi/ der !hilosophie und die 7ategorienlehre , which ?eidegger read from its publication in *6**" 1he maKor thesis there was already givenness5 Luch die identitRt ist das bloQe <twas einens 2egenstRndes ein <twas, das Pes gibt"M Lie Gategorie des P<s-2ebensM ist die refle,ive 2egenstRndlichkeit (Gesammelte 1chriften, op. cit. (d"II, +"*90)" Jn this point, see the classic article by 1heodore Gisiel, 3hy students of ?eidegger will have to read <mil $ask, "an and =orld, 07, *66C (included in 1heodore

the Gegebene far surpasses the anteriority of the material and the sensible content (das 1innliche), but ends up in nothing less than the world itself" ;nd what we mean by the world consists precisely not in obKects!for they do not compose the world, but instead become possible beginning from it, which is always already given" ! (b) ;s for the passage from D0 that maintains that all the significations of being . l%tant/ find themselves dominated by the instance of es gibt (;ber PseiendM nennen wir vieles und in verschiedenem +inne" .U/ +ein legt im LaQ- und +osein, in )ealitRt, Oorhnadenheit, (estand, 2eltung, Lasein, im Pes hibt"M ;n welchem +eiendem soll das +inn von +ein abgelesen werdenI ),0* it takes on its full force if one reads it alongside what )ickert was themati-ing under the title of the universal form of givenness or factuality, allgemeine Form der Gegebenheit oder 'asGtlich/eit "

?e intended in

this way to define within factuality itself a category, perfectly irreducible to the categories that define the matter or substance of the given, because it designates the very fact that the given finds itself given, and given in its individuality" For, )ickert insists, givenness, as mode of the given, rightfully demands its own category5 ."""/ the category of givennes or factuality, die 7ategorie der Gegebenheit oder 'asGchlich/eit" precedes it"

;ccording to such a category, givenness

indeed already determines every signification of being .l%tant/, which also means that it ! (c) 1here remain divisions 9:-99 which, far from subsuming all onticoontological significations under the es gibt, only take recourse there for being, truth, the world, and time, as opposed to all particular beings, including $asein" #et even this radical distinction finds a precedent in 'atorp" Indeed, if he admits givens, 'atorp e,cludes the itself from all givenness5 Latum heiQt 4roblem% 4roblem aber is das rein Ich nicht" <s ist 4rin-ip% ein 4rin-ip aber ist niemals Pgegeben,M sondern, Ke radikaler, um so ferner allem 2egebenem" P2egebenM wSrde uberdies heiQen Peinem gegeben,M das aber wiederum P<inem bewuQt"M Las (ewuQt-sein ist im (egriff des 2egebenem also schon vorausgeset-t" Z 2iven signifies problem% but the pure is not a problem" It is a principle% now, a principle is never Pgiven,M but it is all the more radical because it is remote from every given" Furthermore, PgivenM would mean Pgiven to someone,M
F" Gisiel, Heidegger%s =ay of 'hought: Hritical and nterpretive 1ignposts " 'ew #ork5 &ontinuum, 0880, chapter C)" 0* 1ein und 0eit, D0, +"C,:E-E,: (cited in note 7, above)" 00 ?einrich )ickert, $er Gegenstand der Er/enntnis. EinfBhrung in die 'rans<endental-!hilosophie , 1Sbingen, *760, p" :0E" (?eidegger cites the third edition, *6*C, en 2; CEACB, +":9 or in 2; C7, +"B*, 00E, in order to critique the confusion between two meanings of Gegebenheit5 that which precedes the accomplishment of scientific knowledge, and that which proceeds from it)" 0: bid", +":0B, :07"

which in turn would mean Pconscious for someone"M presupposed in the concept of the given"

