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Chiasmi International

Volume 16, 2014
Between Yesterday and Tomorrow

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Displaying: 1-20 of 27 documents


merleau-ponty et la philosophie classique allemande
1. Chiasmi International: Volume > 16
Stefano Micali Il giudizio riflettente estetico nella Critica del Giudizio. Una ripresa fenomenologica
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In this essay, the author intends to show the reasons for the interest on the Critique of Judgment, and especially to aesthetic judgment of taste within thephenomenological context. The study is divided into four sections: at first the concept of aesthetic reflective judgment will be introduced, highlighting the crucial role it assumes within the Kantian critical project as a whole (I). In a second step the specificity of the judgment of taste will be studied with particular attention on its character of Zweckmässigkeit and its universal voice (II). In the third section it will be shown how the judgment of taste introduces a new paradigmatic articulation of the relationship between feeling and thinking, which is further explained through a critical comparison with the interpretations of Jean-Francois Lyotard and Marc Richir (III) of aesthetic judgment. In the last and more extended section, the affinity of the disinterested character of the judgment of taste with the phenomenological attitude will be at the center of the research (IV).
2. Chiasmi International: Volume > 16
Takashi Kakuni L’interrogation et L’intuition : Merleau-Ponty et Schelling
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In the 1956-1957 course titled “The Concept of Nature”, Merleau-Ponty takes up Schelling’s thought. In reading Merleau-Ponty’s text on Schelling’s philosophy, we arrive at a point of contact between the philosophy of natural productivity and the philosophy of intellectual or artistic intuition. Merleau-Ponty seems to discover the Schellingian idea of the absolute as an abyss against the Cartesian idea of God as creator. The Merleau-Pontian interpretation of Schelling’s philosophy of nature and art from his course gives us one of the keys to his unfinished ontology, which is that nature and art, physis and logos, are tied up in the perception of the dimension of being given in painting or poetry, as the analysis of painting in Eye and Mind will show us an organon of the ontology of the savage being.
3. Chiasmi International: Volume > 16
Faustino Fabbianelli Dalla “riflessione radicale” alla “superriflessione”. La fenomenologia di Merleau-Ponty tra Hegel e Schelling
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In this essay, I intend to show the evolution that the thought of Merleau-Ponty undergoes from the Phenomenology of Perception to The Visible and the Invisible. I do so by employing the Merleau-Pontyian notions of “radical reflection” and “hyper-reflection,” which I will consider as expressions of two alternative ways of resolving the task of philosophy: to highlight, in the first case, the immediate relation between the subject and the world, in the second case, the chiasm between the thinking and the Being of the world. There are three main stages to my reasoning: 1) to show the conceptual differences that obtain between the first Merleau-Pontyian phenomenology and the Hegelian philosophy; 2) to illustrate the insufficiency, recognized ex post by Merleau-Ponty himself, of the existential analyses contained in the Phenomenology of Perception; 3) to identify the concept that allows him to formulate a new ontology, and to go beyond the Hegelian dialectic, in the “nature” which is spoken of in the positive philosophy of the late Schelling.
4. Chiasmi International: Volume > 16
Koji Hirose Instituer le chiasme : à partir du cours sur Hegel de Maurice Merleau-Ponty
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In the 1958-1959 Collège de France course, Merleau-Ponty expounds a detailed commentary on the last paragraphs of the Einleitung from Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. We examine in what sense this course has developed the notions that he was in the process of defining, notions such as “chiasm,” “reversibility,” “depth,” and “flesh.”What seems crucial in this course is to clearly define good ambiguity as opposed to bad ambiguity, that is, to the simple mixture of finitude and universality, of interiority and exteriority. It is a question then of revealing, even within Hegelian thought, the operation, although unstable, of good ambiguity and of instituting it beyond the distinction between anthropology and logic without a return to naturalism.It should first be noted that consciousness is for Hegel violence against itself, it gives itself its measure, such that the distinction between measuring and measured is internal to it. By insisting on this “reversibility” of the measuring and the measured, Merleau-Ponty comes to emphasize that the self-relation of consciousness is simultaneously its opening onto a transcendent – an opening whereby it learns something. This leads him to define “the new ontological milieu” which is the depth of the life of consciousness. It is within this depth that the interrogative experience winds on itself.Secondly, if there truly must be a moment where the Hegelian Zweideutigkeit becomes good ambiguity, it will not suffice to explore preobjective depth; it would still be necessary to discern “the hinge” which is “solid, unwavering” and which “remains irremediably hidden.” It is this unwavering hinge that supports phenomena and that, in simultaneously decentering and recentering the fields of appearances, opens a place where one can follow the genesis of sense.Finally, we note that this discovery of the new ontological milieu can be considered as the recovery of the notion of institution that Merleau-Ponty had proposed in 1954-1955: on the one hand, the notion of chiasm invites us to reveal the hinge which at once decenters and recenters the fields of appearances. This hinge is free from the alternative of nature and culture, of subjective and objective spirit; it is the rootedness of our interrogative experience in brute being, which is not object but starts an indefinite search of self. But, on the other hand, the notion of institution, which is essentially descriptive and factual, makes us better feel the weight of the instituted that is also irremediably hidden. It makes us feel the inertia of the instituting event, as well as its fecundity and its cumulativity.
