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Regular version of the site

Article

What is a Problem?

Horizon, Fenomenologiceskie Issledovania. 2015. Vol. 4. No. 2. P. 71-86.

What is a problem? What is problematic about any problem whatsoever, philosophical or other-wise? As the origin of assertion and apodeiction, the problematic suspends the categories of necessity and contingency, possibility and impossibility. And it is this suspension that is the essence of the problem, which is why it is so suspenseful. But then, how is the problem problematic?  Only if what is suspended neither comes to presence, nor simply goes out into absence, that is, if the suspension continues, which continues the problem. But what is problematic about suspension? As a consideration of language shows, the problem of suspension is the problem of implication. If being, for example, is merely implied, neither present nor absent, then it is the  suspension of both, at least insofar as it is problematic. And this not only says something about language; rather, it has ontological implications as well — it speaks of being, and the being of anything whatsoever. For if being is implied, if that is the problem of being, it is because being is an implication. Then the being of things like problems is implied as well; or being is in things by  implication. But what does it mean for being to be neither presence nor absence, but an implication? It means that being is implied in a way that is problematic - before it is necessary, or even possible. For being’s way of being is characterized by suspension - which has implications for thinking and speaking about being, and about things like problems, even about anything whatso- ever. And this has implications for what being implies, namely, unity and time and aspect.