&onscious being thus finds itself

Fust as, in 1ein und 0eit, $asein above all does not

come under es gibt, for 'atorp, the is the e,ception" Jf course, the difference between them is only all the more visible5 for 'atorp, given signifies given as an obKect to consciousness, whereas for ?eidegger, the obKect-to-hand conceals the innerworldly es gibt within itself" 'onetheless, it remains that 'atorpMs question finds itself assumed by ?eidegger, if only to find itself radically overturned, inasmuch as $asein overturns the "0C From this short review, we can at least conclude that ?eidegger in 1ein und 0eit could by no means be unaware of the fact that his uses of es gibt took place within a strategic debate amongst his contemporaries about the status, situation, and breadth of Gegebenheit" ;ll share one obvious question5 Is it necessary to define obKects or beingsI Is it necessary to start with an ontology or with a theory of the obKectI (ut this obvious question is formulated by each of them against the background of a presupposition that remained implicit, even though it had seeped into all of the debates5 &an one distinguish between obKects and beings without first relating them to the givenness in themI 'o one saw or e,plained this better than ?usserl, whose work was at the same time both conclusive for the neo-Gantian debate, and inaugural of a new dispute with ?eidegger" V. In $ie dee der !hGnomenologie .'he dea of !henomenology/, the very te,t in which, in *68B, he for the first time and definitively asserts the operation of the reduction, ?usserl puts the reduction to work for the sake of givenness" [berall ist die 2egebenheit, mag sich in ihr bloQ Oorgstelltes oder wahrhaft +eiendes, reales oder Ideales, >Vgliches oder =nmVgliches bekunden, eine Gegenbheit im Er/enntnisphGnomen, im 4hRnomen eines Lenkens im weitesten 3ortsinn" ! 2ivenness is everywhere, whether it is announced by what is merely represented or by a true being, what is real or what is ideal, what is possible or what is impossible, .this givenness/ is a givenness within a phenomenon of cognition, in the phenomenon of thought, in

4aul 'atorp, Illgemeine !sychologie nach /ritischer "ethode. Erster &and: Jb:ect und "ethode der !sychologie, G":, D*, 1Sbingen, *6*0, +"98" 0C +ee &" 3ol-ogen, P<s gibt"M ?eidegger und 'atorp P4raktische 4hilosophie,M in ;">" 2ethmann-+eifert and J" 4Vggeler (hr"), Heidegger und die pra/tische !hilosophie, Frankfurt a"A>", *677"

the widest sense of the term" Gegebenheit ist ein 2et<tes,



Indeed, if absolute givenness is the ultimate term, absolute

it is the direct result of the reduction5 <rst durch eine )eduktion,

die wir auch schon phGnomenologische Redu/tion nennen wollen, gewinne ich eine absolute 2egegenbenheit die nichts von 1ran-scenden- mehr bietet" Z Jnly through a reduction, the same one we have already called phenomenological reduction, do I attain an absolute givenness which no longer owes anything to transcendence"

?usserl is not distinguished from 'atorp, )ickert,

or $ask by his recourse to givenness, which they all have in common" ?e surpasses them by the condition he places on it!the operation of the reduction!which alone Kustifies the irreducibility of the given, truly irreducible because in fact resulting from the reduction" 2iven always signifies for ?usserl given to cognition, to the beneath the figure of a phenomenon, that is to

say, according to the wonderful noetico-noematic correlation, .wunderbare 7orrelation/ as it does for 'atorp, that the

between the lived e,periences of consciousness and the intentional obKect" 1his does not imply, simply remains the principle, outside of givenness, of a given itself has a share in the givenness within the comprehended as a simple fact, because the

consciousness of the temporal flu, and its variations" 'or does this sum up givenness in an unKustified category of factuality, as in )ickert, because phenomena that are neither factual, nor effectual also give themselves!for e,ample, logical idealities" 'or, finally, does this concern only the world, as for $ask, because even formal impossibilities, that are part of the world, may find themselves given" Indeed, the very te,t that concluded with the fundamental declaration, [berall ist die 2egebenheit .U/ eine Gegebenheit im Er/enntnisphGnomen Z <verywhere givenness .U/ is a givenness within a phenomenon of cognition @/nowledgeA , develops a long list of the different modes of authentic givenness % it includes nearly all possible phenomena in givenness, among which are precisely those e,cluded by 'atorp, )ickert, or $ask" Indeed, ?usserl enumerates (a) the givenness of the cogitatio, and (b) the givenness of the cogitatio preserved in a fresh recollection !thus, the (against 'atorp)" 'e,t, (c) the givenness of the unity of appearance enduring in the phenomenal flu,, (d) the givenness of change itself, (e) the givenness of

