Chiasmi International 16:275-290 (2014)

Authors
Laura McMahon
Eastern Michigan University
Abstract
In a working note to The Visible and the Invisible, Maurice Merleau-Ponty makes an enigmatic call for “a psychoanalysis of Nature.” This paper argues that there are two interrelated ways in which this call might be taken up. First, it might be taken as the demand to give voice to the deep sense of a nature, conceived in terms of unconscious desire rather than scientific rationality, that precedes and exceeds human life. Second, we might do a psychoanalysis of our relationship to nature, of the ways in which modern thought tends to deny and repress the unconscious, organic desire at its heart. This paper addresses the psychoanalysis of nature in both these senses. The first part of this paper takes up Merleau-Ponty’s well-known discussion of the phantom limb in Phenomenology of Perception in order to give a critique the mind-body dualism implicit in traditional attempts to account for this and related phenomena, and in order to present Merleau-Ponty’s own account of the phantom limb in terms of being in the world. Second, I argue that being in the world requires that we repress not only aspects of our personal pasts, but also our organic nature itself. Third, I argue that much of modern scientific thinking tends to deny the bodily and unconscious dimensions of conscious life—it is this denial that calls for a psychoanalysis in the second sense of studying our troubled and repressive relationship to nature. This denial of our own naturalness is accompanied by a denial of the unconscious and irrational nature of nature itself; finally, I will speak to the ways in which psychoanalysis might go further back than we might expect—beyond our childhoods and to the organic heartbeat of life itself.
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  Continental Philosophy  Language and Literature  Major Philosophers
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 1637-6757
DOI 10.5840/chiasmi20141617
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 59,827
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Phenomenology, Psychology, and Science, II.Keith Hoeller - 1982 - Rev Exist Psych Psychiat 18:143-154.
The Kantian Roots of Merleau-Ponty's Account of Pathology.Samantha Matherne - 2014 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 22 (1):124-149.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2015-09-04

Total views
36 ( #291,592 of 2,432,762 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #464,144 of 2,432,762 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes