David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy Today 48 (1):35-49 (2004)
This essay examines some of Derrida’s most famous ‘possible-impossible’ aporias, including his discussions of giving, hospitality, forgiveness, and mourning. He argues that the condition of the possibility of such themes is also, and at once, the condition of their impossibility. In order to reveal the shared logic upon which these aporias rely, and also to raise some questions about their persuasive efficacy, it will be argued that of the two polarities evoked by each of his possible-impossible aporias, the ‘impossible’ term of the opposition invariably posits a separation between “two radical singularities”, or in somewhat more controversial terms, between a self and an other. While Derrida emphasises this ‘impossible’ aspect of giving, hospitality, forgiveness, etc., Merleau-Ponty’s abiding emphasis upon the chiasmic intertwining of self and other provides the resources to challenge this emphasis, and even to reverse it. While Merleau-Ponty rarely directly addresses the kind of aporias that concern Derrida, his chiasmic account of embodiment, and his emphasis upon the body-subject’s propensity to seek an equilibrium with its environment, better accounts for the ‘possible’ side of the aporias that Derrida describes. In the process, it will be argued that Merleau-Ponty’s later philosophy also allows for a more politically efficacious idea of responsibility towards the other than the position to which Derrida is tacitly committed.
|Keywords||aporia self-other intersubjectivity Merleau-Ponty Derrida embodiment|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Douglas Low (1992). Merleau-Ponty on Subjectivity and Intersubjectivity. International Studies in Philosophy 24 (3):45-64.
David Morris (2008). Reversibility and Ereignis: On Being as Kantian Imagination in Merleau-Ponty and Heidegger. Philosophy Today 52 (Supplement):135-143.
Ronald Bruzina (2007). Merleau-Ponty and Derrida: Intertwining Embodiment and Alterity. Journal of the History of Philosophy 45 (2):339-340.
François Raffoul (2008). Derrida and the Ethics of the Im-Possible. Research in Phenomenology 38 (2):270-290.
Jack Reynolds (2002). Merleau-Ponty, Levinas, and the Alterity of the Other. Symposium: The Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy 6 (1):63-78.
Ann V. Murphy (2010). “All Things Considered:” Sensibility and Ethics in the Later Merleau-Ponty and Derrida. Continental Philosophy Review 42 (4):435-447.
Jack Reynolds (2008). Touched by Time: Some Critical Reflections on Derrida's Engagement with Merleau-Ponty in le Toucher. Sophia 47 (3):311-25.
Jack Reynolds (2002). Habituality and Undecidability: A Comparison of Merleau-Ponty and Derrida on the Decision. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 10 (4):449 – 466.
Glen Mazis (1997). Merleau-Ponty, Derrida, and Joyce's Ulysses: Is Derrida Really Bloom, Merleau-Ponty Dedalus, and Who Can Say 'Yes" to Molly? In M. C. Dillon (ed.), Ecart and Differance: Merleau-Ponty and Derrida on Seeing and Writing. Humanities.
Added to index2009-03-16
Total downloads17 ( #110,773 of 1,410,023 )
Recent downloads (6 months)10 ( #22,721 of 1,410,023 )
How can I increase my downloads?