<dmund ?usserl, $ie dee der !hGnomenologie, ?ua" II, +"B9,0C-07" 'he dea of !henomenology, trans" 3illiam 4" ;lston and 2eorge 'akhnikian" Lordrecht5 Gluwer ;cademic 4ublishers, *668, C6 .translation modified/" 0B $ie dee der !hGnomenologie, ?ua"II, +"E*,6" 1rans" ;lston and 'akhnikian, 96 .translation modified/" 07 $ie dee der !hGnomenologie, ?ua" II, +"99,*6-00% trans" ;lston and 'ahknikian, :9 .translation modified/" Jn this strict link between Gegebenheit and reduction, see Etant donn, D:, op. cit., 90 and following (&eing Given, D :, 0B and following)" 06 $ie dee der !hGnomenologie, ?ua"II, +"B9,:8-:*% trans" ;lston and 'ahknikian, C6 .translation modified/"


things to the PouterM sense, and (f) the givenness of various perceptions of the imagination and of memory" Jverall, one could say that facts and beings of the world are at issue" (ut, ?usserl adds, naturally, natBrlich we must also include in Gegebenheit (g) logical givenness ! namely, the givenness of universals, of predicates, and so on% and (h) therefore, in the end, even the givenness of a non-sense, of a contradiction, of a nothing, etc" Z auch die Gegebenheit eines =idersinns, eines =iederspruchs, eines Kichtseins, usw.

'ow then, these last figures of

givenness do not belong to the world (as $ask would have it), nor do they come under the category of factuality (following )ickert), nor do they constitute a fact of e,perience (as for 'atorp)" (y what right, then, do non-sense, contradiction, and nothingness (or even, the impossible) take a place within GegebenheitI In effect, givenness becomes for ?usserl universal e,actly inasmuch as the reduction universally e,ercises its right" (ut from whence does it come that the things that do not figure as e,ceptions, specifically the impossible, non-sense, contradiction, and misunderstanding, still merit the title of given and also come under givenness, since they e,ceed the limits of beings . l%tant/I >ust one conclude that Gegebenheit e,tends beyond 1eiendheit, beyond beings as the possible of metaphysicsI VI. ?usserlMs decision only becomes intelligible if one hearkens back to a problem that was formulated but left open-ended by (ol-ano in DEB of his =issenschaftslehre, symptomatically titled Es gibt auch gegenstandlose Oorstellungen" nothing.ness/, auch der Gedan/e Kichts"

(ol-ano, as we know, postulates that every

representation has an obKect, a something, that it represents5 .U/ even the representation of .a/ $etMs propose at least three e,amples5 first, contradiction (a round triangle) and non-sense (green virtue), two unthinkable formal impossibilities% ne,t, an impossibility of fact, empirically so, but not formally unthinkable (a mountain of gold)" 3e note right away two determining points" (a) 1hese three e,amples

