Phenomenology and Henology
In Broken Hegemonies, Rainer Schürmann rereads Neoplatonism while distinguishing between two versions of the ontological difference. One is traced back to a foundation of being: this is the metaphysical difference. The other brings to light the One as the very condition of being: this is the henological difference, but it can also be termed phenomenological, since the One is the transcendental condition of appearing. I propose to show that such is precisely Patočka’s position and that his phenomenology is, therefore, a henology. The demonstration includes three stages: (1) the question of Being is to be approached on the basis of the question of appearing: ontology makes sense only as phenomenology; (2) appearing as such cannot be understood if it is referred to something appearing, whatever that may be: the phenomenological difference cannot be a metaphysical difference; and (3) there is a surpassing of beings (of appearance) toward their appearing only as the making evident of their submission to a condition of unity: the phenomenological difference makes sense only as henological difference.