Destructed Meaning, Withheld World, Shattered “We”
The basic intention of this paper is to approach the phenomenon of violence from the perspective of Jan Patočka’s “a‑subjective phenomenology.” Violence is a “boundary phenomenon” that has not yet been adequately analyzed within the phenomenological tradition. Its analysis requires a revision of phenomenology. Such a revision can be found not only in recent approaches, but already in Patočka’s conception. His basic ideas, deriving from a strong critique of both Husserl’s subjectivism and Heidegger’s anti-intellectualism, are here reassessed in this sense. In this context, I use Patočka’s insights concerning the “phenomenal field” and the “movement of human existence” to develop a phenomenological analysis of the various ways in which violence affects the self: by destroying incorporated patterns of understanding, by oppressing the meaningful frameworks of our pre-given life-world, and, finally, by undermining our initial trust in the other.