“All things considered:” Sensibility and ethics in the later Merleau-ponty and Derrida

Continental Philosophy Review 42 (4):435-447 (2010)
It is one of Jacques Derrida’s later texts, Le Toucher—Jean-Luc Nancy , wherein one finds his most sustained commentary on the philosophy of Maurice Merleau-Ponty. I argue that Derrida’s criticisms of Merleau-Ponty in this text conceal a significant proximity between his own elaboration of sensibility and that of Merleau-Ponty. Their respective accounts of sensibility are similar in two respects. Firstly, for them both, sensibility is born of a parsing of the self in a hiatus or interval that disrupts the movement of auto-affection. The self can only be known as such through this exposure to alterity. Secondly, this exposure and opening is in no way normative for either thinker, which is to say that their accounts of sensibility are similar not only in structure but also insofar as sensibility for them both is a non-normative opening to ethics; it is an elaboration of embodiment that provokes the question of response but no definitive or prescriptive answer. Hence the structure of sensibility begs the question of ethics, and the problem of response, but can provide little by way of a normative ethics.
Keywords Merleau-Ponty  Derrida  Sensibility  Embodiment
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11007-009-9116-y
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1964). Signs. Northwestern University Press.

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Jack Reynolds (2002). Merleau-Ponty, Levinas, and the Alterity of the Other. Symposium: The Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy 6 (1):63-78.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

55 ( #62,214 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #183,615 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.