The book offers the first systematic comparative treatment of the thoughts of Nietzsche and Merleau-Ponty. Through an account of each philosopher's thought as organized around their ambiguous relationship with the concept of truth, the book offers an elucidation of the concept of ambiguity and its dependence on the absolute as one of the determining features of modern thinking.
Maurice Merleau-Ponty is widely recognized as one of the major figures of twentieth-century philosophy. The recent publication of his lecture courses and posthumous working notes has opened new avenues for both the interpretation of his thought and philosophy in general. These works confirm that, with a surprising premonition, Merleau-Ponty addressed many of the issues that concern philosophy today. With the benefit of this fuller picture of his thought, Merleau-Ponty and Contemporary Philosophy undertakes an assessment of the philosopher's relevance for contemporary (...) thinking. Covering a diverse range of topics, including ontology, epistemology, anthropology, embodiment, animality, politics, language, aesthetics, and art, the editors gather representative voices from North America and Europe, including both Merleau-Ponty specialists and thinkers who have come to the philosopher's work through their own thematic interest. (shrink)
Name der Zeitschrift: Nietzsche-Studien Jahrgang: 44 Heft: 1 Seiten: 267-290 In this paper, I examine the possibility of constructing an ontological phenomenology of love by tracing Nietzsche’s questioning about science. I examine how the evolution of Nietzsche’s thinking about science and his increasing suspicion towards it coincide with his interest for the question of love. Although the texts from the early and middle period praise science as an antidote to asceticism, the later texts associate the scientifi c spirit with asceticism. (...) I argue that this shift is motivated by Nietzsche’s realization that asceticism and science share the same fetish of facts. It is now for Nietzsche no longer a matter of proving the so-called facts of the backworlds to be wrong (something science is very capable of doing), but a matter of rejecting the very structure of thought that reduces a shapeless reality into a series of facts, subjects and objects. It is this second attitude that Nietzsche regards as the common core of science and asceticism. From this critique of science and its correlative critique of facts, Nietzsche begins searching for a counter-attitude able to perform the reduction of the factual attitude. This is the attitude he calls love. Although Nietzsche’s concept of love has oft en been elucidated in terms of its object or its subject, I argue that such interpretations precisely defeat Nietzsche’s point, which is to recover a ground that precedes the division of the world into subjects and objects. Love becomes the name of this intra-relationship of being, opening up to new perspectives on Nietzsche’s ontology of the will to power. (shrink)
This article presents a critique of the current naturalist readings of Nietzsche by drawing a distinction between a sense of naturalism based on nature taken as "what there is" and one based on the scientific concept of nature. The paper suggests that Nietzsche is a naturalist in the first sense, but not in the latter, and that due to the confusion between the two sense, many arguments in favor of the first have been unwarrantedly transferred into the latter. The article (...) begins with a close critical reading of Brian Leiter's "Nietzsche's Naturalism Revisited" before confronting the naturalist readings with one case of Nietzsche's writings, found in Daybreak's Book V. (shrink)
This paper pursues three goals: First, to develop a lateral reading of Camus’ Stranger. A lateral reading is characterized by the displacement of the central conflict. In the case of The Stranger, I argue that the central conflict in the novel lies in the relation between the author and the protagonist, not, as direct readings would have it, in the relation between the protagonist and his predicament. Second, to spell out more precisely why it should be read as an anti-existentialist (...) novel. Here I argue that a lateral reading shows that the foundational existentialist opposition between telling and living is ironically dismantled by the very lateral structure of the novel. Third, to develop the notion of a lateral reading with a view to its potential advantages. Here, I point out that literalism involves positionalism and dynamicism. Positionalism refers to the reduction of fictional entities to their role in relation to each other. Dynamicism refers to the resulting view that those roles are further reducible to forces. I conclude that the lateral reading, with its commitments to positionalism and dynamicism is a model generalizable to the analysis of other fictional works. (shrink)
_ Source: _Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 54 - 69 In this essay, I reconstruct Merleau-Ponty’s implicit critique of Husserl in his lectures on Husserl’s concept of the earth as _Boden_ or ground. Against Husserl, Merleau-Ponty regards the earth seen as pure _Boden_ as an idealization. He emphasizes the ontological necessity for the earth as _Boden_ to always hypostasize itself into the Copernican concept of earth as object. In turn, Merleau-Ponty builds this necessity into an essential feature of being, allowing (...) himself to retrieve ontology itself from its status as external to being, and to make room for it within the structure of being: ontology is one of the ways in which experiences become objectified, thereby allowing being to achieve its essential movement of hypostatization. (shrink)
This article argues in favour of a formal definition of fanaticism as a certain relationship to one’s beliefs that is informed by the assumption that there is a mutual incompatibility between consistency and moderation. It analyses this assumption as an expression of an implicit commitment to naïve realism. It then proposes a critique of such realism and finally it sketches an ontological alternative, able to philosophically and politically respond to and oppose fanaticism by showing the compossibility, on that ontological view, (...) of moderation and consistency. (shrink)
The book maps out the dynamic relations between the forces at play in politics and the economy in the West through a philosophical analysis of the relations between the concepts of politics and of the economy. It finds that their porous relations inform what it is for humans to live.