$ie dee der !hGnomenologie, ?ua" II, +"B9, *0-0C% translation ;lston and 'ahknikian, C6 .translation modified/" ;fter *68B ?usserl will discover other modes of authentic givenness, in particular, the flesh, passive syntheses, intersubKectivity, and teleology" +ubsequent phenomenology will not stop adding more (beingAbeings, time, world and truth, the face, auto-affection, hermeneutics and differ ance, etc")" I hold that all come under givenness, whether one admits it or not" :* (ernard (ol-ano, =issenschaftslehre, DEB, in F" (erg (hr"), 1chriften, (d"II,*, +tuttgartA(ad &annstatt, *67B, +"**0"


correspond to the ultimate e,tensions of givenness in ?usserl" (b) In order to qualify these representations without obKects, and which therefore surpass the limits of beingness, (ol-ano has recourse to es gibt Kust as ?usserl does to Gegebenheit" 4roperly speaking, one cannot say that for (ol-ano .U/ PnothingM doesnMt Pe,istM any less insofar as representation, because neither being nor e6isting e,tend to it, only giving .se donner/ A es gibt" ?owever, more so than through (ol-ano and even 1wardowski, :: the connection between givenness and representations without obKects was established by >einong" Indeed, his *689 'heory of the Jb:ect (Gegenstandstheorie) e,pressed it in the form of a celebrated parado,, which says that .U/ it gives obKects, about which it is valid to affirm that such obKects do not give themselves" Z es gibt GegenstGnde, von denen gilt, daC es dergleichen GegenstGnde nicht gibt"
:9 :0


Indeed, that which is not either because it contradicts itself or because it has no

signification, nonetheless remains a conceivable and conceived of obKect, even if only to find itself reKected as un-real, incomprehensible, or absurd5 it remains an obKect e,actly in that one must conceive it in order to recogni-e it precisely as not being" 1hus even that which is not still comes under the obKect, since a theory!namely, the theory of the obKect!has taken charge of it" +uch an obKect is no longer defined by its being, nor even by its consistency . consistance/ (&estand, bestehen) but by its givenness5 It does not give ( es gibt) any obKect that, at least by right of possibility, is not a potential obKect of knowledge" .U/ <verything knowable is given (ist gegeben)!precisely to knowledge" Furthermore, insofar as all obKects can be known, one can recogni-e without e,ception, whether they are or are not ( mLgen sie sein oder nicht sein), givenness (die Gegebenheit) as the most universal property"

1he fact of becoming an

obKection to at least possible knowledge, by taking the status of obKect, still implies no decision

Focelyn (enoist, Reprsentations sans ob:ets. Iu6 origines de la phnomnologie et de la philosophie analyti#ue " (4aris5 4resses universitaires de France, 088*), *6, an imprecise formulation in a work that is otherwise indispensable" :: 3ho was nevertheless an essential relay for the question for ?usserl" 1he dossier of their e,changes has been remarkably collected by F" <nglish, in ?usserl-1wardowski, 1ur les ob:ets intentionnels. )M*,-)*+), 4aris, *66:" :9 ;le,ius >einong, Nber Gegenstandstheorie .originally Ontersuchugen <ur Gegenstandstheorie und !sychologie, $eip-ig, *689/, D:, in )" ?aller (hr"), Gesamtausgabe, (L"II, Ibhandlungen <ur er/enntnistheorie und gegenstandstheorie, 2ra-, *6B*, +"96*" In a desire to remain elegant, the French translation (Il y a des obKets \ propos desquels on peut affirmer quMil nMy en a pas ) misses the essential, Gegebenheit" >oreover, it hides or mars by elsewhere rendering it ]tre-donn@ (DE), precisely there where givenness dispenses itself of being" +ee ;" >einong, 'horie de l%ob:et et !rsentation personelle , op" cit", with an instructive introduction by Fean-FranHois &ourtine (here pp" B: and 7:)" :C Nber Gegenstandstheorie, DE, bid", +"C88 (where clearly one must not translate Gegebenheit by being-given, see the French translation, op. cit., p" 7:)" +ee .U/ die 2egenstandstheorie beschRftige sich mit dem 2egebenen ganohne )Scksicht auf dessen +ein (D**, ibid" +"C*6)"


regarding the being of this obKect, or its possibility (its non-contradictory essence), or its position (its e,istence in the world), but requires only the minimum of givenness, of what assures es gibt" ;bove all one must not say that the obKect is in the mode of es gibt, because Gegebenheit dispenses it from being, to the point .U/ that one might perhaps say that the pure obKect holds itself Pbeyond being and non-beingM Z.U/ der reine 2egenstand stehe PKenseits von +ein und 'ichtseinM % or that, insofar as given, it appears as being outside of being, auCerseiend"

