The Anonymous intentions of transactional bodies

Hypatia 17 (4):187-200 (2002)
Abstract
: This review offers a critical analysis of Shannon Sullivan's "feminist pragmatist standpoint theory" as a framework for thinking about issues of identity and truth. Sullivan claims that Maurice Merleau-Ponty's emphasis on an anonymous or pre-personal quality to bodily experience commits him to a false universality and that his understanding of bodily intentionality traps him in a subjectivist philosophy that is incapable of doing justice to difference. She suggests that phenomenology in general is theoretically limited because of its alleged subjectivism and universalism, and she turns to Dewey's pragmatism to develop a "transactional model" of identity and truth. In response, I argue that Merleau-Ponty's descriptions of anonymity and intentionality do not entail either subjectivism or a false universality. I also challenge Sullivan's conception of truth as transactional flourishing by appealing to the "terrible truths" of violence and oppression
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