Perfect for use at advanced undergraduate and graduate level, this is the first text to offer students a unified narrative regarding the place of the body in Western thinking. The body is simultaneously active and passive, powerful and vulnerable and as such, it fundamentally informs ontological, political, ethical and epistemological issues.
This paper seeks to provide a basis for a fruitful correspondence between the projects of Nietzsche and Merleau-Ponty. It argues that both philosophers are committed to an ontology of relation and they both regards any terms to these relations as being hypostases of a horizontal movement. This commits them to very parallel views of history, politics, and perception.
This essay argues that the deontological view of morality is connected to extreme and massive forms of violence through a kind of phenomenological necessity. In the first main section, I examine one family of such violence, which usually comes under the label of “religious violence”. I argue that it is not the religious element but the disqualification of context from the realm of justification which characterizes such violence. In the second main section, I examine the phenomenology of duty to conclude (...) that duty, by definition, denies any normative relevance to context. In the third main section, I use this sketch of a phenomenology of duty to propose a hypothesis about the underpinnings of the connection between mass violence and duty, namely, that the notion of duty carries with it the exclusion of moderation, and places the agent before an impossible situation that can only be resolved by violence. (shrink)
This essay attempts to provide a unified analysis of two working notes from The Visible and the Invisible. In these notes Merleau-Ponty questions not only the accuracy of the ontology he is elaborating, but also the incidence and place of this ontology within the Being it describes. He finds that his ontology transforms Being as it describes it, and therefore keeps chasing its tail endlessly. This view is suggested by Merleau-Ponty’s use of Nietzsche’s expression “circulus vitiosus Deus” as a formula (...) that both he and Nietzsche use to describe the ontological place of their ontology. Merleau-Ponty, like Nietzsche, offers an ontology in which Being is highly sensitive to ontological accounts, thereby construing Being as a principle of commensurability between action and description, language and reality, philosophy and world. (shrink)
Rajiv Kaushik’s Art, Language and Figure in Merleau-Ponty continues the work begun last year in Art and Institution by exploring the ontological grounds upon whichMerleau-Ponty locates the continuity of philosophy with the visual arts. The mission and the privilege of art are to allow the invisible to appear in its own terms. As such, artpossesses the potential of completing the endeavors of philosophy by bringing the world to expression without abusively bringing it to visibility. Kaushik’s analyses of Merleau-Ponty’s concept of (...) “figural philosophy,” of the relevance of Merleau-Ponty’s reading of Saussure for his philosophy of art, and of the dynamic and ontological potential contained in the tracing of a line are profound and each makes decisive contributions to the study of Merleau-Ponty’s aesthetics. In addition to these, Kaushik’s analysis of artworks and artists such as Cy Twombly allow him to make this more than a book about Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy or a book about art; it is a book that enacts their continuity as it describes it, in true hyper-dialectical fashion. (shrink)
This paper seeks to address two lacunae of the literature about French political theory in the second half of the 20th century. The first concerns the origins of the great Foucaldian thesis of the autonomy of power, and the second concerns the conceptual implications of the events of the 1950s surrounding the politics of communism on both sides of the Iron Curtain. There are many apparent responses to these questions in the existing literature. However, they are rendered insufficient by their (...) refusal to address the need for a specifically intellectual history. With regard to Foucault’s thesis of the autonomy of power, philosophers seem happy to abstract Foucault’s insight from its context, resting on the implication that it may have come out of nowhere. Conversely, when it comes to the implications of historical developments on political philosophy, historians seem to satisfy themselves with wordplay: before so many histories of the intellectuals, who needs intellectual history? It is however rather obvious that both history and philosophy are set to benefit from a specifically intellectual history, that is to say, from an account neither of an idea nor of a context, but of how the historical context of the early fifties made the Foucaldian idea conceivable. (shrink)