About Colloquy Issue Six The Problem of Finitude in Phenomenology

Alexander Cooke
The problem of history and, more precisely, the historicity of history constitutes one of the greatest stumbling blocks for phenomenology and phenomenological philosophy. If one confines oneself to the criticisms levelled against Husserlian phenomenology by Martin Heidegger, those concepts developed as a result all operate in a dialogue with historicity. Perhaps the first step beyond Husserl arrives with the concept of 'facticity,' a concept which recognises the essential temporality or
more » ... porality or historicity of the ego -that being which attempts to enact the phenomenological epoche. The phenomenological epoche, taken in its strictest Husserlian sense, is that which enables the step into the field of transcendental experience where access is gained to the fundamental determinations of any operation of givenness whatsoever. The undetermined determinations of thought and of Being here become manifest. With Heidegger's concept of facticity, however, the element of history and historicity is introduced into what was previously assumed as absolutely fundamental. Nonetheless, historicity is not to be taken simply as that which is prior to all other philosophical determinations. As will become clear, it is not without a particularly problematic concept that history can itself become manifest. The intention of this brief study is to bring the concept of the 'finite' to some degree of authentic intuition from within the domain of a phenomenological philosophy guided by the thought of Heidegger.