An absence that counts in the world: Merleau-Ponty’s later philosophy of time in light of Bernet’s 'Einleitung'

Alia Al-Saji
McGill University
This paper examines Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s later philosophy of time in light of his critique and reconceptualization of Edmund Husserl’s early time-analyses. Drawing on The Visible and the Invisible and lecture courses, I elaborate Merleau-Ponty’s re-reading of Husserl’s time-analyses through the lens of Rudolf Bernet’s “Einleitung” to this work. My question is twofold: what becomes of the central Husserlian concepts of present and retention in Merleau-Ponty’s later work, and how do Husserl’s elisions, especially of the problem of forgetting, become generative moments for Merleau-Ponty’s thought on time? The answer passes through the logic of institution as the “retrograde movement of the true” (Henri Bergson) and through unconsciousness as disarticulation of the perceptual field, as Merleau-Ponty attempts to detach Husserlian concepts from the philosophy of consciousness and rehabilitate them within an ontology of time.
Keywords time  Merleau-Ponty  Husserl  Bernet  forgetting  retention  present  Bergson
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DOI 10.1080/00071773.2009.11006682
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Einleitung.[author unknown] - forthcoming - Das Mittelalter.

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