5. Chiasmi International: Volume > 16
Luca Vanzago Raw Being and the Darkness of Nature. On Merleau-Ponty’s Appropriation of Schelling
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In this article, we will reflect on the theoretical strategy implemented by Merleau-Ponty in his reading of Schelling. The purpose is not to verify the philological accuracy of his reading, but rather to examine two different yet interconnected questions: on the one hand, to study the sense Schelling’s concept of Nature takes in Merleau-Ponty’s ontological project; on the other, to discuss the role that Schelling’s philosophy effectively plays in the way that Merleau-Ponty approaches the problem of Nature. These two questions should not be equated, since the first aspect concerns the evaluation of Merleau-Ponty’s project and thus of the specific function played by his reading of Schelling in the ontology of the flesh. The second, however, concerns the problems raised by this very project, which will appear more clearly if we consider Schelling’s philosophy in its general development, over and above what is said by Merleau-Ponty. In fact, he has a tendency to privilege the early Schelling, closer to Hegel and to speculative idealism, but he only makes a few allusions to the more mature ideas, which Schelling mainly explains in the unfinished treatise on the ages of the world, from which Merleau-Ponty draws, nevertheless, the theme of the barbarous principle. The task, consequently, is to understand the extent to which Merleau-Ponty was able to incorporate the “abyssal” value of this notion, developed by Schelling especially when he sought to distance himself from his own transcendental idealist philosophy.We will thus ask whether Merleau-Ponty’s reading is partial, and if we can find, nonetheless, certain indications that show at which point he was able to take up the direction in which Schelling addressed the theme of Nature as barbarous principle. At stake is the question of the negativity, the latency, the opacity of Nature. In the first part of the essay, we briefly explain Merleau-Ponty’s interpretation of Schelling in his course on Nature at the Collège de France in 1956-1957. In the second part, we present an interpretation of Schelling’s notion of the barbarous principle in light of the treatise on the ages of the world, and in particular the second draft, which is more speculative and audacious. In the third part, finally, we propose an interpretation of Merleau-Ponty’s position which can show us, at least indirectly, how the notion of flesh can recognize Schelling’s theoretical indications in their more pessimistic and radical valence, centered on the notion of de-cision (Ent-Scheidung) as ontological divide. While not clearly argued, in part due to the nature of the unfinished manuscript of The Visible and the Invisible, this notion is given an implicit treatment in this work that helps deepen the interpretation of the ontology of the flesh in the sense of a renewed mediation on negativity.
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6. Chiasmi International: Volume > 16
Dylan Trigg The Role of the Earth in Merleau-Ponty’s Archaeological Phenomenology
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This paper argues that the concept of the Earth plays a pivotal role in Merleau-Ponty’s thinking in two ways. First, the concept assumes a special importance in terms of Merleau-Ponty’s relation to Husserl via the fragment known as “The Earth Does Not Move.” Two, from this fragment, the Earth marks a key theme around which Merleau-Ponty’s late philosophy revolves. In particular, it is with the concept of the Earth that Merleau-Ponty will develop his archaeologically oriented phenomenology. To defend this claim, the paper unfolds in three stages. First, I provide a preliminary reading of Husserl’s fragment, focusing in particular on the co-constitution of body and Earth. Two, I turn to Merleau-Ponty’s interpretations of this fragment, especially in the lectures on nature and then in the later lectures on Husserl. From these varying interpretations, the germs of Merleau-Ponty’s archaeological phenomenology are conceived. Accordingly, in the final part of the paper, I claim that Merleau-Ponty’s account of the Earth is Husserlian insofar as it reinforces the primordial “ground (sol) of experience” but at the same time marks a departure from Husserl insofar as the Earth registers a brute or wild layer that resists phenomenology.
