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Les expériences de l’impossible

Radicalisations de la phénoménologie chez Michel Henry et Jean-Luc Marion



If a certain primacy of possibility (existential possibility or egological potentiality) can be acknowledged in both Husserl and Heidegger, the French reception of phenomenology deploys one of its important means of accomplishing its radicalization gesture by putting forward the experiences of the impossible, as the case of Michel Henry and of Jean-Luc Marion shows. Michel Henry elaborates a radicalized phenomenology, which deals with the radical immanence of life, whose passivity and finitude reveal an impossibility that only an infinite, absolute Life can overcome. For Jean-Luc Marion, the givenness of the phenomenon discloses its extreme possibility, that of its saturation, which makes its subjective constitution impossible and paves the way for the phenomenological possibility of divine revelation. Our inquiry attempts to show that both these endeavours can be ultimately regarded as radicalizations of the finitude of the living (or human) being.