Holding the Self-Subject Together, Philosophically or Theologically
John Martis, S. J.

October 25, 2019, 7:00am - 8:30am
Department of Philosophy, Catholic Theological College, University of Divinity

Treacy Boardroom
278 Victoria Parade
East Melbourne 3002

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities



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In a recent book, Subjectivity as Radical Hospitality: Recasting the self, with Augustine Descartes, Marion and Derrida (Lexington, 2017), John Martis argued against the claim that Jean-Luc Marion's adonné — a type of divinely donated self-subject, standing, as purely given, alongside any human quasi-self integrative of experience —  is the "real self", in the way that Augustine envisages it.  Martis claimed instead that Augustine does implicitly acknowledge a philosopically coherent single self, one not presupposing any theological argument for a separate divine donation of a coherent self.  This already integral self is nevertheless constituted at its core by incursion of  "other selves'', most prominently including, as Augustine eloquently discovers, the divine self, theologically welcomed in the Sero te Amavi ("Late have I loved Thee").  

John says, "The present seminar will air questions and faith-based worries assailing mine and like claims (I explore some answers, of which I am still unsure!). Does my formulation do sufficient justice to Augustine's vaunted suspicion of human powers of self-determination? How convincingly can the claim properly be described as philosophically  — that is, philosophically, as opposed to theologically — delineated? Then, my own argument for the self rehearses elements of Kant. Can it cope with post-Kantian —  Nietzschean and poststructuralist — suspicion  of an integrable self ? Or are those suspicions what make a philosophically described integrated self "hollow", and a theologically described God-given alternative, such as the adonné, in fact indispensable?"

Dr John Martis SJ lectures at Pilgrim Theological College and the Jesuit College of Spirituality


Public Transport: Trams: 109 (to Box Hill), 12 (to Victoria Gardens): Tram, stop 13 (Landsdowne St. ACU). Buses: From City: 302, 303, 304, 305, 309, 318, 350, 905, 906, 907, 908. Stop: ACU. Nearest Train Station: Parliament Station. Exit Macarthur St, go north until Victoria Parade, Turn right, 400 metres (CTC building corner of Victoria Parade and Eades St, - the Southern Side of Vic Parade, located across from what was until very recently - the Dallas Brooks Hall). Parking along Vic Parade and at the ACU (on Young St). The Treacy boardroom is on the ground floor, very close to the reception desk of the Thomas Carr Centre, which is the campus building at 278 Victoria Pde. There is a wheelchair-friendly toilet/bathroom on the same ground floor a short distance from the boardroom.  

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