7. Chiasmi International: Volume > 16
Laura McMahon The Phantom Organic: Merleau-Ponty and the “Psychoanalysis of Nature”
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In a working note to The Visible and the Invisible (1964), 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 (1945) 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.
autour de merleau-ponty
8. Chiasmi International: Volume > 16
Leonard Lawlor Nascency and Memory: Reflections on Véronique Fóti’s Tracing Expression in Merleau-Ponty
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This is a review essay on Véronique Fóti’s Tracing Expression in Merleau-Ponty. It attempts to display the pattern that constitutes “the in filigree tracings” of Tracing Expression in Merleau-Ponty. In other words, it reconstructs the conceptual features that go into the “unthought” of expression that Véronique Fóti has given us. The reconstruction takes place in two steps. The first reconstructs the concept of expression itself as Fóti sees it in Merleau-Ponty’s thought. Here, we follow Fóti’s analysis and resolution of what Merleau-Ponty himself called “the paradox of expression.” Fóti’s “resolution” of the paradox takes us then to a second step, in which we determine Fóti’s “radicalization” of the paradox. The radicalization of the paradox takes place through specific criticisms that Fóti levels against Merleau-Ponty’s writings on painting. These criticisms allow us to see that the unthought of expression lies in nascency. Fóti’s new concept of expression revolves around the idea of nascency. Nascency allows Fóti not only to envision a metaphysics of expression but also and especially an ethics. However, Fóti’s stress of nascency raises a difficult question that she does not pose. While the word “nascency” appears countless times in Tracing Expression in Merleau-Ponty, the word “death,” as far as I can tell, appears only twice in the entire book. I argue that the absence of death in Tracing Expression in Merleau-Ponty conjoined with the stress of nascency opens out onto the question of memory, hence the title of my presentation, “Nascency and Memory.” Tracing Expression in Merleau-Ponty exhibits a compelling combination of modesty and ambition. Undoubtedly, the modesty results from Fóti’s long-standing devotion to Merleau-Ponty’s thought. This devotion, however, did not stop her from recognizing the “failures” of Merleau-Ponty’s thinking. The ability to see beyond the thinking to which one is most devoted is truly one of the marks of a great philosopher.
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9. Chiasmi International: Volume > 16
Ted Toadvine Diacritics of the Inexpressible: Tracing Expression with Véronique Fóti
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Véronique Fóti’s Tracing Expression in Merleau-Ponty demonstrates how the problem of expression motivates and unifies Merleau-Ponty’s investigations of art, life, nature, and ontology, culminating in a timely conception of nature as a differential expressive matrix. The key to this expressive ontology is diacritical difference. We raise three questions for this diacritical ontology: how it embodies the memory of the world, how it is interrupted by transcendence, and how it dissolves into elementality. Our inquiry points towards a diacritics of the inexpressible.
10. Chiasmi International: Volume > 16
Véronique M. Fóti Neither Pure Nascency nor Mortality: Crossing-Out Absolutes in the Event of Presencing
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Since both these readings of Tracing Expression converge on a number of focal issues, namely the diacriticity and creativity of expression, memory, temporality, and the trace, the relation of artistic creation to the proto-artistic creativity of nature, and the elemental or what Toadvine calls “the end of the world,” I enter into dialogue with both interlocutors on these issues.Given the differential character of expression and the silences that permeate the sedimentation that it draws upon, nothing is replicatively bodied forth by it, and itsspontaneity remains intact. While Lawlor suggests that a fundamental negation is at the core of of manifestation, I call attention to the need to guard against absolutizing the negative or giving it a “secondary positivity.”I do not think that there is any fundamental tension, for Merleau-Ponty, between nascency and memory, given that sedimentation, as “the trace of the forgotten” remains efficacious as the exigency of a future. The basic character of the trace is not that of a mere residue but is akin to the archē-trace; and the past that it refers to iis immemorial. It is important, in this context, to bear in mind the event- and the field-character of institution.I do not think that my emphasis on the autonomy of art breaks the contitnuity between art and the proto-artistic creativity of nature. Firstly, Merleau-Ponty’s ownunderstanding of painting as a “secret science” (which I am critical of) interrogatively addresses, not perceptual configurations, but “wild being” and thus presencing itself, whereas the autonomy I call attention to is not a pure transcendence. Indeed, Merleau-Ponty, in “Cézanne’s Doubt,” stresses that Cézanne’s approach to his work undercuts conceptual dichotomies (such as immanence and transcendence).As concerns an understanding of non-figurative painting as an initmation of “the end of the world,” understood as a return to the pure elements in a paroxysm of sheer materiality, I voice three reservations. These concern, firstly, any unitary understanding of “world,” secondly a reductive understanding of the primordial elements, and thirdly that there cannot be any genuine art in the absence of perceptual configuration, or in sheer formlessness. Notwithstanding these reservations, however, I am profoundly appreciative of Lawlor’s and Toadvine’s intellectually engaged and perceptive readings of Tracing Expression.
