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The Human Creative Condition Between Autopoiesis and Ontopoiesis in the thought of Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka

  • Daniela Verducci
Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU, volume 79)

Abstract

The appearance of the first two volumes of the book series Analecta Husserliana, in 1971 and 1972 respectively, did not evoke particular sensation in the philosophical academy: it seemed that they simply sought to fulfill the need of numerous afficionados of the Husserlian method of philosophy to find a stable place for communication and discussion, since the historical Jahrbuch für Philosophie und phänomenologische Forschung had been out of print for forty years. In reality, the outlook of the founder and editor, Anna-Teresa Tyminiecka, was much wider and more radical. In fact, in her mind, the recent history of phenomenology demonstrated a series of exigencies and opportunities that could not be left unaddressed, without dissipating and ending the new philosophical vitality that had matured.

Keywords

Emotional Intelligence Human Condition Conscious Experience Creative Imagination Creative Experience 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka, “From the Editor,” in Analecta Husserliana. The Yearbook of Phenomenological Research, vol. I (Dordrecht: D. Reidel, 1971), p. vi.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ibid, pp. vi–vii.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cfr.: Id., “La condizione umana all’interno dell’unità-di-tutto-ciò-che-è-vivente” (Ital. trans. by A. Ales Bello), in Dialogo di Filosofia, n. 11, (Rome: Herder Università Lateranense, 1994), p. 442.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cfr.: Marlies Kronegger, “Les Passions de I’ Âme et l’Ontopoeisie de la Vie. L’Eveil de la Vie,” in Phenomenological Inquiry, 21 (1997), p. 15: “Tymieniecka ignore ce triste Substitut que le modernists ont inventé pour couvrir leur stérilité: la théorie.”Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    Tymieniecka, “Die Phänomenologische Selstbesinnung” (I), in Analecta Husserliana, I, op. cit. pp. 2–3.Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    Tymieniecka refers to the following texts: H. Azima, Problèmes biophysique de la conscience, Desclée de Brouwer, Paris, 1954; H. Ey, La Conscience, P.U.F., Paris, 1963; G. Lanteri-Laura, Les probèmes de I’inconscient et la phénoménologique in H. Azima, Problémes biophysique de la conscience, Desclée de Brouwer, Paris, 1954; and CI. Blanc, Conscience et inconscient dans la pensée neurobiologique actuelle, in: L’inconscient, Desclée de Brouwer, Paris, 1966. In the phenomenological vein of psychiatry one can refer to E.W. Straus, Phenomenological Psychology (partial English translation by E. Eng) (New York: Basic Books, 1966); M. Rossi Monti, Psichiatria e Fenomenologia, Loescher, Torino, 1978. In addition: E. Eng, “Constitution and Intentionality in Psychosis,” in Analecta Husserliana, III (1974), pp. 279–289; B. Callieri, “The Experience of Sexual ‘Liebe’ in the Toxicomaniac. Phenomenological Premises,” in Analecta Husserliana, XVI (1983), pp. 211–216. Today one could perhaps use the documentation from neuroscience. Some texts of this kind, just out in Italy, confirm the importance of the corporeal dimension for the development of conscious thought: G. M. Edelman, G. Tononi, A universe of consciousness: how matter becomes imagination, Basic Books, New York, 2000 and A. Damasio, The feeling of what happens: body and emotion in the making of consciousness, Harcourt Brace, New York, 1999. Cfr. also: J. Pigeaud, La maladie de l’âme, Paris, 1981; H. Gardner, The Mind’s New Science, Basic Books, New York, 1985; J. Kristeva, Les nouvelles maladies de l’âme, Fayard, Paris, 1993; D. Goleman, Emotional Intelligence, Bantam Books, New York, 1995.Google Scholar
  7. 8.
    Tymieniecka, “Die Phänomenologische Selstbesinnung,” op. cit., pp. 4–7, § I. Das Selbstgegebene.Google Scholar
  8. 9.
