A new article for the Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology by Delia Popa (Philosophy Department, Villanova University, USA).
Delia Popa – “The Promise and the Gesture: From Critical Situations in Life-Histories to Original Forgiveness”
JBSP (Received 27 Nov 2022, Accepted 30 Apr 2023, Published online: 25 May 2023).
Abstract: In this paper I examine the relationship between promise and gesture, in order to understand how they co-participate in the configuration of our life-histories. I start by noticing the role played by promise in establishing a dialogical pact of trust, through which an experiential cohesion is maintained through time. Reflecting on the variable conditions of mutual trust, I focus on crisis-situations when we cannot keep the promises we make to others and to ourselves. Relying on the thesis of an “original forgiveness”, I argue that our promises operate beyond the initial intention that animates them and even beyond their failure. I then show that failed promises reveal a broader state of self-fragmentation, engaging the other as a mediator between segments of experience that remain otherwise difficult to bring together and to reconcile by oneself. I close by highlighting the role played by gestures in cultivating this mediation.
Delia Popa, Philosophy Department, Villanova University, Villanova, PA, USA
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