Nancy Mardas
Pages 53-63
DOI: 10.5840/cultura2005224


A great deal has transpired — in philosophy and in the life-world — since the publication of two seminal essays by Anna Teresa Tymieniecka : Poetica Nova and that in which she introduced the concept of the “cipher” as the means by which human being creates and establishes itself within the life—world.” My task here is to bring our focus back onto Tymieniecka’s central insights, and to show their importance and their relevance to philosophical discourse at the beginning of this new century. 1 shall work here like a jeweler, placing these pearls of phenomenological acumen into a new setting: the context of the most famous pair of binary oppositions noted by Jacques Derrida for the parallel processes of life and language: the signifier and the signified. This is not, T would like to stress, an attempt to present Tymieniccka as a philosopher with a post-modern attitude or project. Rather, my purpose here is to explain how her views can come to the aid of the post-modern failure to provide a bridge between ontology, aesthetics, and ethics — a bridge for which I feel Tymieniecka has laid the foundations in these two trenchant essays. Serious reflection on Tymieniecka’s notions of the cipher and the creative forge will open a new path for a post-modern re- consideration of the problem of the other. Tymieniecka draws on the thought of Gadamcr, Ricoeur, and Levinas (among others), while at the same time going beyond them, setting out a completely new and vibrant conception of the fundamental questions of metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics.

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