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than did Marcel himself the Marcellian project of "a second reflection": i.e., in Ricoeur's words, "the recovery of mystery in clear thought, in a rigorous consciousness—in brief, in discourse." 16

How, then, does Ricoeur propose to bring Husserl and Marcel together? We may anticipate that here too mediation cannot proceed without some sense of an underlying affinity; and indeed one soon discovers that the two do share, beneath the immediate contrast, a common purpose. For Husserl sought in his own fashion to lead philosophy out of the wasteland of one-dimensional thought. His determination to philosophize with greater rigor did not stem from a placid belief that experience could be readily labeled and pigeonholed. Quite the contrary, the Husserlian method testifies to an earnest conviction that a strict discipline of thought, an almost ascetic self-criticism, is required in order to prevent us from slipping into conventional, reductive modes of thought. The real threat is our own complacent "natural attitude," which tends to coast along on custom and cliché. Authentic experience, on Husserl's account, is not something that we simply "have" in pure, undistorted form; rather, we find ourselves alienated from our own experience by a mass of assumptions about what is important, what is real. Our very sense of the world is governed by unexamined assumptions, compulsive tendencies to pigeonhole, of which we are often unaware. The role of philosophical rigor, then, is to lead us beyond these facile assumptions—not away from, but toward the spontaneity of actual experience. As Ricoeur says in another context, ''consciousness is not a given but a task." 17

The meshing of Marcel and Husserl is legitimate, then. But more importantly there is a sense in which it is quite essential, required by Marcel's own concerns. We noted a moment ago how readily thought slips away from the paradoxical coexistence of lived body and body- object toward the celebration of the isolated experience of the lived body as such. This tendency to rest content with an isolated concept or an isolated experience, and thus shun the difficult path of "second reflection," is not restricted to any particular movement; it testifies to a common entropy of mind, and a common rigidity of character. Thus far in our discussion we have focused upon the critique of scientific positivism. But we have also seen that the mirror image of positivism is a form of philosophical romanticism of which the existentialists have not always been innocent. Ricoeur, for his part,