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Voyage vers la mort chez Vladimir Jankélévitch

Abstract : Vladimir Jankélévitch's philosophy can be understood in the manner of a journey, which, like the Plotinian procession or Xenophon's famous Anabase, transports the reader into a completely different order of things, beyond the intelligible. We meet love, the charm of the occasion, music and the ineffable, the instant of death. But these inexpressible moments, how can we philosophically think about them, if not with the help of wandering words? The philosopher starts from dense and unique experiences of our life where the "incomparable quality of time" is expressed, but whose language cannot restore all the richness; up to the thought of death, the destination-limit of our journey. Since philosophy thinks "under a certain aspect of eternity and universality", it comes under what Jankélévitch calls metempirical knowledge; it encompasses the totality of the possible through the formulation of necessary propositions. But in the thought of death something quite specific is at stake: the thinker thinks metempirically of a reality that will soon exclude him empirically from this thought; for since thought thinks of its own disappearance, it can only experiment its continuation as thought, conceiving only of eternal and absolutely necessary relationships. The journey towards death is first of all the experience of a certainty, but without circumstantial details: I know that I am going to die, but I do not know what it is to die. Jankélévitch then initiates us into this mystical half-gnosis, through which a new kind of knowledge is sketched out, metalogical, or the nescient knowledge of almost nothing: an ascending journey beyond the logos.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - 4:36:09 AM
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Thibault Vian. Voyage vers la mort chez Vladimir Jankélévitch. 2020. ⟨hal-02429951⟩

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