This paper interprets and extends Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s unfinished ontology of flesh in order finally to settle accounts with the Cartesian legacy that has hungover Western metaphysics for the last three centuries. The essay does this by advancing Merleau-Ponty’s discussion of two closely intertwined topics—the relationship of consciousness and Nature and the meaningfulness of Nature itself. Among other things, the essay seeks to explain the emergence of consciousness from Nature and defends a view of consciousness as the mobilization of the powers (...) of corporeity—including intercorporeity—to investigate, articulate, and creatively adumbrate Nature and Being as such. It does so by responding to natural resonances and rhythms, through intensities of feeling andthe perception of possibilities. (shrink)
Suki is an exciting, yet demanding, program for teaching children how to make the transition from speaking to writing, to encourage them to develop a poetic sensitivity and an appreciation for some main themes in the philosophy of art and even metaphysics. In what follows, I would like to indicate some of the reasons I find the program exciting - besides the fact that it can be successful in accomplishing its objectives - as well as some reasons for believing it (...) difficult to teach - indeed, I believe it is the most difficult in the series of readings published by the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children. (shrink)
This essay discusses the role that creativity played in Maurice Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology of perception and the lived-body as well as in his phenomenology of the social world-- mainly through language. The author identifies three main examples of the philosophical importance that creativity had for Merleau-Ponty: (1) the origin of meaning, (2) the rejection of the Cartesian mind-body dualism, and (3) necessary conditions for human dignity in the relationship of culture and nature. Finally, the last of these examples and the significance (...) of creativity are considered in the light of Merleau-Ponty's last, unfinished work, "The Visible and the Invisible". (shrink)
Heidegger's totally objective view of aesthetic truth, That the meaning of aesthetic experience is revealed only in and through the art-Object, Fails to appreciate the contributions of subjectivity to that meaningfulness. This is shown by pointing out that interpretation of an artwork can be relevant for our aesthetic appreciation and that sometimes subjective factors such as the artist's intentions, And the viewer's personal, Cultural background, Are relevant to interpretation.
The following pages attempt to develop the main outlines of an existential phenomenology of law within the context of Maurice Merleau-Ponty's phe nomenology of the social world. In so doing, the essay addresses the rather narrow scholarly question, If Merleau-Ponty had written a phenomenology of law, what would it have looked like? But this scholarly enterprise, although impeccable in itself, is also transcended by a more complicated concern for a very different sort of question. Namely, if Merleau-Ponty's phenomenological descriptions of (...) the social world are correct-as I believe they largely are-then what are the philosophical consequences for an adequate understanding of law? Such a project may well occasion a certain surprise amongst observers of the contemporary philosophical landscape, at least in what concerns the terrain of continental thought, and for two different reasons. The first is that, although interest in Merleau-Ponty's work remains strong in the· United States and Can ada, his philosophical standing in his own country has been largely eclipsed! by that of, first, his friend/estranged acquaintance, Jean-Paul Sartre; by various Marxist philosophies and critical social theories; and finally by those doing her meneutics of language. In my view, current neglect of Merleau-Ponty's thought in France is most regrettable. (shrink)