1here thus stands out a science more comprehensive than metaphysics, which holds itself to the region of that which is or can be (the possible), by e,cluding the impossible" ;s universal as it may be, the ontologia of metaphysica generalis still remains an .U/ a posteriori science, which only retains from the given for its research that which can fall into line under the ga-e of an empirical knowledge, which is to say, the whole of effectivity" Z .U/ eine aposteriorische, die vom 2egebenen so viel in =ntersuchung -ieht, als fSr empirisches <rkennen eben in (etracht komment kann, die gesamte 3irklichkeit" ;nother science, the theory of the obKect, precedes it and comprehends it, insofar as it confirms itself as truly .U/ an a priori science, which takes into account all the given Z .U/ die alles 2egebene betrifft"

1hus we must recogni-e in >einong not only the merit of his having pushed the problem introduced by (ol-ano to its parado,ical consequences, but above all his having neatly erected Gegebenheit as a more powerful and more comprehensive authority than being, at least as being is understood by the ontologia of metaphysics" <ven that which is not!which is to say, what cannot be, because it does not accede to possibility!can be thought in the mode of the obKect, and thus, insofar as this obKect, be given" From (ol-ano to >einong, through what we roughly term neo-Gantianism, a gap thus opens between being and obKect" (y saying es gibt where one cannot say it is, this gap allows for a step back ( 1chritt <urBc/), outside of being, and perhaps outside of metaphysics as well"


Nber Gegenstandstheorie, D9, +"969" +ee5 Ler 2egenstand ist von 'atur auCerseiend, obwohl von seinen beiden +einsobKectiven, seinem +ein und seinem 'ichtsein, Kedenfalls eines besteht ( ibid")" 3hich thus becomes the principle of the beyond of being of the pure obKect, 1at< vom IuCersein des reinen Gegenstandes (ibid"), and certainly supposes the Gantian assumption that being and non-being are equally e,terior to the obKect ( ibid"), because they do not constitute real predicates" :B Nber Gegenstandstheorie, D**, +"C0*"


VII. +o the question no longer involves deciding whether or not givennes (Gegebenheit, es gibt) has the rank of a philosophical concept5 the agreement of an entire tradition established it as such, so that ?usserl, but also ?eidegger, were able simply to inherit it" :7 (ut now a different, and doubtless more delicate, question arises5 how should we interpret the gap that givenness opens up between itself and being .tant/ in the metaphysical senseI Gant clearly showed that beyond the metaphysical division (+uare-, 3olff) between the possible (being, ens), and the impossible (nothingness, nihil), there ought to be a still higher .concept/, and this is the concept of an obKect in general, Gegenstand Bberhaupt, taken problematically, without its having been decided whether it is something or nothing, ob es etwas oder nichts ist"

(ut even Gant himself

did not, in the end, decide on the ontological status (or lack thereof) of this obKect in general" +o what responses were offered to this questionI 'atorp, closest to Gant, tends to apply the given to all phenomena" )ickert and, in a sense, $ask, e,tend the given toward a transcendental determination (factuality, or the world)" 1wardowski and >einong, and then ?usserl, tend, in rather similar models, to identify the obKect and the given, which are themselves set up as universal determination of phenomenality" (ut this e,pansion does not go far before it gives rise to a new difficulty" 1his is what it looks like in ?usserl" 3hen he claims to describe the cardinal and principial difference between the domains of consciousness and reality! die prin-ipielle =nterschiedenheit der +einsweisen, die kardinaleste, die es Sberhaupt gibt, die -wischen &ewuCtein und RealitGt, he thinks and defines it once again inside of the one and only givenness, speaking of a principial difference in the mode of givenness ! ein prin<ipieller Onterschied der Gegebenheitsart"


even this differentiation leaves givenness undifferentiated, what specificity does it retainI ;nd above all how is this universal undertaking reconciled with the caesura that the reduction

