Transcendence and Non-Contradiction

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Abstract
This article is an inquiry into how the relationship between the principle of non-contradiction and the limits of thought has been understood by thinkers as diverse as Hegel, Heidegger, Levinas, and Graham Priest. While Heidegger and Levinas focus on the question of temporality and Priest takes a formal approach, all these philosophers effectively maintain that the principle of non-contradiction imposes a restriction on thought that disables it from adequately accounting for its own limits and thus what lies beyond those limits, the implication being that the violation of the principle is necessary for such an accounting to take place. However, the ultimate argument here is that, contrary to Priest’s interpretation, Hegel’s philosophy can be convincingly read as supporting the idea that the mind’s ability to go beyond any particular limit of thought can actually be said to involve an adherence to a normative demand to locate and dispel the contradictions that emerge through the very setting of determinative limits. This is a non-formal consistency that evinces a “logic” that is unknowingly followed by the Heideggerian and Levinasian phenomenological philosophies of transcendence.
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Archival date: 2021-01-01
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2020-05-20

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