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Document Details :

Title: Hoe het verlangen te bewaren?
Author(s): VERHACK, Ignace
Journal: Tijdschrift voor Filosofie
Volume: 73    Issue: 2   Date: 2011   
Pages: 341-366
DOI: 10.2143/TVF.73.2.2118209

Abstract :
Desire is usually understood as reaching out for a greater wholeness which we cannot bring about by ourselves alone. We need a ‘supplement’, something that we believe will give us what we are missing. In such a model, desire is understood from a ‘lack of being’. This way to understand desire cannot fail to lead to despair and nihilism, for ‘the’ object sought for (the supplement) cannot be found. Yet, this inevitable self-emptying of desire need not lead to cynicism or resignation. An alternative way of understanding it remains open. The deadlock of a desire without ‘object’ can be surmounted in what together with Jacques Derrida in The Gift of Death (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1995) can be called ‘a certain way of dying’, as a ‘being there for the other’. This is based on an understanding of Goodness as a 'Goodness oblivious of itself'. In this article, this insight is applied to the intrinsic meaning of being itself. No individual can succeed in taking in the inner infinity of being or in enclosing it in him- or herself. Not because of a ‘too much’, but because of the fact that a true participation in the Good, resp. being, is not to be situated in any form of possessing. The stirring motive of desire is then no longer the ‘object’ that can give us ‘completeness’, but the sense of perfection of being for which we are innerly opened. In this article, this way of understanding desire is explored and substantiated. It leads to the conclusion that the human being desires to be ‘beyond him- or herself’ in a being for the other, like being too is ‘givenness’ in him or her.

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