    On the occasion of the First World Congress of Phenomenology, held in Santiago de Compostela (Spain) from October 26 through November 1, 1988, Tymieniecka, among the protagonists of the Husserlian celebration, assesses the activity of the World Phenomenology Institute 50 years after the death of Husserl, underlining the character of continuity, but also of profound innovation, of the phenomenological thought she promoted in respect to the Husserlian legacy. Cfr.: Id., “World-Wide Phenomenology Fulfilling Husserl’s Project: An Introduction,” in Analecta Husserliana, “Phenomenology in the World Fifty Years after the Death of Edmund Husserl,” Book I, “The Turning Point of the New Phenomenological Era. Husserl Research — Drawing upon the Full Extent of His Development,” XXXIV (1991), pp. xi–xix; Id., “Phenomenology of Life and the New Critique of Reason: from Husserl’s Philosophy to the Phenomenology of Life and the Human Condition,” Ibid, pp. 3–15. Contextually, R. Wise and J. C. Couceiro Bueno comment on the state of phenomenology of Husserlian heritage in the contribution: “Phenomenology in the World Fifty Years after the Death of Edmund Husserl: A Report,” Ibid, pp. xxi-xxxiv.Google Scholar
  9. 10.
    A.-T. Tymieniecka, “Tractatus Brevis. First Principles of the Metaphysics of Life Charting the Human Condition: Man’s Creative Act and the Origin of Rationalities,” in Analecta Husserliana, XXI (1986), p. 3.Google Scholar
  10. 11.
    Ibid, pp. 1–73.Google Scholar
  11. 12.
    Id., “Logos and Life: Creative Experience and the Critique of Reason,” Book 1, Analecta Husserliana, XXIV (1988), p. 20.Google Scholar
  12. 13.
    In the series of Analecta Husserliana the volumes that are particularly dedicated to the topic of the “human condition” are: XIV (1981), The Phenomenology of Man and of the Human Condition and XVII (1984), Phenomenology of Life and of Human Condition, in a Dialogue between Occidental and Chinese Philosophies. The particular angle from which Tymieniecka grasps the human condition should be underlined: the latter depends rigorously on the recovery of the “natural corporeal lived experience” by consciousness, and thus expresses above all the very close and inseparable nexus that in man unites consciousness to the psycho-physical functions and automatisms of the body. The human condition represents, in the reflection of Tymieniecka, the most advanced level of the phenomenology of life and should not be identified by referring to the elements of the cosmology of the ancients, as does Arendt, following Heidegger, when she says: “The earth is the true quintessence of the human condition, and terrestrial nature, for as much as we know, is the only one in the universe that can provide human being with a habitat to move and breathe in without strain and without artifice.” ( Arendt, The Human Condition, The University of Chicago, U.S.A., 1958. Ital. trans, by S. Finzi, Vita activa. La condizione umana, Bompiani, Milan, 1998, p. 2. Cfr. also the introduction by A. Dal Lago, La città perduta: p. xxv and note (62) of p. xxxii).Google Scholar
  13. 14.
    Cfr.: L. Grünberg, “From Phenomenology to an Axio-Centric Ontology of the Human Condition,” in Analecta Husserliana, XXI (1996), p. 249.Google Scholar
  14. 15.
    Cfr: S. Weil, Cahiers, I, Plon, Paris, 1970. Here the writer, rather than inquiring theoretically into the human condition, prefers describing the task that she sees before the men of her time. She asks for an inventory or a critique of our civilization but does not know what it means. She will try to clarify precisely the trap that has made man the slave of his own creations. How has unconsciousness filtered into methodical thought and action. Evasion in wild living is a lazy solution. Find the original pact between the spirit and the world through the civilization itself in which we live.Google Scholar
  15. 16.
    Tymieniecka, “Tractatus Brevis,” op. cit., p. 10.Google Scholar
  16. 17.
