The Réalité-humaine of Henry Corbin
Bligh, Rebecca. 2012. The Réalité-humaine of Henry Corbin. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]
Abstract or Description
This thesis sets out to correlate—to hyphenate, even—the dual and historically disparate personae of Henry Corbin the first French translator of Heidegger, and Henry Corbin, Iranian Islamist and pioneering comparative philosopher. The thesis’ cynosure is a case for the philosophicohistorically contextual reconsideration of Corbin’s infamous translation of Heidegger’s term Dasein as “réalité-humaine”, as the result of the young Corbin’s own profound engagement with Heidegger as informed by the then philosophically avant-garde.
A contextual reading of Corbin’s late “Biographical Post-Scriptum” is enriched by the introduction of a correspondence between Corbin and the Warburg Library (chiefly Gertrud Bing), discovered to lie in the Warburg Library Archive in London, but which to date does not appear in Corbinian literature.
The self-proclaimed point, and cause of Corbin’s divergence from Heidegger is examined further. Traces of Corbin’s own professed “debt” to Heidegger will be shown to have indeed persisted throughout Corbin’s oeuvre. Close readings of the ontological role accorded to the transcendental imagination by Heidegger (after Kant) in the Kant book, and Heidegger’s proofs of the finitude of both Being and Dasein, as set forth in (the majority of) those texts included in Corbin’s 1938 Gallimard translation of Heidegger, Qu’est-ce que la métaphysique? (including Part 4 of the Kant book) and Parts 1-3 of the Kant book are read against Corbin’s own philosophy of the imaginal.