?ow can Focelyn (enoist put into question the central role of givenness as such for >einong (It is nevertheless doubtful that this reference to modes of thought and to what seems to be the imperative of givenness are really so central in >einongian analysis (Reprsentations sans ob:ets, op. cit., p" *0:, my emphasis)I ;nd how can FeanFranHois &ourtine be so astonished by the drawing of a relationship between the es gibt of >einong and that of ?eidegger in *60B (a preposterous idea, he writes in >einong, 'horie de l%ob:et, op. cit., p" :9)I :6 Immanuel Gant, 7riti/ der reinen ;ernunft, ;068% Hriti#ue of !ure Reason, trans" 'orman Gemp +mith ($ondon5 >acmillan, *6E*), 069" 98 ?usserl, deen I, D6E, ?ua"III, +"6E" +ee D9E, +"*86 (where the difference between Erlebnis and transcendence leads back to the difference between two leibhaft Gegebene), and the commentary of Lidier Franck, Hhair et corps. 1ur la phnomnologie de Husserl (4aris5 <ditions de >inuit, *67*), 09 and following"


impliesI ; certain ambiguity inevitably threatens the ?usserlian Gegebenheit5 if every obKect comes under the given, as at least all possible obKects do, givenness would then retain an intrinsic link with being .lM@tant/ and would still remain a mode of being ( 1einsweise) among others" 1he very universali-ation of Gegebenheit, at least as ?usserl achieved it, which is to say as a universali-ation of obKectity (GegenshGndlich/eit), loses its radicality and weakens its breakthrough beyond being, auCerseiend"9* (y contrast, the strategic reversal of 1ein und 0eit becomes evident" ?eidegger intends to destroy the ontologia of metaphysics, which amounts to freeing himself from all ontology, above all the ontology of the obKect (that is, the formal ontology of ?usserl)" 1his destruction is conducted by recourse to the e,istential analytic, where the mode of being of $asein finds itself described, at least in a preliminary way, in strict opposition to the mode of being of obKects and other innerworldly beings" In this sense, $asein is not, at least in the sense that innerworldy beings are!and precisely are no longer, once an,iety opens $asein to itself in the Kichts" ?ow do we formulate clearly this step back outside of the mode of being of innerworldly beings and of obKectsI (y an e,tremely violent reversal, if one refers to givenness as a modality of ob:ects (according to (ol-ano, 1wardowski, 'atorp, >einong, ?usserl)" For 1ein und 0eit, in fact, es gibt not only no longer qualifies the obKect (whether impossible or general), but precisely all that which is no longer, in the sense of ontologia and of formal ontology, because its mode of being differs ontologically from all the other beings!$asein, or rather all that which puts into operation its ontico-ontological privilege5 truth, the world, time, and being" ?eidegger thus turns the es gibt against the obKect, while his predecessors had invoked it in order to separate the obKect from (possible) beings" (ut they all, at least, had already agreed that givenness marks a border, which, in one way or another, puts the beingness of beings into question" 1hus givenness certainly has the status of a concept, because we can sketch its conceptual history" It does not pass only through ?usserl and ?eidegger, but also through all of neoGantianism, beginning with (ol-anoMs turn to a question already sketched out by Gant" From =issenschaftlehere, givenness passed on, through Er/enntnistheorie and Gegenstandstheorie, to phenomenology and to the 1einsfrage" 1he question remains, today, to know if, in the final


?usserl did not fail to recogni-e the possibility, or indeed the obligation of such an e,it out, beyond being (see the light shed on this issue in Rduction et donation, <nglish translation Reduction and Givenness, op. cit., DD*-B), but he essentially leaves it undecided"


instance, givenness might not arise from itself and from nothing else!not even from being or the Ereignis" Fean-$uc >arion 1ranslated by Famie Gropka and +tephen <" $ewis