    Ibid, p. 11. The motive of the “vortex” immediately recalls that species of Wirbeltheorie that Scheler articulates in a few lines of Wesen und Formen der Sympathie (Gesammelte Werke, 7, p. 240 in order to attempt to overcome the Husserlian egological solipsism, which to Scheler’s mind is incapable of explaining the reality of the other in general (Ibid, pp. 221–222). In addition, the motif “vortex” connects to a long and rich tradition, being a topos common to both the more recent personalism (Maine de Biran, Renouvier, Blondel, Mounier) and ancient physics (Anassagore, Democritus, Epicurus) and to modern metaphysics (Descartes, Principia philosophiae). Teilhard de Chardin as well, in his 1925 essay L’hominisation, in explaining the rise of the human level of evolution, uses the image of the vortex as a geometric analogy of the generation of the solid figure of the cone by the rotation of a right-angled triangle around a cathetus. Cfr.: D. Verducci, “Il percorso dell’analisi dell’ intersoggettività in Max Scheler,” in: Figure dell’intersoggettività, ed. by G. Ferretti, Quaderni di ricerca e didattica del Dipartimento di Filosofia e Scienze Umane dell’Università di Macerata, X (1994), pp. 27–46.Google Scholar
  17. 18.
    Tymieniecka, “Tractatus Brevis,” op. cit., pp. vii–viii.Google Scholar
  18. 19.
    Cfr.: Arendt, The Human Condition, op. cit. Here she says about men that since they are initium, newcomers and initiators thanks to birth, they take initiative, are ready for action.Google Scholar
  19. 20.
    Tymieniecka, Eros et Logos. Esquisse de phénoménologie de l’intériorité créatrice, illustrée par le textes poétiques de Paul Valéry (Louvain, Paris: Nauwelaerts, 1972), p. 112.Google Scholar
  20. 21.
    Id., “Logos and Life: Creative Experiences and the Critique of Reason,” (Louvain, Paris: Nauwelaerts, 1972)op. cit., pp. 25–26.Google Scholar
  21. 22.
    Id., Logos and Life: the Passions of the Soul and the Elements in the Onto-poiesis of Culture, Book 3, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 1990, pp. 9–10. The text also appears as “Tractatus Brevis” in Analecta Husserliana, XXVIII (1990).Google Scholar
  22. 23.
    M. Kronegger and A.-T. Tymieniecka (eds.), “Life. The Human Quest for an Ideal,” in Analecta Husserliana, XLIX (1996), p. 15. Here is how the text sounds: “ ‘Onto-’ refers here to the ‘firstness’ of this process with respect to the scale of existential formation. Before this schema’s articulations there is no beingness that we may ascertain with the criteria of our minds — which are attuned precisely to this and no other reality. ‘Onto-’ here also means the indispensable and universal character of whatever there could be in the ‘objective’ form proper to human reality in the sense of the classical metaphysics of ‘onto-’ logos, that is, ontology. However, and this is of crucial significance for the understanding of our vision, this indispensable essential factor of all beingness does not concern beingness in its finished, formed, established or stabilized state; it is the intrinsic factor of the constructive process of individual becoming. The individual remains always in the process of becoming. It acquires form and transforms it. ‘Becoming’ is ‘becoming something that is not yet.’ Becoming is a process in its own advance, in qualification.”Google Scholar
  23. 24.
    Id., “Logos and Life: Creative Experience and the Critique of Reason,” Louvain, Paris: Nauwelaerts, 1972)op. cit., p. 26.Google Scholar
  24. 25.
    Ibid, p. 28.Google Scholar
  25. 26.
    Cfr.: H.R. Maturana F.J. Varela, Autopoiesis and cognition. The realization of living, Reidel, Dordrecht, 1980.Google Scholar
  26. 27.
    F.J. Varela, Un know-how per l’etica, Ital. trans, by M. Mondini and A. de Lachenal, Laterza, Bari, 1992, pp. 11–12. For these observations, the author refers to the volume written in collaboration with H.R. Maturana, The Tree of Knowledge (Boston: New Science Library/Shambhala, 1992. The Italian translation, L’albero delta conoscenza, Garzanti, Milano, 1987, was done from a previous edition.Google Scholar
  27. 28.
    Cfr.: F. Varela, J-R Dupuis, “Understanding Origins: an Introduction,” in Understanding Origins (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1992). Cited by A.-T. Tymieniecka, “Origin of Life and the New Critique of Reason. The Primogenital Generative Matrix,” in Analecta Husserliana, LXVI (2000), p. 4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 29.
    Cfr.: M. Scheler, Erkenntnis und Arbeit, in: Gesammelte Werke 8, 1980, pp. 228–229.Google Scholar
  29. 30.
    Tymieniecka, “Tractatus Brevis,” op. cit., p. 11.Google Scholar
  30. 31.
