The Concept of the Phenomenon in Eugen Fink

Jakub Čapek

The article focuses on Fink’s elaboration on the theme „phenomenon“. Fink starts very often by saying: the phenomenality of phenomena is not given as a phenomenon - and concludes: the investigation of phenomenality has to transcend the region of that, which is given, which simply appears, of phenomena. Fink’s notion of phenomenon is indeed not phenomenological, but „ontogonical“ one: it does not refer to how things appear, but how they become, what they are. Behind this assertion is an idea of a genesis which enables Fink to draw one radical distinction: the process of appearing on the one hand, the appearance as a product of this process on the other.

The main assertion of the article is that Fink’s proposition - the phenomenality of phenomena is not given as a phenomenon - is not an axiom without any presupppositions, rather it presupposes the idea of a genesis. Furthemore consequences drawn by Fink from his starting point, become on the background of this critics a new significance and they are no more plausible. For example, Fink’s own development of the problem of phenomenality appears as a non-perspective theory of human perspectivity, and Fink’s endevour to digress phenomenality from the human reach losses its justification.

The article concludes: if we do not accept Fink’s „ontogonical“ notion of phenomenon and his idea of phenomenality as a genesis of being, the question of phenomenality does not have to imply a step outside the region of what appears, i.e., what is manifest.