The Erotic Phenomenon

The Erotic Phenomenon

by Jean-Luc Marion
     
 

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While humanists have pondered the subject of love to the point of obsessiveness, philosophers have steadfastly ignored it. The word philosophy means “love of wisdom,” but the absence of love from philosophical discourse is curiously glaring. In The Erotic Phenomenon, Jean-Luc Marion attends to this dearth with an inquiry into the concept

Overview

While humanists have pondered the subject of love to the point of obsessiveness, philosophers have steadfastly ignored it. The word philosophy means “love of wisdom,” but the absence of love from philosophical discourse is curiously glaring. In The Erotic Phenomenon, Jean-Luc Marion attends to this dearth with an inquiry into the concept of love itself.
            Marion begins with a critique of Descartes’ equation of the ego’s ability to doubt with the certainty that one exists. We encounter love, he says, when we first step forward as a lover: I love therefore I am, and my love is the reason I care whether I exist or not. This philosophical base allows Marion to probe several manifestations of love and its variations, including carnal excitement, self-hate, lying and perversion, fidelity, the generation of children, and the love of God. Throughout, Marion stresses that all erotic phenomena stem not from the ego as popularly understood but instead from love.
     “Marion is doing the most interesting work in phenomenology today. . . . This is not a book about other books about love. It is patiently and carefully attentive to ‘the things themselves,’ and reads as an analysis that is at once rigorous and lyrical—attuned to both the concept and the caress.”—Choice

     “Marion's avowed topic is the erotic phenomenon, and his method is phenomenology. He is a master of that method, and the result is an analysis of erotic love of unparalleled precision and depth. The depiction he gives of the erotic phenomenon is fundamentally convincing, and readers will find their own loves illuminated and questioned.”—Commonweal

Editorial Reviews

Le Monde - Roger Pol-Droit

“In attempting to place love at the center of things, Jean-Luc Marion wishes to escape the reign of heartless reason.”

Commonweal - Paul J. Griffiths

"Marion's avowed topic is the erotic phenomenon, and his method is phenomenology. He is a master of that method, and the result is an analysis of erotic love of unparalleled precision and depth. The depiction he gives of the erotic phenomenon is fundamentally convincing, and readers will find their own loves illuminated and questioned."
PsycCritiques - Annie Lee Jones

"I now add the writings of Jean-Luc Marion to those whose writings enhance the analyst's understandings of the psychoanalytic encounter by bringing to the forefront a theoretical frame that further illuminates the internal world of the self and its relational others. . . . The Erotic Phenomenon is strongly recommended to a diverse humanistic audience that includes the theologian, academician, and practitioner."
Ethics - John D. Caputo

"The book is what we have come to expect from Marion: challenging, subtle and nuanced analyses, dassling formulations, . . a provocative and original philosophical genius."
Christianity and Literature - Sandra Wynands

"For readers who will patiently bring it into perspective before thebackground of Marion's philosophy, the book will open a stunningly original and provocative view of love."
Choice

“Marion is doing the most interesting work in phenomenology today. . . . This work carries on the true spirit of phenomenology: this is not a book about other books about love. It is patiently and carefully attentive to ‘the things themselves,’ and reads as an analysis that is at once rigorous and lyrical—attuned to both the concept and the caress.”

Le Monde
In attempting to place love at the center of things, Jean-Luc Marion wishes to escape the reign of heartless reason.”

— Roger Pol-Droit

L'Express

“A superb philosophical reflection on love. . . . Here, finally, is a book that explores the intimate landscape of each one of us . . . . [Marion] deserves our complete attention. Let’s give it to him.”—L’Express

Liberation

The Erotic Phenomenon is a philosophical act of love. Not a discourse of love, nor one on love, but an act of love, an act that makes love, that makes it happen, that ‘conceives’ it.”—Liberation

 

Commonweal
Marion's avowed topic is the erotic phenomenon, and his method is phenomenology. He is a master of that method, and the result is an analysis of erotic love of unparalleled precision and depth. The depiction he gives of the erotic phenomenon is fundamentally convincing, and readers will find their own loves illuminated and questioned.

— Paul J. Griffiths

PsycCritiques
I now add the writings of Jean-Luc Marion to those whose writings enhance the analyst's understandings of the psychoanalytic encounter by bringing to the forefront a theoretical frame that further illuminates the internal world of the self and its relational others. . . . The Erotic Phenomenon is strongly recommended to a diverse humanistic audience that includes the theologian, academician, and practitioner.

— Annie Lee Jones

Ethics
The book is what we have come to expect from Marion: challenging, subtle and nuanced analyses, dassling formulations, . . a provocative and original philosophical genius.

— John D. Caputo

Christianity and Literature
For readers who will patiently bring it into perspective before thebackground of Marion's philosophy, the book will open a stunningly original and provocative view of love.

— Sandra Wynands

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226505374
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
04/15/2008
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
741,443
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Jean-Luc Marion is professor of philosophy at the University of Paris-Sorbonne Paris IV, and the John Nuveen Distinguished Professor in the Divinity School and professor in the Committee on Social Thought and the Department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago. He is the author of several books, including, most recently, On Descartes’ Metaphysical Prism, also published by the University of Chicago Press. Stephen E. Lewis is assistant professor of English at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is the translator of Jean-Luc Marion’s Prolegomena to Charity and Jean-Louis Chrétien’s Hand to Hand: Listening to the Work of Art.

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