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Intentionality according to Jan Patocka

Back to issue: Phänomenologische Forschungen 2018-1
EUR 16.90

In this article, I aim to show how Patocˇka’s work since the 1960 s has reconceptualized the theory of intentionality. Never abandoning the referential character of the intentional relation, the Bohemian philosopher situates intentionality in its original matrix: the world. This change has the effect of moving the cause of appearing from consciousness to the world, framing it as what appears and what makes appear. Intentionality is not only connected to transcendental consciousness; intentions also must be interpreted as lines of force (Kraftlinien) inside the field of appearing. Patocka moreover locates the origin of all intentional theory in the Aristotelian theory of the soul. Patocka thus wants, on the one hand, to overcome the substantialist argument that considers consciousness a permanent presence and, on the other, to move beyond an idealistic conception of consciousness. Movement is the category that allows us to express these aspects of intentionality. Inserting motion into being is a privilege unique to the soul.