compte-rendus
11. Chiasmi International: Volume > 16
Claudio Rozzoni Chi scrive? Chi legge? Il chiasma fra autore e lettore a partire dalle Recherches sur L’usage littéraire du langage
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The recent publication of Recherches sur l’usage littéraire du langage, the preparatory notes for Merleau-Ponty’s “Monday course” at the Collège de France in 1953, provides further evidence of the turning points of the French philosopher’s reflections during this period. This course, on the style of expression in the work of Stendhal and Valery, is interesting in that it truly reveals to us a unique perspective on the questions that, on the one hand, are related to research made during the previous period at the Sorbonne; and that, on the other hand, find a new echo, a new development in the course on “The Philosophy of Proust” given by Merleau-Ponty in the following year, also at the Collège of France. The problem of the intersubjectivity of the work of art in particular finds a crucial complement in this course. Starting from the work on literary language, this offers a path toward thinking the chiasm between author and reader in an unprecedented way that avoids falling back into the fruitless opposition between two poles: one represented by a purely subjective point of view, with its solipsistic excesses, and one that tries to take into account the communication between two subjects, author and reader in this case, by thinking them as an “already given” unity before the gesture of writing and the experience of reading.
12. Chiasmi International: Volume > 16
Guy-Félix Duportail Un autre retour à Freud : à Propos de Force-Pulsion-Désir de Rudolf Bernet
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In his latest work, Force-Pulsion-Désir, Rudolf Bernet seeks to clarify one of the fundamental concepts of psychoanalysis, that of “drive.” He engages such authorsas Aristotle, Leibniz, Schopenhauer, Freud, Husserl, Nietzsche and Lacan to better elucidate philosophically the sense of the concept of drive. The work’s argument thushighlights a kind of destiny of drive: the first moment concerns the dynamic aspect of the drive, that of force; the second is that of drive taken in its essence and truth;the third is that of desire which prolongs and sublimates the drive. The path followed in this book thus goes from the non-human to the human or, if one prefers, fromnature to subject, and interrogates their interpenetration. In contrast to naturalism and historicism, Rudolf Bernet chooses to read Freud in a resolutely philosophical way, in a way that at the same time challenges our perception of the relation between philosophy and psychoanalysis. The epistemic stakes are high. Without claiming to address every implication, we briefly retrace here the overall trajectory.
13. Chiasmi International: Volume > 16
Frank Chouraqui On Rajiv Kaushik’s Art, Language and Figure in Merleau-Ponty: Excursions in Hyper-Dialectic
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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.
14. Chiasmi International: Volume > 16
Kathleen Hulley, Donald A. Landes Phenomenology, Ontology, and the Arts: Reading Jessica Wiskus’s The Rhythm of Thought
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Jessica Wiskus’s book The Rhythm of Thought: Art, Literature, and Music (University of Chicago Press, 2013) is a fascinating study of Merleau-Ponty’s late philosophy inrelation to the artistic expression of Mallarmé, Cézanne, Proust, and Debussy. By invoking examples from across the arts and citations from across Merleau-Ponty’soeuvre, Wiskus provides us with a style for reading some of Merleau-Ponty’s difficult late concepts, including noncoincidence, institution, essence, and transcendence.In this review, we explore some of the key concepts and insights of Wiskus’s rich, interdisciplinary book and offer some places where the depth that it opens up perhapsinvites further exploration.
15. Chiasmi International: Volume > 16
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17. Chiasmi International: Volume > 16
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