Evil and Givenness: The Thanatonic Phenomenon



Evil and Givenness: The Thanatonic Phenomenon provides a phenomenological study of evil in its conceptual integrity.Describing a phenomenological situation exclusive to evil in its distinct mode of givenness and manners of manifestation, the account of evil in this book centers on the thanatonic as that phenomenality proper to evil. Although situated within a phenomenology of givenness via Jean-Luc Marion, the thanatonic is distinguished from saturated phenomena by giving itself in a parasitic mode. Brian W. Becker identifies four figures as displaying characteristics of this parasitic givenness—trauma, evil eye, foreign-body, and abject—each expressing a dimension of the thanatonic and paralleling the four figures of the saturated phenomenon. Like the four horsemen who serve as heralds for the destruction of the world, these figures beckon the destruction of our lifeworld, diminishing the self who encounters them. Upon losing the will to bear the excess of saturated phenomena, the receding of horizons, and the loss of singularity, this impoverished self misrecognizes itself in a manner that begins to resemble the metaphysical ego and, in doing so, becomes a vector for retransmitting the thanatonic’s suffering unto others.


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