    Ibid, p. 12.Google Scholar
  31. 32.
    Ibid., p. 13.Google Scholar
  32. 33.
    Ibid., p. 17.Google Scholar
  33. 34.
    The system of thought of Tymieniecka, in its organic exposition, occupies for now three volumes of Analecta Husserliana Id., “Logos and Life: Creative Experience and the Critique of Reason,” Book 1, Analecta Husserliana, XXIV (1988); Id., “Logos and Life: The Three Movements of the Soul,” Book 2, Analecta Husserliana, XXV (1988); Id., “Logos and Life: The Passions of Soul and the Elements in the Onto-Poiesis of Culture,” Book 3, Analecta Husserliana, XXVIII (1990). A new work of notable size has been completed and published in 2000.Google Scholar
  34. 35.
    Id., “Logos and Life: Creative Experience and the Critique of Reason,” Analecta Husserliana, XXIV (1988)cit., p. 3.Google Scholar
  35. 36.
    Ibid, pp. 4–5.Google Scholar
  36. 37.
    Ibid, pp. 5–6. We permit ourselves to dissent from Tymieniecka’s interpretation of Scheler, which perhaps depends on an inexact reception of the Schelerian text Die Stellung des Menschen im Kosmos (Gesammelte Werke, 9, 1975) which also in Italy has been misunderstood. A particular source of misunderstanding is the diagram illustrating the man-environment relationship, graphically representing the human capacity of Weltoffenheit, absent in animals. In fact, while the animal-environment relationship is defined by a closed reciprocity: A ⊓ E, for the man-world relationship there is an open reciprocity: M ⊓ W ⊓ ⊓ ⊓. Weltoffenheit is not thus only “openness-to-the-world” as R. Padellaro and M. T. Pansera understand, in their translations (respectively: Fabbri, Milano, 1970 and Armando, Roma, 1997); nor is it enough to add the meaning of “openness-in-the-world” as G. Cusinato rightly does (in: Katharsis. La morte dell’ego e il divino come apertura al mondo nella prospettiva di Max Scheler; ESI, Salerno, 1999, note 5 of p. 23), pointing out the second movement of reciprocity, by which, in the Selbstgegebenheit, the world also opens to the person. It is still necessary to explain the meaning of the arrows that branch off from the world in succession, and thus, a third meaning of Weltoffenheit, should be introduced, beyond the relationship of reciprocity: that of further “openness-of-the-world,” this time on the part of man, who, exercising ideation, continually produces new “visions-of-the-world”.Google Scholar
  37. 38.
    Id., “Logos and Life: Creative Experience and the Critique of Reason,” Analecta Husserliana, XXIV (1988)cit., p. 6.Google Scholar
  38. 39.
    Also R. Eucken exhorted his contemporaries to struggle for the goal of giving meaning of life, cfr.: R. Eucken, Der Kampf um einen geistigen Lebensinhalt, Leipzig, 1899, but his appeal remained almost entirely ignored. Only Max Scheler, his student in Jena, declared that he drew from that work the idea for his 1899 essay, Arbeit und Ethik (Gesammelte Werke 1, “Frühe Schriften,” 1971, pp. 161–197; Ital. trans, by D. Verducci, Lavoro ed Etica. Saggio di Filosofia Pratica, Città Nuova Editrice, Roma 1997), from whence his reflection on work begins.Google Scholar
  39. 40.
    Id., “Logos and Life: Creative Experience and the Critique of Reason,” Analecta Husserliana, XXIV (1988)op. cit., p. 7.Google Scholar
  40. 41.
    Ibid, p. 8.Google Scholar
  41. 42.
    Ibid, p. 9.Google Scholar
  42. 43.
    Id., “Logos and Life: The Three Movements of the Soul,” Analecta Husserliana, XXIV (1988)op. cit., p. xvii.Google Scholar
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    Id., Logos and Life. Impetus and Equipoise in the Life-Strategies of Reason, (Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2000), pp. viii–xxxvii, 1–684.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Ibid, p. xxxiii and p. xxix.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Ibid, p. xxxiv.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 48.
    Ibid, pp. 4–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 49.
  49. 50.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniela Verducci
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MacerataItaly

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