Merleau-Ponty the Metaphysician: The Living Body as a Plurality of Forces

Journal of Speculative Philosophy 27 (3):297-307 (2013)
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Abstract

This essay pushes the ontological implications of Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception to their limit. While everybody knows he used Gestaltist notions to displace atomistic ontologies,1 I completely subordinate the phenomenological to the ontological, so that his deployment of Form from The Structure of Behavior becomes the fundamental maneuver of the Phenomenology. The more traditional concerns with subject/object and mind/body dualities are then both secondary to and solved by this use of Form, and the book becomes not so much a phenomenology as an explicitly new metaphysics.Merleau-Ponty introduces the living body as être au monde amid his discussion of the phantom limb and initially compares it neither ..

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William Wilkerson
University of Alabama, Huntsville

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